A taste of the future in Bermondsey

George Sell By George Sell
Uploaded 17 September 2015

Our exclusive new piece by Bespoke Hotels regional operations manager Robert Holland (see opposite) raises some interesting questions about F&B offers for independent hotels, particularly in London.

The Bermondsey Square Hotel stopped serving alcohol after it was bought by a Middle Eastern owner. The hotel and its staff have responded by making changes which go far beyond a token alteration of the F&B offering - the changes have included changing the hotel design and introducing a less rigid staffing system - where team members are generalists rather than stuck in narrow F&B/front desk/back of house silos. As more Middle Eastern money pours in to London, this could be a blueprint for many other properties.

Taking London's rich tapestry of bars and restaurants in to account, some properties, such as the Nadler Soho, have dispensed with F&B altogether - its front desk staff advise guests on the hottest places in town, and have every maitre d' in the area on speed dial. Rather than compete with their neighbours, the Nadler has become part of the symbiotic Soho economy.

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