News

Starbucks to stop selling alcohol at more than 400 US stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks will stop selling beer and wine at more than 400 U.S. stores next week as it ends its “evenings” program.

The coffee chain says the “Starbucks Evenings” program in 439 company-owned stores in the U.S. will end Jan. 10. It said the program may continue in some of the nine licensed stores where it is offered, or overseas. The program was first tested in 2010 near Starbucks’ headquarters in Seattle, and was expanded as a way to drive sales beyond the morning rush. In addition to alcohol, the evening menu featured foods like bacon-wrapped dates.

Starbucks said in 2014 it planned to expand alcohol to “thousands” of stores. Now, it says it will integrate beer and wine into its higher-end retail format, such as Roastery stores.

Souce: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6ec0e07280d44029841f6e3d2429a8eb/starbucks-stop-selling-alcohol-more-400-us-stores

Hilton takes service to the next level

Hilton Team Members contributed 291,000 volunteer hours during the company’s Global Month of Service.

The annual event is part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility programme and this year saw Team Members from 93 countries contribute more than 291,000 volunteer hours to 4,166 community projects around the world. Global Month of Service is a celebration of the community engagement efforts throughout the entire year.

Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton said, “A core part of Hilton’s mission is to have a lasting, positive impact on the thousands of communities where we live, work and travel, and that is the inspiration for our annual Global Month of Service. This year, our Team Members worked together to demonstrate a commitment to service by sharing their unique hospitality skills in truly inspiring ways.”

Throughout October, Hilton collaborated with hundreds of organizations across the globe to participate in service projects from outdoor garden classrooms to mentorship programs to youth workshops. Projects aligned with Travel with Purpose’s three priority areas: creating opportunities, strengthening communities and preserving the environment.

Creating Opportunities

In Cameroon, Hilton Yaoundé opened its doors to 35 local students from Sorawell Professional Training Center for Women, an organization that provides hospitality training to young women from disadvantaged backgrounds. The hotel held a week-long series of workshops with the students and a two-year apprenticeship was awarded to one student that excelled during the week.
Strengthening Communities

In the United States, more than 100 Team Members from Hilton’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia partnered with REAL School Gardens, a local organization that unites teachers, parents, businesses and students to create learning gardens tailored to specific school needs. Team Members spent the day alongside the students building raised plant beds, installing outdoor white boards and planting seasonal vegetables for children to grow.
In Singapore, Team Members from Hilton’s regional office joined forces with Hilton Singapore to prepare, cook, pack and deliver more than 5,000 meals to the local community in Singapore. During the event, Team Members were able to participate in a number of different roles preparing and serving in the kitchen.
Hilton has been dedicated to spreading its hospitality from properties into local communities for nearly 100 years. While community service is highlighted during October, Hilton’s Team Members dedicate their time, passion and unique brand of hospitality to create positive change throughout the entire year. Since 2012, Hilton Team Members have completed more than 14,960 projects worldwide and contributed more than 804,620 hours of community service.

Source: http://www.greenhotelier.org/our-themes/community-communication-engagement/hilton-takes-service-to-the-next-level/

Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui Debuts $100 Million Transformation

Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui today announced the substantial completion of its sweeping $100 million transformation set to debut December 24, 2016. Inspired by its iconic Wailea Beach oceanfront location and the restorative power of the sea, the comprehensive transformation ushers in a new era of modern elevated services and memories for Wailea’s original resort. The entirely transformed contemporary resort features a reimagined arrival experience, six new dining options including HUMBLE MARKET KITCHIN by Roy Yamaguchi, three new distinct pool environments, and 547 redesigned rooms and suites, along with the total modernization of all indoor/outdoor meeting and event spaces, fitness center and spa. The resort’s proximity to the ocean inspires new guest programming, delivered by the resort’s ‘ohana (family) of associates.

“We are thrilled to introduce guests and the community to our transformed resort, and to the enduring and evolving spirit of Maui that makes a visit to the island so memorable,” said Thomas Foti, general manager, Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. “With a rich history as Wailea’s first resort and our desirable location just steps from the water’s edge, we look forward to welcoming our guests to discover the new Wailea Beach Resort.”

