Got it Made
DoubleTree’s flexible Made Market is a turnkey triumph.
A concept that produces a 600% increase in revenues can make even the most skeptical owner a believer in F&B. Those are the kind of lofty numbers delivered by DoubleTree’s 24-hour Made Market pantry concept, with that 600% belonging to DoubleTree’s Boston-Cambridge property, where Made Market opened three years ago.
“That space was originally a gift shop with sandwiches and a few other F&B components, but it just plateaued. Then we added Made Market and sales skyrocketed,” says Jayne Barrett, GM at DoubleTree Suites Boston-Cambridge. “We’re projecting a 50% capture rate this summer for Made Market, which means at least 50% of our inhouse guests will make a purchase at our pantry during their stay. Made Market is particularly appealing to business travelers, families, and our new generation of customers.”
DoubleTree offers two Made Market options for owners: the pantry, and the full-service counter. The concept is “a turnkey solution that can be implemented into a DoubleTree quickly and efficiently,” explains Shawn McGowan, senior director, global F&B brand services and product development, Hilton Worldwide. “The tiers are flexible in design and size, which is attractive to owners. We programmed Made Market to facilitate guest choices around the clock, giving them control over how and when they eat and drink. That grows our revenue streams, and owners appreciate a concept adaptable to different locations for use according to their needs.”
Vito Lotta, Hilton’s VP, architecture and design, adds, “We wanted a flexible approach for what would appropriately fit into unique hotel interiors, but at the same time, projecting a consistent, strong on-brand guest experience through décor, signage, and logo.”
There are currently 25 Made Markets throughout the States, with 40 more under construction, and another 50 in the pipeline. The rapid growth of Made Market since debuting four years ago is a testament to how the “market and more” concept speaks directly to current consumer eating preferences.
“We did extensive research and beta testing [in Boston, Tulsa, and Washington D.C.] and saw the trend of guest snacking and grazing throughout the day, so meals now have become waypoints instead of sitting down three times a day. Made Market addresses that snacking trend perfectly,” McGowan says.
So far, most DoubleTrees have opted for the 180-square-foot Made Market pantry, where profit margins are higher due to minimal labor. The front desk doubles as the checkout, and the main hotel kitchen produces and packages grab n’ go food—sandwiches, salads, and more—in eco-friendly packaging for display cases. Those properties might already have a full-service restaurant too. Boston-Cambridge, for example, has Boathouse 400 restaurant, Fusion Lounge, and Scullers Jazz Club in addition to Made Market pantry.
“Our Made Market is incremental revenue that’s satisfying a hole we had in our operation from a guest need standpoint. It’s not taking revenue away from any of our other F&B options,” explains Barrett.
Made Market’s full capabilities are on display at the DoubleTree Tulsa Downtown, where the 5,500-square-foot Made Market counter is a 126-seat full-service restaurant with a private dining room, bar/lounge, and grab n’ go with an open kitchen that also produces room service and catering for the hotel. It’s open from 6:30 a.m. until midnight, except on Sunday (when it closes at 10 p.m.), while the grab n’ go remains open 24 hours.
Made Market Tulsa is an example of a DoubleTree carefully assessing its location and realizing a pantry wouldn’t be enough. The property is walking distance from the Tulsa Convention Center, Cox Business Center, government buildings, a hospital, and the 19,199-seat BOK Center, so they needed to satisfy strong demand from locals as well as hotel guests. In a busy month, Made Market Tulsa generates about $40,000 in profit, according to Executive Chef Jason Flores.
“Made Market replaced our three-meal restaurant and bar and we have about 70% local customers on weekdays. On an exceptionally busy evening—maybe when there’s an event at BOK and we have a full house at the hotel—we’ll have three cooks, three bartenders, a couple of food runners, and two cashiers,” says Flores, who joined Made Market about a year after it opened.
Made Market Tulsa features a streetside entrance and walk-up ordering, with food runners transporting items to tables, eliminating the need for waitstaff. Some of the changes Flores made to the menu include bar specials, “where I keep all the apps under $6,” says Flores. “Also, as simple as it sounds, I added steak to the menu. Many business travelers in Tulsa want to eat a steak for dinner, and it wasn’t on the menu previously. It’s one of our top-sellers now, along with our burger, fish and chips, and flatbreads such as our Carnivore, which has house-made Italian sausage, smoked brisket, and our homemade BBQ sauce.”
Made Market Tulsa utilizes all the options available in the Made Market counter tier, including a barista station; separate grab n’ go area with merchandising tables, shelves, and cold display cases; a buffet area for breakfast; and a kitchen with Merrychef e4s ovens. “These are bolt-on options if an owner wants to expand their Made Market counter and customize it to their needs. We explain in our design narrative how each element can incrementally grow the concept,” notes McGowan.
At Made Market Boston-Cambridge, their pantry has the freedom to introduce local staples including lobster rolls and hot items such as chicken curry, along with the core Made Market menu—a 20% to 80% split, respectively. They’ve also made adjustments based on guest feedback. “We added electrical points and a toaster because customers wanted to toast their bagels in the morning,” says Barrett. “Our Made Market has been so successful, we’ve expanded it since opening. Nobody expected us to generate this much business, especially since it was just a gift shop before.”
This feature originally appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Hotel F&B and is updated regularly.