Guest experience is pivotal amongst consumers during a hotel stay with drinks offerings playing a key role within this, and London Essence is on a mission to innovate and offer memorable experiences for people who are looking for something more than the ordinary. We spoke with Keiran Madden, F&B Training & Development Manager UKI from Marriott Hotels to discuss and explore the benefits and impact that partnering with a premium mixer and soft drinks brand can have on guest experience and sustainability ambitions.

Tell us about your approach to your drinks offering at Marriott and how this supports the guest experience?

Guest experience is a priority for us and being able to offer drinks that deliver against consumers’ expectations and provide an enhanced experience that guests are seeking. London Essence’s range of premium mixers and soft drinks helps support this and enables us to make recommendations tailored to our customers’ needs.

Guests are always looking for a wide range of quality drinks choices, and at Marriott we aim to offer a collection of beverages that provides something for all tastes. However, this also means we need to continuously develop well curated drinks menus across all outlets in our hotels.

With evolving consumer behaviours and trends, we enjoy experimenting with spirits and mixers to further elevate our drinks and give our guests a reason to keep coming back. Additionally, more consumers are attempting to moderate their alcohol consumption, so it’s more important than ever for us to create alcohol-free offerings and expand our menu with credible premium adult soft drinks beyond regular cola, lemonade or fruit juice. 

What was the appeal and attraction of working with the London Essence portfolio of drinks?

The flexibility of London Essence’s drinks collection across both the 200ml bottled format and the Freshly Infused fount helps to elevate and enhance our guest experience by offering opportunities to discover and experiment.

The drinks include some really interesting flavour combinations, especially within the range of Crafted Sodas which provides the perfect non-alcoholic alternative for our guests but can also be used to elevate mixed drinks and cocktails. Flavours such as Pink Grapefruit make a refreshing Paloma, and my personal new favourite, Raspberry & Rose Soda features in our Raspberry & Rose Mojito as a fresh and interesting twist on an old classic. It’s these types of drinks that add another dimension and layer to our serves, and means we can incorporate new and exciting flavours while complimenting a variety of food options in the hotel bar or restaurant.

We also added London Essence’s Freshly Infused to our bars which has added an element of theatre to the serve for customers but has also helped with operational efficiencies. The innovative Freshly Infused fount uses technology that blends distilled botanicals into perfectly chilled and carbonated water at the point of serve. This ensures hotels can provide guests with an enhanced drinks experience, meeting operational needs of the venue, without compromising on taste. We look towards our suppliers and new technology that can help us bring the quality as well as efficiency within our hotels. The fount manages to bridge the gap between the two perfectly for our guests and operational needs by reducing our glass recycling needs as well as freeing up cellar space of bottled mixers.  

London Essence was also flexible with the flavour line up we wanted on the fount which allowed us to tailor this to include a mix of Tonics, Sodas and Ginger Ale. This helped us expand the beverage options beyond a Gin & Tonic, particularly as the demands for both spritz cocktails and no and low alcohol options grow.

In what ways does the partnership with London Essence help you prioritise elegance and efficiency across the multiple touchpoints of the hotel?

When it comes to the products we use and our guests, quality is always at the forefront of our thinking. We have found that working with London Essence’s technology has been hugely beneficial to provide our guests with elegant and delicious serves that are operationally easy to make. The fount is an elegant addition to the bar with a premium look and feel that works in both our conference and events space as well as our lounge bar areas.

The important thing for us is that the quality of the range is not lost with Freshly Infused, and the technology ensures the taste and aroma is just as good as if it were to come from one of London Essence’s signature 200ml glass bottles. 

Tell us about your sustainability ambitions & practices and how does your collaboration with London Essence help towards these goals?

As the largest hotel group in the world, Marriott has to lead the way in sustainability efforts across all elements of the business and this of course extends into our bar products and drinks menus. This is embedded into our business strategy, and we have committed to goals globally that are in line with the UN objectives. Our collaboration with London Essence and its innovative dispense system, Freshly Infused, aligns with Marriott’s ambitions and goals; the reduction in packaging and operational efficiency, makes it a great addition to our venues. 

In a world where there is so much choice, London Essence is proud to be leading the way in premium mixers and soft drinks to provide an elegant offering that compliments the luxury style and creativity of the world’s most distinguished hospitality venues. Discover more at https://www.londonessenceco.com/en/trade/freshly-infused/