As the closest resort to the Wailea shoreline, the design creates synergy with the ocean through clean lines and simplicity in architecture, maximizing its proximity to the water. Every facet of the renovation evokes a strong sense of place. The resort’s thoughtful layout across 22 acres offers both intimate alcoves for relaxing and large spaces for gathering, befitting romantic retreats, family time or meetings.

New and Transformed Spaces

A New Arrival Experience
The new Grand Lanai’s approachable design offers an open-air layout, with soaring ceilings and intimate seating areas. Trade wind breezes and breathtaking ocean panoramas greet guests for immediate harmony with the elements.

Accommodations
The resort’s 491 reimagined spacious guest rooms and 56 suites offer residential-style accommodations distinguished by comfortable contemporary interiors. Designed for the modern traveler, each room features new furnishings and enhanced in-room technology, including personal device mirror-casting, custom music streaming, and personalized Netflix and Hulu content. Every room has an outdoor lanai (balcony), while 62 ground floor rooms boast extended lanais offering guests a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience. Select accommodations, only a few feet from the water, reveal a closeness to the ocean that cannot be replicated on the island.

New Dining Concepts

HUMBLE MARKET KITCHIN by Roy Yamaguchi: A pioneer of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, Chef Roy Yamaguchidebuts his newest restaurant concept, HUMBLE MARKET KITCHIN by Roy Yamaguchi, as an ode to his grandfather Henry who immigrated to Hawaii. Chef Roy returns to his island roots and finds inspiration from various local cuisines – Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and Hawaiian – to create his internationally influenced, Hawaiian-inspired menu. Perched on one of the highest points at the property, the resort’s signature restaurant offers indoor/outdoor dining, panoramic ocean views and a design influenced by the surrounding mountains and enchanting sea: the perfect complement to Chef Roy’s cuisine.
KAPA Bar & Grill: Both a destination to dine and a communal spot to gather over cocktails fireside, the all new KAPA Bar & Grill offers a playful option for those who prefer to convene poolside with captivating views of the ocean. The flavorful menu, inspired by Hawaii’s natural and sustainable resources, features local interpretations of comforting favorites. The vibrant bar and lounge features entertainment amenities such as billiards, shuffleboard, gaming stations and large screen TVs, offering respite from the sun and a place for families to connect.

Whale’s Tale: Located just steps from ocean’s edge, the new casual beach bar offers morning and afternoon refreshment with cold pressed juices and local fruit smoothies, coffee drinks, breakfast pastries and acai bowls. In the evening, the ocean side setting offers an inviting space to take in Maui’s breathtaking sunsets over craft cocktails.
Mo Bettah Food Truck and NALU Pool Bar: The NALU Adventure Pool’s Food Truck and Pool Bar serve grab-and-go options, kid-friendly favorites, and local treats like shaved ice and poke.
Unique and Expansive Pool Amenities
Wailea Beach Resort takes advantage of its 22 acres by creating three very distinct pool experiences, allowing guests to choose their own space for relaxation, rejuvenation and/or exhilaration.

NALU Adventure Pool: The new expansive two-acre pool complex offers a fun-filled experience for families and kids of all ages. The centerpiece of the NALU Adventure Pool is four water slides, two of which measure 240ft and 325ft respectively, with the latter dropping five and half stories and measuring as the longest water slide of any resort in Hawaii. A new interactive splash zone, with water guns, spraying sea mammal sculptures and bubblers, create a wonderful playtime for all. Parents can enjoy a moment to themselves in the pool’s new swim-through grotto or under spacious family cabanas.
Maluhia Serenity Pool: The signature adults-only infinity edge pool features over-water private cabanas, casabellas for two and luxury chaise lounges. The iconic space holds multi-level pool decks and presents unobstructed panoramic views of the Pacific.
‘Ohi Pools: The resort’s two new oceanfront pools offer an additional vantage point to enjoy the spectacular views of the Pacific. Perfect for whale watching, the dramatic infinity edge is steps from the ocean, so close guests greet the water’s mist as waves meet the coastline. Two whirlpool spas provide further relaxation. Numerous ocean view cabanas surround the pools and present an ideal way to reconnect with the water.
Dive Pool: A distinct space for scuba certification, diving, snorkeling and other watersports instruction, the Dive Pool is part of the NALU Adventure Pool complex.
Indoor/Outdoor Event Spaces
New and modern event spaces offer 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting and function space, along with 72,000 square feet of outdoor event space. Guests enjoy sweeping Pacific Ocean views from virtually all meeting spaces. Sophisticated venues, including the new Makai Oceanview Ballroom, combine with stunning oceanfront settings to offer a myriad of options to meeting and event planners. Enhanced WiFi ensures productivity and a dedicated onsite AV team customizes each event.

