Running a restaurant in a hotel can be a win-win: the hotel has a place to send guests looking for a special occasion dinner or a quick breakfast bite before sightseeing, and the restaurant has access to a steady flow of potential diners. But what happens when the two businesses are separate?
New York’s award-winning Altamarea Group, led by esteemed chef Michael White, leases the space for their restaurant Ai Fiori from Manhattan’s Langham Place hotel. Ai Fiori is influenced by the intersection of France and Italy at the Mediterranean, with staple dishes such as bouillabaisse, and squid ink pasta with a Ligurian crustacean ragu. The restaurant serves three meals a day, as well as the destination lounge Bar Fiori — and both are located on the second floor of the building, adding another challenge. Since ownership differs between the two spaces, both parties have to work together to ensure that the guest experience is seamless from the hotel to the bar and restaurant.
This set-up isn’t unique, especially in New York City, so we asked Ai Fiori’s General Manager David Schneider to share his tips for success. [Read more…]