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IHG reveals insight into the world’s most exquisite seasonal dishes

IHG reveals insight into the world’s most exquisite seasonal dishes

IHG®, (InterContinental® Hotels Group), today announces that InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, has created a new global Culinary Calendar, designed to be a snapshot of five-star seasonal dishes for food and travel enthusiasts around the world.

The new seasonal map showcases world-class dining experiences available to guests throughout the year, in every corner of the globe. From unique dining destinations to signature dishes created by an enviable roster of renowned chefs, the Culinary Calendar illustrates the brand’s unwavering commitment to offering the best seasonal and local cuisines; a practice which over seven decades, has seen InterContinental Hotels & Resorts establish itself as the ideal getaway for luxury leisure and business travellers with a discerning palate.

Plating up 81 million meals annually, it takes a team of highly skilled and dedicated chefs to maintain InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ luxury dining legacy. With several Michelin-starred restaurants across the portfolio and a team of internationally acclaimed chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Theo Randall, Jason Atherton, Alain Ducasse, and Martha Ortiz, who is soon to join the team, the brand remains at the forefront of luxury travel and dining.

Featured in the new Culinary Calendar and leading the growing food trend to offer versatile and innovative seafood-inspired menus, InterContinental Santiago’s signature Seafood Ceviche served in Autumn, perfectly demonstrates the ‘ocean-to-plate concept’ with its octopus, shrimp and squid, caught and served on the same day. Adding to the culturally authentic dining experience, the ceviche is paired with a traditional Pisco Sour cocktail, a recipe that originated in the region.

Across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, the Winter menu at InterContinental-ANA Tokyo offers guests Tokyo’s highest grade Blowfish Sashimi, one of the country’s most exclusive seafood delicacies sourced from the famed Tsukiji Market. For lovers of lobster, InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam is the place to visit in Spring, with the famous and locally sourced, Blue Lobster served alongside InterContinental’s classic Old Fashioned Worldly Classic Cocktail.

Ginger Taggart, Vice President Global Brand Strategy, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts said: “As leaders in international luxury travel for more than 70 years, we are continually innovating to meet the changing tastes of the world’s most discerning travellers. Along with the InterContinental brand’s rich heritage and expertise, our community of great chefs and Restaurant & Bar teams across over 180 properties worldwide, means we are uniquely placed to deliver unrivalled and truly authentic dining experiences year-round, in every corner of the globe.”

Also featured in the Culinary Calendar is InterContinental Bali Resort, located in one of the world’s most desirable travel destinations. The hotel’s renowned Summer signature dish,Marinated Duck in Pepes Tahuserved with sautéed chilli vegetables, is the resort’s most sought-after menu item and is perfectly complemented by aWhite Two Island Sangria, made with Balinese white wine and local tropical fruits.

For guests travelling to North-America, InterContinental Los Angeles Century City offers mouth-wateringSeared Diver Scallops with carrot-lime purée and local purple cauliflower during the Autumn months. Using succulent scallops caught in the nearby Gulf of California, the speciality dish is full of vibrant colours and textures to reflect the changing colours of the season and is complemented by a Mexicali Garden cocktail, flavoured with herbs and fruit grown in California.

With a seven-decade heritage in restaurant and bar excellence, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has catered for some of the world’s most illustrious people, from Princess Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Martin Luther King, to The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Queen Elizabeth II. Embarking on a new era in luxury travel, the brand continues to grow and evolve its culinary expertise to offer guests the very best five-star local cuisine in every corner of the globe.

LKC Boutique Drinks Launched on the Greek Market – Featuring Sheep Dip Malt

The Blended Malt Scotch whisky with the eccentric name, Sheep Dip. Iss name comes from the times where British farmers placed their home made whisky in barrels with the indication “Sheep Dip” (disinfectant for Sheep), in order to avoid tax payment. Sheep Dip whisky is the result of mixing 16 different malts, aged from 8-20 years, from the different whisky regions of Scotland, each one adding unique characteristics to the product. Produced in small batches and matured in carefully selected first fill oak casks. A rich gold- colour with copper highlights, an elegant nose, with soft, sensual flowery aromas, in perfect balance  with an attractive array of complex fruit flavours. Sheep Dip has heritage and tradition being blended by Richard Paterson, the only 3rd generation master blender in Scotland.

Multi-award winning including Gold medals at Great Taste Gold Award 2009, International Wine & Spirits Award 2004, 2005 and the famous Le Concours Mondial Spirits Award 2009. Recognised as outstanding in well-known journals including Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die, The Whisky Bible, World of Whiskies and Whisky magazine.



