The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) hotel sees a lot of business travelers. The property is integrated directly into DFW International Airport, attached to the airport's new international terminal. In its continuing mission to play lavish host to Dallas area visitors and passers-through, the hotel strives to combine contemporary design and comfort with the latest in technology innovations.
Most recently, the hotel teamed up with key technology partners to develop two first-of-their-kind programs for guest use -- iTaste, for interactive wine tasting, and The Virtual Menu, for food ordering. Both programs were strategically designed with AVT Communique and The Creative Effort, divisions of Hospitality Partners LLC (www.avt.com). They are available exclusively at Grand Hyatt DFW and the hotel is the first in the hospitality industry to use this type of technology.
Utilizing iPod technology, iTaste was designed with the individual traveler in mind. When visiting MOKA, the hotel's Epicurean Boutique Coffee Bar, guests simply check out an iPod, take a seat at the community table with their tasting tray and press play to start the 7-10 minute podcast specific to their selection, which includes tips on how to pick the best wine, cheese or chocolate. The programs cost $25 per tasting for the wine or cheese and $20 per tasting for chocolate.
The Virtual Menu, available during dinner in the hotel's signature Grand Met restaurant, is an interactive, visual menu that enhances traditional printed menus. The wait staff delivers a touch screen interface which provides guests with detailed menu item descriptions and chef recommendations for food and wine pairings.
However, The Virtual Menu option does not replace the personal service provided by the Grand Met's wait staff. After completing a virtual tour, guests place an order with their personal waiter, who is there to make further recommendations and answer questions.
Since the program launched, the response to iTaste has been overwhelmingly positive. MOKA sells about 10-15 tastings daily and the hotel has seen a 19 percent revenue increase in its appetizers category; iTaste wine represents 26 percent of all wine sales in MOKA.
Since the launch of The Virtual Menu program, the Grand Met restaurant has seen a significant increase in its repeat customers who have identified the Virtual Menu program as the reason for their return. Grand Met has also seen an average check increase of more than 18 percent.