Luau Venue
Te Au Moana, also known as “The Ocean Tide” Luau, is a cultural experience curated exclusively for the resort. A vibrant program transports guests on a journey through the island’s history and its people in song, dance and “talk story.” A truly authentic experience at the ocean’s edge on the new Luau Gardens, the luau features Hawaiian culinary offerings and local favorites paired perfectly with tropical cocktails.

Family Amenities
Families enjoy a new collection of experiences for all generations. The Kolohe Keiki Club offers children under 12 an engaging learning and play facility with full- and half-day programs. GameSpace is an inviting venue to entertain teens and families with foosball, billiards, shuffleboard, and vintage arcade and Xbox games. The Movie House is complete with a 90″ screen, thunderous surround sound, beanbag seating for 60 and cinema snacks.

Arrival / Departure Lounge
The private lounge features personal showers, lockers and spa-like amenities for guests to take full advantage of the resort before take-off or upon arrival.

“The Water Awaits” Celebration Package
In celebration of Wailea Beach Resort’s transformation, the property is offering a special “The Water Awaits” package that includes accommodations in a fully restyled guest room; daily breakfast for two at HUMBLE MARKET KITCHIN by Roy Yamaguchi; an exclusive Outrigger Canoe ride and “swim with the turtles” experience for 2 with a Hawaiian cultural expert and skilled waterman; snorkel tour off the Wailea coast for 2; a one-day resort casabella rental; and a sunset cocktail experience overlooking the water. The limited time celebration package starts at $539/night for stays of four nights or longer.

The new Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui is located at the ocean’s edge on 22 acres of Maui’s southern shores, framed by two white sand beaches. Rates start at $519 per night.

Source: http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article92272.html

Park Inn by Radisson launches global ‘INNovation Room’ program

Nine leading hotel management schools gathered in Manchester, England, last weekend for the launch of an international campaign from Park Inn by Radisson that aims to drive innovation around the company’s guest experience whilst supporting the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) for young people at risk of unemployment.The ‘INNovation Room’ is a new program designed to unlock and nurture creativity among hotel management school students. This initiative demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to cultivating talent in the hospitality sector.

The INNovation Room is a competition for groups of students to pitch ideas to a panel of judges, with the aim of creating a more innovative guest experience at the Park Inn by Radisson hotels. Top hotel management schools from around the world are represented from countries including the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, United Arab Emirates, and the USA.

The company flew in the student teams for a three-day brainstorm and brand immersion session. Each team pitched three ideas to the INNovation Room panel, comprising senior management from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Siri Gomnæs Børsum, Industry Leader at Google, who has worked at the company for nine years in a travel-related capacity.

The panel then selected one idea that each team must develop into a full concept document by mid-November. The five strongest ideas will be put to a public vote on 21 November at www.parkinn.com/innovationroom. A shortlist of two will then be pitched to the panel to identify the final winner.

Rose Anderson, Vice President Branding Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Blu and Quorvus Collection said: “Guests are at the heart of everything we do as a brand and we are constantly looking to enhance the guest experience. Our INNovation Room campaign will work with some of the brightest minds from the world’s most prestigious hospitality schools to further our commitment to creating unique and memorable guest experiences.”

