After years of enduring criticism from the coffee trade, the hotel industry is finally fighting back – one of the world’s biggest chains is to launch a worldwide coffee-related improvement programme, and in a remarkable piece of imaginative re-design, the Le Meridien chain will even re-design its foyers and lobbies in the style of modern coffee shops.
It is quite remarkable how unanimous the coffee trade can be in its criticism of hotel coffee – even those big-name brands who are very happy to take business from the hotel sector are unstinting in their criticism. In a recent interview, the managing director of a noted roasting company said that while he would often use one five-star hotel for business meetings, he would always tell his guests ‘don’t touch the coffee – stick to the mineral water!’
Why do so many hotels get their coffee so terribly wrong?
“I think coffee is often treated as an afterthought by hoteliers around the world,” answered the Le Meridien executive. “Our guests tell us they want coffee as part of their stay, and coffee certainly adds to the guest satisfaction. But I think that many hotels have not figured out an operationally effective way to deliver great coffee to guests.”