With the current global shortage of cattle, beef prices are set to rise throughout 2015, with reports suggesting an increase of up to 1.2%. Stay ahead of the game and avoid costly mistakes with advice from Beacon Senior Food Buyer Emma Warrington.
Add to this the growing trend for restaurants on the high street serving a wide variety of beef burgers and it’s clear that hotel food menus have a lot to contend with.
With this in mind Beacon is offering its advice to help hoteliers keep on top of current trends and capitalise on the UK’s obsession with burgers. With the food menu being an important part of a guest’s stay, Emma Warrington, Senior Food Buyer at Beacon, is offering her top tips:
“There has been a lot in the news recently about beef prices and the cattle shortage and it can cause panic among those in the hospitality and foodservice industries. The key to addressing the price increase is to stay on top of consumer trends and understand what guests are willing to pay that bit more for. At Beacon we work closely with expert national and regional butchery suppliers such as Fairfax Meadow and Birtwistles Butchers, so we are able to draw upon varied knowledge and trend reports to be able to offer our customers help and advice.
Be aware of the competition
If a guest isn’t keen on the menu on offer at their chosen hotel, they won’t think twice about paying a visit to the nearest high street restaurant. The key to avoiding this is to pay attention to what the high street restaurants are doing, to emulate their success.For example, we’re seeing a shift in the way beef burgers are being served, with some hotels adding handmade or blended burgers as an option. Put simply, the aim is to add value to the burger to give it that point of difference and make it stand out from its high street counterparts.
Keep on top of current trends
Throughout 2013 and 14, we saw a rise in the popularity of street food, a trend that is continuing into this year. We’ve also seen a rise in the popularity of barbecue food with a strong American influence, such as pulled pork or smoky barbecue flavours. It’s vital that hoteliers are aware of these trends to avoid a dated menu that won’t appeal to all their guests,with current food trends being heavily influenced by food bloggers and the ‘Facebook generation’ it’s essential for businesses to be mindful of this when creating menus. What’s more, offering a fusion of flavours on your menu could be the deciding factor for a guest considering eating in the hotel or going out for a meal.
Consider speciality meats and toppings
Speciality burgers can be a great way to set your hotel restaurant apart from others – by adding a venison, wild boar or even kangaroo as a menu special it can really appeal to ‘foodies’. However, beef burgers should still remain a menu staple for hoteliers, as the classic beef burger will still far outsell anything more speciality. Other ways to add value include adding interesting toppings such as cheeses, pulled meats or sauces – or why not create a bespoke room service menu to house your speciality burgers, offering added value to a guest who wants to ‘dine in’.
Butcher vs. wholesaler
Finally, it’s important to consider where you are buying your beef. Buying from a butcher as opposed to a wholesaler ensures a wider offering in terms of the cuts of beef available to an hotelier, allowing changes to the menu to be made more frequently. Further to this, an added benefit of purchasing from a butcher is that ultimately you are buying more than just the product - butchers can offer a greater range of products and expertise to allow you to pass this knowledge onto your guests.
To find out more about the meat suppliers that Beacon works with or for more advice on how to deal with the rising price of beef, contact Beacon today.