Tougher competition

“F&B concepts in the hotel industry” symposium

Expert speakers, lively discussions and a varied programme – another symposium was held by the journal Hotelbau in a professional and cooperative atmosphere at Le Méridien at the main railway station in Munich on 21 March 2019. emco attended the event as usual as a sponsor. This time, the symposium focussed on planning, design and operations in the Food & Beverage sector. Martin Gräber, Editor-in-Chief of Hotelbau, and Sandra Lederer, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, hotelbau were eloquent and informative leaders throughout the day. There was a clear consensus in particular on the fact that hotel restaurants should be self-supporting and open to walk-in customers – this often involves new buildings and conversions to allow access without having to go through the hotel lobby. It was also agreed that competition is high in the restaurant chain industry.

emco sponsored the symposium once again


Author Pierre Nierhaus in action


After a welcome speech by Dr. Jörg Frehse from the host Munich Hotel Partners (MHP), the day’s full programme began with a lecture by Michael Lidl (Treugast). The Treugast Solutions Group has published the third edition of its food and beverage industry rankings in Germany, in which the consultancy firm assesses standardised food and beverage concepts with the help of a survey. Key results of this survey: due to the ongoing development of the restaurant chain industry, competition is getting tougher for operators. After all, such standardised concepts not only have a clear profile, they also often follow an aggressive expansion policy – only when it comes to host qualities do individual businesses generally take the lead. New concepts are appearing as highly specialised providers serving healthy, sustainable meals. In addition, the large number of (as yet) unknown companies are making it hard for classic system providers. Even the established smaller chains such as Dean & David, L’Osteria or Hans im Glück have been able to develop their market value in the rankings. Hans im Glück is already represented at various hotel chains, 25hours has Neni, Starbucks has outlets at several Holiday Inns – prominent partners in the food and beverage industry, which are bringing in more walk-in customers and therefore sales. Then there is the fact that the food and beverage industry has a significant effect on the development of the neighbourhood and is therefore a factor that is increasingly being taken into account by developers. Just before lunch, the well-known author, consultant and food and beverage industry expert, Pierre Nierhaus, talked about his experiences in the hotel and food industry around the world. This was followed by a guided tour of the hotel.


“Irmi” restaurant at Le Méridien, Munich


Talks with hotel operators


Local colour: Bavarian table decoration


Key issue for the future: food and beverage industry and town planning

Before the coffee break, hotel operators discussed the controversial subject of “Chain, own restaurant or no restaurant?”. The conclusion was that there is no magic formula and that various concepts can work equally well. The subsequent lecture on “Contractual arrangements for F&B concepts” showed that there are many legal tips and tricks to think about when operating a food and beverage business. The relevance of this topic was underlined by the large number of questions from the audience.

The afternoon was all about design, with interior designer Florian Kienast from the formwænde design studio and Cord Glantz, Head Designer at Geplan Designer, giving talks on the subject “Interior design and the efficient use of space in hotel restaurants”. A large number of impressive references reinforced the theory that each and every hotel should make its own clear statement and have its own storytelling. Soon you will also be able to read our interview with Florian Kienast. The two lectures were then supplemented by explanations from architect Frank Dittel on the “Food and beverage industry in town planning”. The programme for the event was wide-ranging, leading to plenty of discussion and exchange and was rounded off in the evening with a tour of the trendy food and drinks establishments of Munich. You can also look forward to some more interesting topics and informative lectures at the next Hotelbau event in Hamburg. Register now!

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