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The Key To Hotel And Restaurant Success: Build In Some 'Wow' Moments

The focus in Denver hospitality and restaurants now is experiential. Easy to say, harder to do. How do hotels and restaurants wow guests to create brand loyalty in an ever-shifting scene of experiential offerings?

SilverWest Hotels President and CEO Edward Mace

"We're using technology to get know to our customers better, so that we can personalize their experience both at the hotel and within the community," SilverWest Hotels President and CEO Edward Mace said.

"Also, a hotel’s design needs to be inspired and executed well. We're taking fresh approaches to the use of every space, from lobbies to guest rooms, and designing our hotels so that guests can customize their own experience from how they work to how they relax."

McWhinney Vice President of Marketing Keo Frazier

"People are thirsty for community and opportunities to engage in a way that feels like home," McWhinney Vice President of Marketing Keo Frazier said. "With the evolution of the sharing and experience economy, the idea of community is something the hospitality industry needs to latch onto, by creating these experiences of community at each place. 

"It's important to create special moments and found experiences for someone visiting a place, staying at a hotel or enjoying a new retail spot. Life isn’t just about the purchase, but the experience that one can share with others — their tribe — thus extending the notion of community."

Death & Co. co-founder David Kaplan

"It speaks to my bias as a bar owner, but I'm most excited about hotels where the lines are blurred between the food and beverage and the hotel experience itself," Death & Co. co-founder David Kaplan said.

"The Nomad is one of my favorite examples. Broken Shaker and Freehand is another. The restaurants and bars are no longer outlets, but expressions of the overall brand experience." 

Nocturne President and co-founder Nicole Mattson

"One thing that restaurants can do in Denver's highly competitive scene is increase the focus on the total experience," Nocturne President and co-founder Nicole Mattson said.

"Admittedly, as a restaurant owner, I don't get to go out to all the newest places in town, but I'm sometimes dismayed at the lack of attention to the guests' entire experience. There are some truly great dishes to eat in Denver, but without a friendly server and warm hospitality, I'll quickly forget the dish itself.

"At Nocturne, we encourage our staff to build 'wows' into the evening. If a guest walks in and sees a great space, there's one wow. If a guest marvels at a food and wine pairing, there's another wow. If the live music is captivating on our stage, there's another wow. If the dish arrives and looks amazing on the plate, there's another wow.

"With enough 'wows' into one night for each guest, we know we've got a shot at that guest's loyalty. It takes the whole team to build that experience."

Chipotle Mexican Grill Brand Voice Lead William Espey

"The fundamental key to driving brand loyalty is to create an excellent in-restaurant customer experience," Chipotle Mexican Grill Brand Voice Lead William Espey said.

"Every single touch point that a customer has with a brand is creating an impression, and I would argue that the interaction between a customer and the team in the restaurant is by far the most important. Clever advertising or menu innovation is pointless if it all leads to a lousy in-restaurant experience."

All of these hotel and restaurant pros will be speaking at our Denver Retail & Hospitality event at 7:30 a.m. July 27 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Denver.