For each public vote, a donation of $1 will be made to Youth Career Initiative up to a maximum total amount of $25,000. This charity represents the hotel industry’s global solution to youth unemployment, of which Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is a lead partner. This is in line with the brand’s responsible business program, Adding Color To Lives, that aims to build long term relationships with young people at risk locally, with a focus on developing work and personal skills and on organizing joint community projects.

Fran Hughes, Director, International Tourism Partnership, added “We are really excited about the INNovation Room initiative from Park Inn by Radisson and delighted that the company has chosen to support our Youth Career Initiative (YCI) program.

“It is through the support of hotel partners like Park Inn by Radisson that we are able to help hundreds of disadvantaged young people every year build the skills and self-confidence they need to embark on their careers in hospitality.”

Source: http://ehotelier.com/education/2016/09/30/park-inn-radisson-launches-global-innovation-room-program/

Traversing the best wine countries in Africa

The mention of wine for many, brings a lot of imaginations especially those of luxury, vineyards, dining and wining. For others, the fancies go all the way to romantically exotic destinations, fondly sipping glasses of some red or white wine with their inamorata(o)s. For wine lovers planning to turn their flight of fancy into reality, here are Africa’s best wine countries to consider for your bucket list.

South Africa

South Africa leads in having some of the best wine destinations not just in Africa but also in the entire world, having been identified as a wine growing country since the late 17th century. Traversing the country’s thousands of vineyards, some whose history dates back to 1659, will create a completely enticing world whose sheer beauty immerses you into an unforgettable adventure. From the Constantia wine valley located at the foot of the Constantiaberg Mountain, to the Stellenbosch Winelands which is the second oldest wine producing region, sample some of the best wines that SA has to offer. Traverse through the ancient settler’s town of ‘Paarl’, not forgetting the Franschhoek Wine Valley and experience its homely atmosphere and lush scenery.

If you like, go on a binge and once in awhile losing yourself to the wine world. The South African wine valleys are also child friendly, offering great play fields for your little ones. Whether seeking a solo encounter, a romantic getaway or a family bonding wine indulging experience, South Africa should top your list. Gourmet foods are available and accommodation to suite every style.

Algeria

Argued to be the second largest wine country in Africa, Algeria is a close rival of South Africa also seeking to claim its position as a top wine producing destination in the continent. The Hauts Plateaux region is a force to be reckoned with, for remaining steady in the production of Algerian red and white wines including Algiers, Coteaux De Mascara, D’hara, Coteaux De Tlemcen Chlef and Béjaïa; all favorites of many connoisseurs of wine. Take a tour of the wine cellars, sample the various tastes and get treated to alluring views of the country’s dense vineyards.

Tunisia

Is Rose Wine your most favorite of them all? Tunisia is the best African country you can possibly experience this magical red wine, made from a variety of red grapes including Grenache, Clairette, Cinsaut Mourvèdre, Carignan, Syrah, Merlot and Alicante Bouschet. If red in not your thing, feel the white’s touch of lost paradise from the Muscat of Alexandria, Pedro Ximenez and Chardonnay grapes. The French flavor from Tunisia’s wine is everything you would like to sample in the wine world.

Morocco

Morocco is yet another wine producing African country and while the industry is said to have a long way to go, it remains a major destination for wine lovers. Visit the Atlas Mountains that command quite a share of fame in producing renowned wines in the country. White is more common, while red is still grown in some parts of Morocco.

Cape Verde

It is not so popular with wine production, since only the Chã das Caldeiras, a small community in the Fogo Island produces wine. Yet, you can find some of the best red and white wines in Cape Verde that will activate your smell and taste glands with the brut.

Ethiopia

Few people know Ethiopia as a wine country, yet Ethiopian wine enthusiasts have since 1998 been enjoying locally produced wine from Ziway, a small region in the Horn of Africa. visit the country’s Rift Valley and have a chance to indulge in both red and white wine from Bordeaux, whose consumption goes well beyond the Ethiopian borders. Enjoy the scenic lakes enclosed by an impenetrable woodland with thrilling bird life for your adventure.