LKC Boutique Drinks Launched on the Greek Market – Featuring Aspall Perronelle’s Blush Suffolk Cyder

Aspall Cyder is produced in England and is still owned and managed by the eighth generation of the family of the founder Clement Chavallier. It’s one of  the top ten oldest family businesses in UK. Since it begin, in 1728, production has been based at Debenham in Suffolk, amongst 90000 sqm of biological plants. During the production process they use different apple varieties, since no single variety of it’s own provides the desired characteristics to ensure a balanced cyder.

The combination of the different varieties in Aspall cyder incorporates the best characteristics of each. Depending on the variety you get sweetness, acidity, apple flavour, and together provides an intense aroma, with a full body and a “complicated” long lasting taste. The quality and stylish packaging of Aspall cyder has been awarded many times and is recognised as a Cool Brand the last 3 years. Enjoy each Aspall cyder lightly cooled. If Aspall is served chilled then the flavour and aromas are suppressed. Pour in a clean empty glass and enjoy it on its own or as a perfect accompaniment to a meal.

The name comes from the lady who inspired the product (Perronelle Chevallier) – who in previous times ran the business and was well known for her rosy red cheeks. The key ingredient is the mix of fresh berries in the recipe, the ones she was collecting from the Aspall grounds.

Perronelle’s Blush Suffolk Cyder has an intense pink colour, delicious apple and blackberry notes with under sweet taste, long lasting and balanced acidity. Ideal as an aperitif or excellent choice for all sort of creamy desserts.


Grace Gin – A Handcrafted Botanical Gin, Created by Three Proud Greek Women

It is the result of the shared vision between three women, two second generation distillers and a spirited woman with extensive knowledge and experience in the drinks industry.

The uniqueness of the product lies in its rich aromatic character that comes from the botanicals used, a selection from Greek nature’s land and sea. The hand crafted aspect, emphasizes the process of the ingredients’ selection and how the distiller blends them in order to achieve the recipe used, to flavour the neutral grain spirit.

The term “distilled gin” means it is 100% traditionally distilled in pot stills in combination with the finest perfume techniques.

The Three Graces have researched and experimented with recipes for more than a year to decide on the 13 different botanicals and the extraction processes to be used. They start with continuous distillation to flavor the base spirit with 8 botanicals: Juniper berries, angelica root, orris, lemon and orange peels, cardamom, coriander and cassia bark.

Then carefully selecting only the “heart” of the distillation, and using a vapor-infused method, also used for essence oils production.

In addition to the base botanicals, schinos, myrtle leaves and orange blossom from Evia, have been added, and are perfectly combined with critamos (from Crete) and pink pepper.  In order to enhance the final distillate’s aromas, the distiller has applied a smooth, light filtering method.

Grace gin has an ABV of 45,7%. On the nose it is juniper driven. At the same time, this fresh-pine aroma combines perfectly with the presence of critamos and schinos. The pink pepper and cassia flavor are in the background while Myrtle hints enhance this complex aromatic profile.

The palate is interestingly oily and robust. Both juniper and critamos are immediately to the fore, making a perfect match with the spicy character from coriander, pink pepper and cassia bark. There are underlying hints of an intense freshness with earthy elements.

Available in Greece and exported to England, Germany and Cyprus.



What’s The Proper Amount to Tip a Waiter?

American diners are a fickle bunch. We love going out to eat but when the check comes we don’t know what to do. How much should we tip? Is it 15%, 18%, 20% or more?

It’s gotten so bad that many restaurant chains now place a “tip guide” on the bottom of their checks that list the recommended tip in percentage and dollar amounts. Yes, this makes it easier to figure out the totals but what do we base these amounts on?

Well it depends. It depends on:

1. Did the waiter greet you with a warm sincere smile?

2. Did the waiter make you feel welcome?

3. Did the waiter inform you of the various possibilities of food substitutions for your meal?

4. Did the waiter make your children feel important and not like a nuisance?

5. Did the waiter get your order correct and present it to you as advertised?

6. Did the waiter check back with you in 2 minutes or 2 bites to make sure you were fully satisfied with your meal?

7. Did the waiter make sure your beverage was always full and you had enough condiments?

8. Did the waiter look for an opportunity to follow-up on something that came up in your conversation? Example:

  • If you mentioned it was your birthday, did the waiter make arrangements for a special dessert, and at no charge?
  • If you were taking photos of each other at the table did the waiter offer to take a group shot for you or even recommend another location with a more appealing backdrop?
  • If you asked about local shopping in the area, did the waiter make a sincere effort to find an appropriate answer for you?

9. Did the waiter talk-up his fellow team mates and inform you that they could assist you during your meal in case he was not in view?

10. Did the waiter make sure that you, the customer, felt special and that YOUR enjoyment was HIS primary concern?

11. Did the waiter thank you for the opportunity to serve you and invite you back again?

If you can answer yes to these questions then by all means tip your waiter as much as you can. If he/she made you feel special then show your appreciation back and tip well.

