A key element of AccorHotels’ redefined F&B strategy is local innovation, according to Amir Nahai, the operator’s chief executive officer group food & beverage.
Nahai was interviewed on stage at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) on Tuesday 11 April by BNC Publishing’s group editor of hospitality, Crystal Chesters.
He commented: “It’s about unleashing innovation, excitement and ownership locally. We encourage each of our hotels and regions to take ownership of their F&B and innovate locally so we’ve been taking the control away from Paris.
“We are starting to see the impact of this today as a new generation of restaurants and venues open up, which are really relevant to local areas.”
Nahai offered examples of F&B concepts he is particularly proud of, including Bokan at Novotel Canary Wharf and Cubano Lito at Ibis World Trade Centre, Dubai.
Local innovation is about giving clear directions and having a shared external view of the world, Nahai explained.
He highlighted that consumers across the globe are interested in F&B, informed, sociable, in a hurry and concerned about health, and these are some of the elements that make up Accor’s view on F&B today.
“The trends that are impacting us have been around for a while and will continue for a while,” he said.
“Once [our teams] align on a point of departure, we agree on the types of outlets we should have so it’s straightforward. Our regional teams create outlets and venues in line with Accor’s view of the external world and with what guests want.”
Nahai joined AccorHotels in 2015 from Bain, with the objective of helping to redefine the company’s F&B strategy. He oversees more than 9,000 F&B outlets globally.
AccorHotels last year began moving in new strategic directions, ramping up its portfolio in a number of segments including: luxury, with the acquisition of FRHI; resorts, through partnerships with Banyan Tree & Rixos; lifestyle, with new brands Mama Shelter, Jo&Joe and 25hours; and in home rentals with the acquisition of onefinestay, Squarebreak and Travel Keys.
In a single year, AccorHotels opened 38,000 rooms across all segments and acquired 43,000 rooms, representing a record for the group.
With more than 920 hotels and 172,000 in the pipeline, the operator’s aim is to consolidate its global presence and secure a leadership position in luxury, resort, lifestyle and private rentals segments.
Watch a video of the interview here: