Global hotel groups will reportedly open 700 new hotel restaurants and bars across the African continent by 2025, as there is a new investment focus on the food and beverage (F&B) element.

This is according to a study released by F&B strategy firm, Keane Brands. The results are based on a survey among 410 F&B brands across 100 internationally branded hotels in Africa.

 “Over the last 70 years, the restaurant market internationally has been built on three factors; growing towns and cities, broad distribution of income and a growing middle class. When you take into account that the anticipated rate of urbanisation – which is expected across Africa – will outpace India and China in the next 25 years, Africa will become one of the world’s most vibrant dining scenes,” said Stefan Breg, group strategy director of Keane Brands.

He pointed out that hotel investors were becoming increasingly focussed on the performance of the F&B element of their businesses, ensuring that they cater to both hotel guests and local tastes.

Chris Abell, vice-president F&B for the Middle East and African region at Marriott International highlighted that the global hotel group would look “wherever possible”, to build smaller F&B venues.

“Gone are the days when we had to build restaurants solely to satisfy one measure; breakfast volume. Now we leave the final decision of the concept until the latest point, in order to align with the changing local market,” he added.

Chairman of Sandton Tourism & Business Association, Francois van Heerden, told Tourism Update that all top-tier hotels in SA have really good restaurants as this was a source of additional income for the property.

“For example, most of the four- and five-star hotels in Sandton, Melrose Arch and Rosebank have at least one (and often more) choice of restaurant with a local and/or international menu,” he pointed out.

According to van Heerden, it’s not necessarily a reason for a traveller to choose a hotel based on it F&B offering but that it certainly an added bonus as it means some meals can be eaten on the premises.  “Particularly if a guest has, for example, been out of the hotel on a full day excursion, chances are they will be happier to stay in that evening and rest up for the next day.”

 

“Furthermore, I believe that if there is an in-house offering for the traveller to make use of on the days they do not want to go out of the hotel for dinner, then for the client who wants that option is going to first look at a hotel that provides this,” van Heerden commented.