Food and the dining experience count a lot towards the overall experience at a hotel. It is especially important for the Danish beach-hotels where, for example, Visitdenmark in their marketing, place strong emphasis on the culinary experience as an important part of the total stay at a beach-hotel.
The reviews from guests on the Internet confirm that connection, both in words and though the pictures they share from their stay.
The same guest reviews also show - together with the reports of hotel owners themselves - that big challenges can arise in association with getting the culinary experiences to reflect the overall qualities of the hotel. For example, a quote from Tripadvisor reads; "The hotel offered a dinner menu including wine for DKK XXX. Splendid initiative, but the hotel's food on that occasion simply did not live up to its reputation". (Source: Tripadvisor, randomly selected hotel in Denmark. The quote does not necessarily reflect the picture shown, but does illustrate the challenge).
Against that background, in 2016 the Invio researchers plus the hotel manager and restaurant manager of a Danish beach-hotel examined the factors that have particular importance for successful collaboration between the hotel and restaurant of a beach-hotel. Among other things we looked at the design and organization of restaurant and hotel, the special atmosphere to be generated, the restaurant's concept, quality and marketing plus personnel and the service concept along with the actual collaboration and organization between the personnel of the restaurant and hotel.
It produced a double-edged result, so to speak. On the one hand, there were a number of special challenges connected with producing a single, common experience, while on the other it proved possible in the end to get the restaurant and hotel to collaborate effectively and achieve the desired single common experience.
During the season, a number of disagreements arose between the hotel owner and the restaurant manager about the design and organization of the restaurant, the precise definition of the desired "special concept" and joint marketing. And in addition, complications also arose with the day-to-day collaboration between the restaurant and the hotel.
Even so, a cohesive single common experience was achieved for a time; an experience that guests described as a "really special experience", as can be seen in the hotel's guest-book and subsequent mails to the hotel.
That this cohesive experience was achieved during the season was conditional on certain essential things: That the hotel part lived up to the special expectations associated with a stay at a Danish beach-hotel; that the restaurant part produced an experience that matched the guests' expectations for a gastronomic experience, including the quality of both food and wine, and that the restaurant's personnel were capable of creating a good relationship with the guests.
However, one particular factor responsible for creating the cohesive single beach-hotel experience was the role of the hotel manager in defusing the negative effects of disagreements between the hotel owner and the restaurant manager and his ability to get the two organizations to work as one on a day-to-day basis, despite the complications of daily collaboration between them.
The activities illustrate, among other things, the importance of the food experience as part of the total hotel experience, and that that depends on close co-operation, marching in step and effective integration between the hotel and restaurant. All of this contributes directly to the overall combined food and hotel experience of the guests.