How Hotel Roof Terraces Have Created a Whole New Restaurant Experience

rooftop bar

High End Hotel Roof Terraces Have Created a Whole New Restaurant Experience

A changing climate in the property market and a shift in the way we perceive value has resulted in the emergence of rooftop restaurants all across the globe. These skyscraper venues are often part of city-centre hotels, which aim to offer unrivaled views of the central surroundings and a truly luxurious experience. But does focusing on the physical location of a restaurant, rather than the contents of the menu, overlook the art of gastronomy?

In this article, we discuss the key drivers for this change and the expected impact it will have on the restaurant sector.

Maximising Your Property Space

The decision to convert your rooftop into a useable, profitable space stems from the ever competitive commercial property market. In New York, properties are even divided into their own property class system to differentiate status and determine rental prices. The cost of real estate in some of the most prestigious districts in Manhattan means that buyers are desperately trying to make the most of every square foot available.

Besides, the tourism industry has long profited from charging visitors for accessing viewpoints that a rooftop bar or restaurant can offer. Customers get this privilege and more with the additional sale of food and drink. London alone has its fair share of rooftop restaurants, which focus their selling efforts on the view of the city. This allows high-class restaurants to markup their prices even further.

But just how easy is it to convert your roof into a rooftop bar or restaurant? Very. With the help of a trusted commercial roofing supplier, you can refurbish a flat roof so that you can safely advertise it as a venue. Rooftop restaurants are increasingly popping up and, thanks to warmer temperatures, there are hundreds thriving in cities everywhere.

There is no denying that this space-saving concept is financially viable for hotels. But where did the idea even come from?

The Influence of Instagram

With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is not only a place to connect with friends, but also a legitimate advertising tool for businesses. The use of influencer marketing on the platform may even have something to do with the origin of the rooftop trend.

Famous travel account @doyoutravel completely transformed the Ritz Carlton in Turkey after shooting a candid photo on its rooftop:

roof terrace hotel

The globe-trotting duo accidentally promoted an unused spot in the hotel they were staying in to their over 2 million followers. Since the image went live and inevitably went viral, customers of the hotel kept enquiring about the rooftop breakfast service until the Ritz Carlton transformed its Cappadocia site to accommodate the request. Today, the activity sits at the top of the list of the best things to do in the destination.

As this type of businesses is easy on the eye and highly visual, dedicated rooftop accounts seem to do really well with engagement, which means, for these restaurants, there is no difficulty when it comes to promotion.

Is it possible that this social media fluke could have started something bigger worldwide?

What Does This Mean for Gastronomy?

Despite all of the hype, the movement does pose some serious questions for gastronomy. The value of a restaurant is traditionally judged by the quality of its food, locally sourced ingredients and menu pairings. In this capacity, an outstanding restaurant is differentiated by industry accreditations, like a Michelin star. So what happens if this metric changes? For hospitality professionals, this could be dangerously degrading to their culinary skills.

An article describing an upper-class restaurant in Mayfair, London, reads, “why go? For the pink, of course,” which sums up the “instagrammable” trend. While rooftop restaurants make for a stunning setting to enjoy fine food, the gastronomical talent should also exceed standards. The known criteria to be awarded a Michelin star is based solely on the performance and personality of the chef. There is nothing instagrammable about that. British chef Gordon Ramsay has said some outrageous things in the past and is known for his short fuse, but his words are relevant here: “The pressure on young chefs today is far greater than ever before in terms of social skills, marketing skills, cooking skills, personality and, more importantly, delivering on the plate.”

The rooftop restaurant trend is an ongoing debate for those in hospitality. This will likely only continue to be the case as we all become accustomed to the alternative image-based perception of quality.

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