Hilton Worldwide is trialling digital beverage menus at its hotels in Doha, with plans to roll out the devices within other Middle East-based properties.
“We’re looking at software for a wine menu which will be on a tablet – an iPad or a Kindle. Diners can select their wines, they’ll see the normal menu screen telling them who we are, then you’ve got a selection of beverages, then you can get down to types and different categories. It’s going to be a big culture change, but the future is technology,” Andrew Joyce, director of food and beverage – MEA, Hilton Worldwide, told Hotelier Middle East.
Guests can choose their beverage based on cost, region and grape, according to Joyce.
Asked how the introduction would affect the role of the sommelier within the restaurants, Simon Lazarus, senior area director of food & beverage - MEA, Hilton Worldwide commented: “It doesn’t take it away from the staff; it helps them in their jobs".
“Everything we do we have to get customer feedback before we really commit to it so we’re doing it in Doha now and I’m sure the younger generation will love it,” Lazarus added.
However, Joyce said he did not see all menus in restaurants becoming digitalised in the future: “It just depends on the concept - there are some concepts for which digital menus will never work, others lend themselves well too it.
“At the moment we’re going to trial the wine and beverage menu and then we might start extending it,” he said.