Journal of Tourism Research & HospitalityISSN: 2324-8807

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Menus as Marketing Tools: Developing a Resort Hotel Restaurant Menu Typology

Menus as Marketing Tools: Developing a Resort Hotel Restaurant Menu Typology

Resort hotels are unique. Resort hotel guests generally stay longer than for other hotel types and often do not venture outside the resort. They are therefore a captive audience. Their perceptions of the quality of the food and beverage offer in a resort hotel may be crucial in their selection of that resort hotel. Putting a menu on a resort hotel’s website may influence resort hotel selection by potential guests, particularly those with special dietary requirements. This paper develops a typology of menu types and explores their use by resort hotel restaurants worldwide. Following the development of the typology, analysis of the online dinner menus of the 66 resort hotels included on the 2011 World’s Best Hotels/Travel + Leisure website against the typology was undertaken. 39 of the 66 resort hotel restaurants offered online menus. The menus ranged from offering little or no description of menu items (8) to offering detailed descriptions of menu items (7). Some emphasized the affective or sensory aspects of menu items (3) or the use of local and/or organic foods (11). Six menus offered geographic labelling or branding to indicate the provenance of their dishes. Menu descriptions promoting the use of local foods and wines enhanced the Sense of Place and differentiated a resort hotel product from its competitors increasing its perceived value to guests. Four restaurants offered tasting menus. The study concludes that not displaying a restaurant menu on a resort hotel website is a lost opportunity.

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