Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) launched a boutique hotel brand to capture the local essence of each location while being the first branded boutique hotel experience in the industry. In order to accomplish this, it was important to allow a degree of autonomy in creating the Food & Beverage offering which included not dictating kitchen size, equipment and catering configurations. While this may be logical in theory, it practice it created an estate of hotels that struggled to set a baseline for a predictable guest experience.
We were tasked with creating a solution that would allow a full spectrum of kitchen and staff capabilities while preserving local autonomy. A chain concept like Chipotle or Capital Grille maintains consistency by establishing a prototype that works then replicating that prototype, effectively replacing regionalism with consistency where one cannot exist in the presence of the other. We had to create a solution that was both flexible and consistent.
Working over 8 months with the IHG team in our kitchen we created a menu solution that not only solved for the varying facility and operator capabilities but that also rewarded owner investment in facility and offering. Collaboration was the key as we included feedback from IHG team members as well as front line employees and franchise teams. The results were compelling and Blue Orbit has since been invited back to work on solutions for other brands.