Source: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/global/147000333/4077799.html

Hyatt announces sale of Hyatt Regency Birmingham in the UK

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has sold Hyatt Regency Birmingham for approximately £38.6 million to an affiliate of Bin Otaiba Investment Group. The purchaser will also spend approximately £2.7 million in additional capital expenditures to further improve the property over the next three years. As part of the sale, a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with the purchaser and the hotel will retain its Hyatt Regency branding.

The Hyatt Regency Birmingham:

“We are delighted to work with Bin Otaiba as we continue growing through our asset recycling strategy,” said Steve Haggerty, Hyatt’s global head of capital strategy, franchising and select service. “This transaction allows us to retain brand presence in the market and expand our relationship with an owner who is investing in the Hyatt Regency brand.”

One of the best-situated hotels in Birmingham city center, Hyatt Regency Birmingham is a modern, 4-star hotel that enjoys an unrivalled central location adjacent to Centenary Square and connects guests to who and what matters most. Offering access to the city’s landmark International Convention Centre (ICC) via bridgeway, the hotel is one of the leading convention facilities in the U.K., regularly hosting events that include the annual conferences of major political parties. It is also across from Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and 10 minutes by train to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Additionally, the hotel is a short distance from the exclusive Mailbox and Bull Ring shopping centers. Occupying an entire 24-story, glass-front building, the hotel dominates the skyline of central Birmingham, the second largest city in the country.

The hotel’s 319 guestrooms and suites, including the exclusive Presidential Suite, all have floor-to-ceiling windows that command breathtaking views of the canal network or the city. For leisure, guests can visit the Amala Spa and Club for wellness and beauty treatments, the 16-metre indoor swimming pool and the well-equipped gymnasium. Hyatt Regency Birmingham is also home to the signature Aria Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Guests can enjoy a great selection of fine wines, champagnes and cocktails with friends in The Gentleman & Scholar Pub and Terrace. Traditional afternoon tea is served in the hotel daily, offering the perfect way to celebrate special occasions or round off a day’s shopping.

One of the most popular business hotels in the city, Hyatt Regency Birmingham is an ideal venue for meetings and conferences, featuring 10 meeting and event rooms that are complemented by meeting packages and personalized catering services, and exceptional spaces to host the most elegant weddings.

Source: http://ehotelier.com/news/2016/09/28/hyatt-announces-sale-hyatt-regency-birmingham-uk/

’56 acquisitions in May’

1280px-Krispy_Kreme_glazed_donuts_2As many as 56 food and drink industry transactions were registered on the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database for May 2016.

Just two were valued at more than $500 million.

$1.35 billion for the Dutch JAB Holdings to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the United States
£400 million for UK-based CVC to purchase AR Packaging in Sweden.
Both acquirers are private equity investors.

Of the 56 total, 13 were in alcohol, 13 in dairy, eight in soft drinks, four in ingredients, four in snacks and three in bakery.

The United States featured in 26, the United Kingdom in 12, Germany in ten, Russia in five, Switzerland in five, France in three, Mexico in three and the Netherlands in three.

Source: http://www.foodbev.com/news/56-acquisitions-in-may/

Pizza Hut commits to removing artificial preservatives ‘by 2017’

13245447_10154155170067278_6769255637582014312_n2Pizza Hut has vowed to removing artificial preservatives from its meat and cheese toppings during the next ten months, exactly 58 years since the brand opened its first restaurant in Wichita, Kansas.

The company will cut the preservatives BHA and BHT from its meat by the end of July. It will stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in the rearing of its chickens and eliminate artificial preservatives from its cheese by the end of March 2017.

The announcement has been made roughly a year after Pizza Hut became the US’ first national pizza chain to remove artificial flavours and colours from its core offering of pizzas, having removed 2.5 million pounds of salt from its ingredients in the last five years.

“We believe that Pizza Hut food shouldn’t only taste great, but you should feel great about it, too,” said Jeff Fox, chief brand and concept officer for the Texas-headquartered company. “Our enhanced and expanded commitment to superior restaurant-quality food is the result of listening closely to our customers, and they say that these are things that they do want in their pizzas.

