Omni Hotels has made a name for themselves as a quality, reliable option for their guests all across the country, as well as in Canada. Even with two resorts in Canada and another two in Mexico. The luxury hotel brand has been a staple of the hospitality world since 1958. Total Food Service had the pleasure of chatting with David Morgan, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Omni Hotels & Resorts to learn more about Omni and some of the programs they offer.
The U.S. travel industry is a trillion dollar industry that provides the U.S. with $147.9 billion in taxes and supports 1.5 million in jobs. This industry is an important one; although it is changing, it is only changing for the better. It takes form in a few ways; the first shift takes form in food. Hotels and resorts have always had restaurants, but they are usually underwhelming with a generic menu. There has been a trend growing where world-class restaurants will take over hotel kitchens to offer their guests something new and exciting. Whether you are on Madison Avenue at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Mark Restaurant or at Geoffrey Zakarian’s new spot at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida, this trend is growing. This doesn’t mean you need a celebrity chef to open up a restaurant either. “People are always looking for something new and exciting – and hotels can be great outlets for these experiences. Our brand-wide experiences are keeping our guests interested and coming back for more. This was our goal with the launch of the Omni Originals program,” Morgan states.
As travel and the desire to explore are continuously growing, it is creating a shift on what the traditional hotel and resort experience is supposed to be. ‘Omni Originals’ exemplifies the shift to a more locally oriented hotel and resort experience. This spring, Omni will unveil an entirely new offering, similar to what was done with its Q1 promotion, ‘Sensational Soups.” “We’re all about keeping things simple, yet fun, while, ultimately, creating a unique, one of a kind experience for our guests,” said Morgan. ‘Omni Originals’ has been rolled out to 42 hotels and resorts so far and is gaining traction.
The philosophy behind the ‘Omni Originals’ program is to provide a refreshing, simple, and easy way for guests to connect with the brand. “Most importantly, it is our guests’ satisfaction that drives us. We’re finding that offering our guests something as simple as a complimentary sample is what makes them happy and helps connect them to our brand,”,” Morgan added. “This strategy is a win-win for everyone. They get a sample and you get them back.”
“In a time when one hotel company is buying up another, you have these homogenous experiences where I think the consumer gets left out,” said Morgan. “It’s refreshing to see that the simplicity of giving your guests a little something extra can go a long way and create a positive reaction. Omni Hotels & Resorts has been implementing these fun ideas into their culinary programs for the past few years. For example, the “Magic of Maple” initiative was a way to showcase maple harvesting in the northeast through cocktails, food, and other hotel offerings. We are talking about maple cocktails, maple chicken pitas, and even a maple spa facial.
It may be a small shift, but the micro-focus on region has really brought new life to hotels and resorts. They are able to provide their guests with an amazing experience, as well as help expand their knowledge about their current destination – whether that’s Quebec or Corpus Christi. It is also a way for hotels to become more involved with their local communities – whether they are featuring beers from local breweries, or getting supplies from local farms. Programs like ‘Omni Originals’ will hopefully become the future of all major hotel chains – allowing the community, the guest, and the hotels to all experience one another.
To learn more about Omni Hotels and Omni Originals, visit their website.