Marriott International's Dana Pellicano discusses how the brand adjusted for the pandemic, how event food and beverage has changed for good.
In the early days of the pandemic, Marriott International put in place a comprehensive set of protocols that balanced safety with a positive guest experience. The company has adjusted the policies continually to stay a step ahead of shifting circumstances. In particular, Marriott has paid attention to groups meals — and nobody has been closer to these issues than Dana Pellicano, vice president of U.S. and Canada food and beverage.
On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with Pellicano about how Marriott has struck this difficult balance and how it has impacted attendees' expectations for food and beverage at events. She offers up the specific trends she is seeing, many of which were shaped by safety protocols, as well as what's next for group dining.
On this episode, we discuss:
• Marriott's approach to food safety and pandemic protocols (3:50)
• Will the buffet ever come back? (6:05)
• The central role of outdoor dining spaces (7:35)
• The evolution of the ready-to-drink cocktail (11:50)
• How attendees are looking for a higher level of experience when meeting in person (12:35)
• Mobile dining as a valuable offering (14:15)
• The ongoing appeal and increasing quality of mocktails and nonalcoholic spirits (14:35)
• Healthy and alternative foods and beverages (15:15)
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