Forktales Ep 17 / Adam Knight / Founder of Knowing Hospitality & Proliferator or Principles

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Hotel food and beverage brands were a big focus prior to the pandemic but they notoriously lost money for many reasons. The pandemic shifted things but not in the way one would think. On this episode, well-known hospitality guru, Adam Knight, and I chat about what it takes to make hotel F&B concepts work in today’s reality as well as many other factors facing hotel brands.

  • Background is in hotel operations. Started in western Canada.
  • Knowing Hospitality came about after Adam was furloughed and saw that there was a need for independent hotel owners that didn’t have the capability, bandwidth or desire or to run their own hotels anymore.
  • It’s helpful to change the view of restaurants and hotels from profit centers to looking at it as more of an amenity.
  • Is this something that will drive room revenue? Will it build room occupancy? What can you build as a story around the restaurant in your hotel? How do you capture the people that live 5 or 10 blocks around you, especially in an urban community?
  • Lifestyle hotel brands – Moxy, Aloft, Even
  • Where can hotels find incremental revenue?
    • Food tribes – if you find a restaurant that’s doing this well and meets your needs, you’ll go back time after time.
    • In-room dining – offer things that enhance their experience
  • “The thing that hotel restaurants have working against them primarily is you’ve got a perception issue a lot of the time”  -Adam
  • “It’s a lot easier to tell a story through design rather than trying to have a generic room that is applicable to the widest audience” -Adam
  • “Ideation becomes a lot more natural and innovation becomes more comfortable when there’s a very clear brand strategy that people within the organization and on the teams fully understand and adopt” – Joseph 
  • “This is where leaders get into a lot of trouble is they think of ideas as right or wrong or good or bad…. The question becomes what lens are you using to evaluate whether that merit fits the concepts that you’re building?”  -Joseph
  • “People need to do a better job of allowing or empowering patrons to quickly position and categorize the restaurant in their world” – Joseph
  • “You can’t complain about falling sales in your restaurant and do nothing to try to elevate the experience and make it a place that people actually want to go” -Adam
  • “You can’t just sell all the time, you’ve gotta create value for people” -Adam
  • “Hotels have gotten really good at ticking boxes and not good enough at making some statements” -Joseph
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