5 things to know: 22 March 2019
5 things to know: 22 March 2019
22 MARCH 2019 9:02 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • EU agrees to UK Brexit delay to 22 May
  • UK joins US and keeps interest rate rises on hold
  • Grab-and-go, social media remain F&B top trends
  • Weekly performance results for US, Canadian hotels
  • Hotel creates contest for guests to return stolen items

EU agrees to U.K. Brexit delay to 22 May: After a marathon session at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, the EU agreed to a delay for the United Kingdom to leave the EU until 22 May at the latest, according to the BBC. That date is significant because European Union elections are to be held on 23 May.

The 22 May deadline is available only if Parliament agrees to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week, which is far from certain. If MPs do not agree, then the EU delay is shortened to 12 April, a date that the U.K. either needs to present the EU with a new Brexit deal or have to leave without a deal. Many, including MPs and economists, believe a so-called No Deal exit would create chaos for the U.K.

The Speaker of the House, who oversees the rules and regulations of Parliament, earlier this week said he would not allow a new vote to take place if the Brexit deal presented to Parliament was not changed substantially.

U.K. joins U.S. and keeps interest rate rises on hold: Following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to leave U.S. interest rates unchanged, the principal monetary regulator in the United Kingdom, the Bank of England, has announced it will do the same, with its Monetary Policy committee voting “unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%.”

The bank said that it felt under less pressure due to global financial conditions having eased but that “shifting expectations about the potential nature and timing of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union have continued to generate volatility in U.K. asset prices, particularly the sterling exchange rate.”

Grab-and-go, social media remain F&B top trends: Having grab-and-go options and making sure restaurants and bars remain Instagrammable are among the F&B trends, but there is still room for more traditional offerings, according to HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Hess reports the grab-and-go and Instagram trends must be intertwined.

“Generic grab-and-go markets without identities and a specific story or point of view will see diminished sales,” said Greg Griffie, SVP of F&B at Davidson Hotels & Resort. Griffie added guests are looking for local and non-local experiences that are authentic, and they’re willing to spend more for that experience.

Weekly performance results for U.S., Canadian hotels: Hotels in the U.S. reported mixed year-over-year results for the week ending 16 March, according to data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.

Occupancy decreased 0.9% to 70.2% and revenue per available room decreased 0.3% to $94.40, but average daily rate increased 0.6% to $134.50.

Hotels in Canada reported negative year-over-year results in all three major performance metrics for the week ending 16 March, according to additional data from STR. Occupancy decreased 3.6% to 60.9%, ADR decreased 1.4% to 144.12 Canadian dollars ($107.49) and revenue per available room decreased 4.9% to CA$87.75 ($65.45).

Hotel creates contest for guests to return stolen items: The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, has created a contest asking former guests to return items they stole from the hotel to become eligible for a chance to win a seven-night stay in one of its presidential suites, Insider reports. Those who return items will reportedly not be punished for their theft.

The hotel will display returned items in its lobby in order to help tell the history of the hotel, according to the article. Returned items so far include Grunewald plates from the dining room, a whole tablecloth, vases and a vinyl record. Hotel GM Tod Chambers said he believes guests “borrowed” almost 700 of its logoed Sazerac glasses during the holidays.

The hotel intends to return all of the items back to the guests who took them during a ceremony in July.

Compiled by Terence Baker

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