When competition is strong
For a luxury hotel, differentiation is key. It usually starts with the interior design but sometimes it's not enough. How do you create a preference for a specific brand when everybody's pretty much offering the same level of excellence?
Apart from the origins story or the name dropping story, a few hotels have chosen to focus on their breakfast story. I think that's double smart because 1) besides a good night sleep, travelers often rate an experience based on the food they ate, 2) having breakfast in a luxury hotel has always been popular among high executives for business meetings but is a growing tendency among yuppies in search for fun experiences to share with their kids on Sundays. So how do you attract them all?
Here are two examples showing that choosing a menu is also about telling the story of the experience your guests can expect to have.
The vitality story
The Hyatt Regency Madeleine created the "nutrition and vitality breakfast" thanks to the combined efforts of a chef, Franck Paget, and a nutritionist, Claude Chauchard.
As the latter explains, "the word diet doesn't exist for me, I practice the art of allocating each nutrient properly in the plate, so that our clients can keep their energy up all day long, physically as well as intellectually, for their day to last longer."
Can you spot the keywords that are instantly going to ring in people's minds: "diet", "art", "energy", "longer day". Clearly the story is aimed at tourists or business people willing to stay fit while remaining strong enough to endure long work hours or a journey full of monuments and long walks in the city.
The creativity story
The Meridien Etoile, on the other hand, wants to "bring out the creativity of their clients". With the help of a 3-star chef, they claim to go beyond high-quality breakfast basics (like the finest coffees or croissants) and transform the first meal of the day into a discovery journey through unconventional products and recipes like "Scottish organic smoked salmon with raspberries, tofu and raspberry vinegar".
Of course eating this meal will not make you more creative. But it can be powerful, for some people, to tap into the story they are telling about themselves. The looks of the Meridien hotel are nothing but innovative, so it will probably not attract the most visionary personalities, but their breakfast story could definitely have an influence on people with regular jobs who dream to wake up their creative self.
Interestingly, their space location service for meetings and events tells the same story: