16,000 eggs and 1,000 pounds of chicken, anyone?
How Hilton Atlanta prepared for the Super Bowl, the most watched American football game of the year, which is also big business for the hospitality market
The Super Bowl has come and gone, leaving the New England Patriots as the victors again.
They weren’t, however, the only winners. Another winner here is the hospitality market in the host city, which in this case was Atlanta, Georgia.
Just ask Hilton Atlanta, which is only one mile from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the game was played.
Here’s how the hotel prepared for the big game.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Brad Koeneman, general manager of the 1,249-room hotel, has been preparing for this moment since Atlanta was announced as the host city in 2016.
So what was the first thing his team did when they heard the good news?
“We had a cocktail!,” he said, calling the big game “the crown jewel of an event to come to our city.”
His second move was a tactical one: “Since our hotels are a prime player wherever the game is, we’ve got a pretty significant playbook. So, we pulled that out and started working the plan while also building on it and customizing for Atlanta,” he said.
To help, his team started calling properties in previous host cities, including Hilton Minneapolis, which hosted last year.
The result: a final playbook that includes a combination of tips, tricks and best practices from the past as well as new creative ideas, and that addresses everything from crowd control to the type (and amount) of food and drinks that best suit the occasion.
Big, we mean huge, amounts of food
Hilton Atlanta set up a shrimp and grits bar to please people’s palates and pay homage to the southern host city, doubling staff and adding lobby ambassadors to direct guests and improve foot-traffic flow and extending the hours of bars and restaurants to accommodate late-night cravings and celebrations.
The need for late-night food and beverage options was one of the biggest tips Hilton Atlanta received from Hilton Minneapolis, with the Atlanta property extending food service until 2 a.m. and drinks until 4 a.m.
There was also a pop-up beer bar in the lobby, a giant lobby TV, vodkas infused with flavors and colors of competing teams’ uniforms, and a grocery list that sounds endless (16,000 eggs and 1,000 pounds of chicken, anyone?).
In fact, some of the biggest preparations happened behind the scenes in the hotel kitchens, which supplied food and drink for the hotel’s multiple bars and restaurants including Nikolai’s Roof, Trader Vic’s, which is known for its iconic Mai Tai cocktail and Southern Elements, which offers traditional Southern cuisine with a contemporary twist.
The numbers aren’t official in Atlanta just yet, but one expects the total to be just as impressive.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Hilton:
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