Food for thought

F&B on the menu

[Credit: Darryl Low on Unsplash]

Since we launched the BoHoNews podcast last year, we’ve accumulated over 4000 listens across multiple platforms. The latest in the series, hosted by my colleague Sara Kirsch, featured Mike Baxter from Edinburgh-based House of Gods discussing the group’s expansion plans.

Baxter has secured funding from OakNorth to take the brand to two new outposts: in Glasgow and Manchester. The group will also open its first F&B venue, the Casablanca Cocktail Club, at the Edinburgh site within the next two weeks. The success of food and beverage operations during lockdown has been documented in the pivot to delivery services, with some restaurants now unable to meet pent-up demand and reducing trading hours. Largely due to staff shortages, Baxter comments on the industry-wide challenge of attracting younger team members as a potential headwind of the expansion. Take a listen here.

The focus on F&B as a key driver of hotel revenue is also being explored in the States. Lark Hotels is joining forces with Angevin & Co to roll out “destination-worthy restaurants and bars that support an experiential and memorable hotel stay.” Robert Thompson, the restaurateur behind Angevin and former CEO of ‘eatertainment’ concept Punch Bowl Social, will develop the F&B programming of each collaboration with Lark Hotels.

I think it’s fair to say that emphasising a property’s on-site dining experience will be necessary to remain relevant and compete with the digital takeaway world. Similarly, I could argue that perhaps it’s best to leave F&B concept development in the hands of restaurateurs, which could signal further partnerships of the sort in the coming years. I’ll be touching on this subject in the next Trailblazer webinar, F&B and the future of delivery, on September 13th. Sign up here.

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