Hotel restaurants – the next boom trend for hospitality technology?

Eating out has never been more popular. It’s no longer a special treat, but an everyday delight.

People of all ages are embracing the dining experience, close to home and on vacation. Hotels can capitalize on this right now – but only if they have the right technology and strategy.

Dining out is a vital part of the travel experience
Over the last five years, eating out locally has become part of our daily lives. Not only that, but dining is now a much faster and more informal affair, leading to a boom in both casual and fast-casual restaurants.

Unsurprisingly, this willingness to try local restaurants, experience ‘craft’ foods, make spur-of-the-moment choices, and eat in a more relaxed atmosphere, has altered the way we eat on vacation too.

Millennials say eating out is increasingly an important part of their travel experience. In fact, according to a survey by Topdeck Travel, 98 per cent of young people ranked ‘eating local cuisine’ as very important.

Chinese travelers, who are becoming ever-more important for the hospitality industry, also say that food is important when traveling. In a survey by, Chinese travelers weighted cuisine as the third most important factor when picking a destination behind only safety and historical sites – and ahead of shopping.

Of course, we’re also all eating out closer to home as well. For example, in the US and Canada consumer spending on restaurants is rising. In fact, last year spending on eating out in the US surpassed spending on groceries for the first time in history. As fears about the outlook for tourism play out across the industry, hotel restaurants provide hoteliers with an attractive way to increase revenues from people living locally.

Competition is fierce, and hotel restaurants should look to invest in tech to compete more effectively

Hotels have worked hard to increase revenues from their bedrooms business, and entice these guests to stay with them by upgrading their facilities. They’ve launched loyalty schemes, and introduced cutting-edge bedroom tech, like in-room voice activated assistants. But still, hotels would like to get more of these guests to use their restaurants.

Local restaurants and increasingly online delivery services are still in the lead. They’re winning the battle for these customers and their business.

Some hotels have fought back, introducing new fast-casual restaurant experiences – or are exploring partnerships with chains to introduce the concept. But while accepting and reacting to this growing trend may well pay dividends long term, it doesn’t tackle the immediate core problem.

Hotel restaurants could capitalize right now by adopting online restaurant reservation technology that would boost their bookings quickly and economically.

Surprisingly few hotel restaurants have direct online-booking capability. Many also lack the tech that is becoming common for a good restaurant experience – such as front-of-house management systems that make delivering a personalized service easier.

To make up the ground being lost, hotels should tool up now and get the right technology in place as quickly as possible.

But hotels shouldn’t cut corners. They must launch direct booking first

It can be very easy to jump in with both feet and live to regret the decision – especially when it comes to technology. Early adopters can get burned and the hospitality industry is littered with tales of tech decisions gone wrong.

The same is true when it comes to restaurant technology. When you’re looking around at the competition growing every day, it can be very easy for hotel managers to convince themselves that the best – and quickest – way to launch online booking is with an intermediary.

But this could end up costing hoteliers more money in the long term.

As the hotel industry has learned to its cost, listing with OTAs and intermediaries first is not without its risks; in particular, it gives the intermediary a head start on building a mine of customer data, such as names, preferences, and email addresses, which they can use effectively for future (chargeable) marketing purposes. As we have seen from the bedroom business, after customers start booking through third-party websites, it’s increasingly difficult to win them back and secure direct bookings.

To be sure of a successful outcome, hotel restaurant managers must look carefully at all the alternatives and prioritize launching their own direct table-reservation system first. Intermediaries can come later – they have their role to play in any booking strategy. But to establish themselves and build a loyal direct-booking customer base, hotels must put themselves first this time.

Duty system can promote healthier attitudes towards alcohol

The ALMR has responded to HM Treasury’s consultation on alcohol structures encouraging the Government to adopt an innovative alcohol duty system that encourages products to be sold and consumed within the supervised environment of pubs, bars and restaurants.

HM Treasury has been consulting on new bands for cider, perry and still wine to encourage incentives for the production and consumption of lower strength products. The ALMR argues that this would provide greater choice for the sector’s customers and support industry initiatives to facilitate healthier lifestyles.

The organisation has also highlighted future opportunities to reform the duty system, either through a revision of the current EU Directive or post-Brexit. This could include differential duty rates, allowing lower duty to be charged on drinks sold through the on-trade.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “New bands for lower-strength wines, ciders and perries could reduce costs for both producers and retailers and help stimulate demand for high quality on-trade drinks. Brexit provides the opportunity for a more creative look at the duty regime to further incentivise innovation.

