New restaurants have been unveiled in 10 locations with 6 more expected in 2014 as part of a new strategy to introduce concepts designed to be unique to the hotel and the local area.
The group plans to ‘de-formalise’ some restaurants to provide a balance between casual and quality dining all supported by carefully-sourced, high quality ingredients. The approach has already resulted in 25% uplift in sales.
A programme of revamps has already seen the introduction of [email protected] restaurant at Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh, a £600k investment which saw an elegant new interior introduced and a menu inspired by Scottish favourites with an Italian twist.
Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa near Stirling is the first of five hotels across the UK to introduce a new Scottish Steak Club concept with a revived menu including high quality Scotbeef steaks and other grill dishes, relaxed service and calendar of events and offers. The group hopes to entice families and groups of friends through a more informal style.
Macdonald New Blossoms in Chester city centre has benefited from the new 1650 St Johns restaurant, named after the year the historic building opened. Responding to demand for fresh fish in the city, the restaurant now offers a fish counter alongside Scottish steaks.
The significant programme of refurbishments started after the 45-strong hotel group took on new restaurant operations director, Harwood Warrington, from Steak and Ale House Group, The Lazy Cow.
Harwood Warrington said: “In the hotel sector, Macdonald Hotels is absolutely stand-out in terms of sourcing quality ingredients and running highly-skilled kitchen operations. We were already offering simple, flavoursome dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
“This signalled a massive opportunity and we are now evolving to build on the existing quality. It’s a tribute to the business for investing in food and beverage when many are looking make reductions.”
The investment has benefited Macdonald Berystede Hotel in Ascot where a complete transformation of the Hyperion Restaurant was launched in time for the influx of visitors for the town’s famous races. Macdonald Compleat Angler has revealed a new brand ‘The Riverside Restaurant’ where guests enjoy views of the Thames.
Harwood Warrington continued: “This is not just about rolling out the same concept in every hotel. Our team is working tirelessly to develop bespoke offerings that suit the location of the hotel and the clientele. We are able to offer hotel restaurants that are destinations in themselves.”
As part of the plans, Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa will benefit from a completely renovated first floor Scottish Steak Club restaurant with views across the city. Fine Scottish and Argentinian steaks will finish their aging process for up to 35 days in the restaurant.
In July 2014, Macdonald Townhouse Hotel, also in central Manchester, will introduce a bistro menu to suit the boutique-style hotel’s small and stylish ambience.
Macdonald Burlington Hotel on New Street in Birmingham will also receive a restaurant overall to offer a stylish city centre retreat and attract passing traffic.
Harwood Warrington continues: “The refurbishments have already seen positive impact and feedback from diners has been superb. We’ve seen a 25% uplift in revenue so the proof literally is in the pudding.”
Further restaurant revamps have included a £170k redecoration of Macdonald Alveston Manor in Stratford-upon-Avon and investment in new interiors and equipment for Macdonald Kilhey Court in Wigan.
The next refurbishments will include Macdonald Bear Hotel, Macdonald Linden Hall, Golf & Country Club, Macdonald Crutherland House and Macdonald Aviemore Resort.