“Providing our customers with restaurant quality ingredients is something that has been at the core of Pizza Hut since the very first restaurant opened in Wichita 58 years ago. It’s so fundamental to our superior restaurant quality beliefs that we rarely feel the need to talk about it. That said, 58 years later, we are extremely proud to say that we still get our vegetables, our meats, our tomatoes, our flour, our cheese – everything that makes a great pizza – from top suppliers around the world. We are constantly working to lead the industry in this area and believe it is important to let customers know exactly where their food comes from and how it’s made.”

Earlier changes to Pizza Hut’s menu include the elimination of partially hydrogenated oils and MSG. It also does not use any fillers in any of its meat toppings, its Italian sausage is all-natural and sourced from US farmers, and its marinara sauces is free from added sugar and oil.

Source: http://www.foodbev.com/news/pizza-hut-commits-to-removing-artificial-preservatives-by-march-2017/

French Cheese Board opens interactive concept store in US

French Cheese Board concept store - 41 Spring Street, New York City, Design Ich&Kar, Photo Pascal Perich (PRNewsFoto/French Cheese Board)

French Cheese Board concept store – 41 Spring Street, New York City, Design Ich&Kar, Photo Pascal Perich (PRNewsFoto/French Cheese Board)

The French Cheese Board, the organisation that promotes French dairy products at home and abroad, has opened a cheese concept store in the US that will allow visitors to discover more about French cheeses and France’s cheesemaking culture through a set of interactive tools.

Magnetic walls that allow displays to be changed easily, bespoke furniture and educative murals about French cheese are all among the features of the new concept store, in New York’s Soho neighbourhood – an area, the French Cheese Board said, that reflected the high-quality and premium output of France’s cheesemaking sector.

French Cheese Board head of communications Laurent Damiens said: “We wanted to create a modern hub for foodies to share an immersive experience anchored in the exploration of the artisanal making and flavour of French cheeses. Our store represents a new space for us to support our consumer-first approach and drive authenticity and innovation around the French industry’s offerings and ideals.”

The French Cheese Board’s experimental space will be brought to life by a team of certified “cheese masters” with unrivaled background in flavour chemistry and superior knowledge of cheese and beverage pairings.

Source: http://www.foodbev.com/news/french-cheese-boards-opens-interactive-concept-store-in-new-york/

Coffee investor JAB Holdings to acquire Krispy Kreme for $1.35bn

SONY DSCJAB Holding Company, the majority shareholder in coffee companies Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Keurig Green Mountain, has agreed to acquire all of the shares of doughnut chain Krispy Kreme for a total value of $1.35 billion.

The value of the transaction, which is not subject to a financing condition and is expected to close in the third quarter of the year, represents a price of $21 per share – approximately a 25% premium on the company’s closing price at the end of last week.

The deal will bolster JAB Holdings’ retail portfolio, after it paid $280m for Nordic coffee shop chain Espresso House last year.

Krispy Kreme chairman of the board Jim Morgan said: “This transaction puts us in the best possible position to continue to spread that joy to a growing number of people around the world while delivering significant value to Krispy Kreme shareholders. I am confident the JAB team is the right partner with whom to continue building upon our incredible legacy.”

And the company’s CEO, Tony Thompson, added: “JAB’s experience and industry knowledge make them the ideal partner to help grow the iconic Krispy Kreme brand throughout the world. We remain focused on our long term strategy and continuing to offer our premium, high-quality doughnuts and sweet treats to consumers around the world. We look forward to working with JAB to continue bringing the joy that is Krispy Kreme to a growing number of customers. Together with our talented team and our passionate franchisees, we will continue to build on the Krispy Kreme culture, values and commitment to our customers and guests.”

Peter Harf, senior partner at JAB, said: “We are thrilled to have such an iconic brand as Krispy Kreme joining the JAB portfolio. This is yet another example of our commitment to investing in extraordinary brands with significant growth prospects. We feel strongly that Krispy Kreme will benefit greatly from our long-term focus and support for management’s vision in building on the legacy of this exciting brand as an independent standalone entity.”

Source: http://www.foodbev.com/news/coffee-investor-jab-holdings-to-acquire-krispy-kreme-for-1-35bn/