“We have evidence to show that lower-strength products are predominantly consumed in the supervised environment of a pub or restaurant. If the Government is serious about promoting healthier attitudes towards alcohol, a tactic would be to promote responsible and supervised consumption within our venues.

“High quality products that come with a lower strength and reduced price tag could help precipitate a shift in drinking habits that aids businesses and supports the Government’s plans to promote healthier lifestyles.”


1,190 Independent Restaurant Owners Share Their Thoughts on Over 100 POS System brands released the 2017 POS Survey Report today. The report summarizes input gathered from 1,190 independent restaurant owners from around the world regarding over 100 different brands of POS systems, focusing on several critical aspects including cost, installation and support experience, and features. The results of this survey provide unique insight into the POS system market and emerging trends, all of which are valuable to independent restaurant owners.

The average cost for a restaurant POS system has notably decreased since 2012. In 2012, the average expenditure for a POS system was just over $18,000, as opposed to $13,344, currently.

The top seven POS solutions were Aloha POS, MICROS, Digital Dining, Clover, Adelo POS, Future POS, and POSitouch. These top seven POS systems accounted for 47.5% of the market. Beyond the top seven, all other POS brands each accounted for less than 3% of the market share.

We identified a shift toward cloud-based systems and POS solutions offered by credit card processors. Clover, Dinerware, Harbor Touch, and Square were the top credit card processor provided POS solutions, accounting for nearly 11% of total market share.

Despite the increased use of cloud-based and mobile systems, less than 10% of independent restaurant owners indicated they use pay-at-the-table devices. Moreover, only 31% of restaurants reported using EMV compliant POS systems. This is particularly noteworthy considering the fraud liability shift that took place in October 2015, mandating that merchants upgrade to EMV chip technology or accept increased liability for fraudulent transactions.

Improvements in plug-and-play components, increased Wi-Fi capability, and a tech savvy labor pool are allowing many restaurant owners to opt for self-installation and remote support. As a consequence, only 74% reported using an authorized POS vendor for programming, training, and support.


Protein packed meals, superfood smoothies and salads galore

Wholesome eating for time-poor Londoners is set to get a little easier this June when all-day healthy food destination Simple Health Kitchen launches its second site at 48 Baker Street on the 21st June.

The Baker Street outlet follows in the success of its first restaurant launched in St Pauls in 2016. Simple Health Kitchen was founded by former rugby player turned personal trainer and health-conscious restaurateur, Bradley Hill, after a life-threatening illness sparked an interest in nutrition.

Bradley woke up one morning with what he thought was back pain. It turned out to be an abscess on the spinal cord that spread up the spinal column, resulting in emergency surgery. After dying twice on the operating table, he spent the next six months paralysed from the neck down. Left with permanent nerve damage, Bradley had to learn to walk again.

Defying odds Bradley fought back and begun a long, remarkable recovery that led him back to personal training with a keen focus on diet and nutrition. With health-giving food and changes to diet playing an integral role in his healing, Bradley conceived Simple Health Kitchen.

“There is a misconception that health food has to be boring. The great thing about Simple Health Kitchen is customers can walk in and know anything they choose not only tastes delicious but is also good for them. And getting people to try new dishes and ingredients they never knew they would love, that’s exciting!” – Bradley Hill, Founder.

Simple Health Kitchen is open Monday to Friday and serves a seasonally updated menu of nutritionally balanced dishes including its famous Turkey & Cranberry Burger, Peri Peri Chicken, Sweet Potato Falafel as well as a variety of fresh salads made on site including Superfood Turmeric Inspired Coronation Quinoa and the super green seeded Spinach and Mizuna Leaf Salad.

Also on offer is an array of protein pots, snacks and low calorie high protein desserts, as well as cold-pressed juices and smoothies. All dishes are free of any refined sugars with plenty of options for high protein, vegetarian, vegan and free-from diets.


70 percent of travellers never use hotel minibars: survey

More than 70 percent of travelers say they never use hotel mini-bars according to a survey conducted jointly by GO Airport Express, and The GO Group, LLC, an international ground transportation service provider.

Just fewer than four percent said they always raid the mini-fridges, while 20 percent said they do so sometimes or occasionally.

Several of the more than 733 survey respondents had comments, noting they think the food and beverage offerings are too expensive, or they use the mini-fridges to store their snacks bought elsewhere.

Of those who did purchase from the hotel mini-bars, men were more likely to purchase alcoholic beverages, at 27 percent, compared with 14 percent of women. Women bought more bottled water (47 percent) compared with men (35 percent). Women also purchase healthier snacks such as nuts and granola bars, than men, at 14 percent and seven percent respectively.

“Today’s travelers are more savvy, health and budget conscious,” says John McCarthy, president of GO Airport Express. “Successful hotels are starting to respond by catering to the changing preferences of their guests.”