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Following Three Years of Studying Guests’ Eating Habits, Embassy Suites
Brand Creates a Bakery-cafe Restaurant Concept
"Flying Spoons" Offers Hotel Developers Flexibility and Cost Efficiencies
Not Found with a Traditional Hotel Restaurant

MEMPHIS, Tenn - January 16, 2008 - Embassy Suites Hotels, the upscale, all-suite brand of 190 hotels, is exceeding expectations in the hospitality industry with the launch of a new innovative restaurant concept, Flying Spoons. 

Part European-style café and part American coffeehouse, this new concept in hotel food & beverage expands upon the “fast casual” concept made popular by Panera Bread and other bakery-cafes and creates a new segment: “Hip Casual.” Embassy Suites is accommodating the changing needs of guests by providing a range of convenient, fresh dishes and beverages to fit a variety of schedules: from eating on the go to eating smaller, more frequent meals. 

“For three years we’ve been studying guests’ changing eating habits: guests who eat on-the-run, guests who replace meals with a specialty coffee drink and even those who eat at non-traditional times of the day,” remarked Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. “We’ve taken these habits into consideration and have beta-tested a variety of new layouts, dishes and restaurant concepts in a sampling of hotels throughout the brand. Flying Spoons is the evolution of that research and we think we’ve created exactly what guests have been requesting.” 

This new concept was first introduced as “Marketplace” in 2006 as a part of the brand’s new Design Option III prototype. Flying Spoons is the evolution of that concept and is designed to meet the needs of developers and owners looking to give business and leisure guests a complete food & beverage solution for every situation and hotel location, from airport to suburban and urban/city center hotels. The new concept offers hotel developers flexibility and cost efficiencies not afforded with a traditional hotel restaurant. 

Flying Spoons will be strategically located in the hotel lobby and shares space with the brand’s complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and Manager’s Reception, a reduced labor model and reduced square footage. The restaurant will cost an estimated 30 percent less to develop than a traditional atrium restaurant. The brand’s first Flying Spoons will debut in late 2008 at the Embassy Suites Jackson-North/Ridgeland, Miss., which will also be the brand’s first Design Option III prototype to open. 

“We worked very carefully to make sure this restaurant offered developers flexible options and cost efficiencies by sharing the hotel’s back-of-house facilities and equipment and a reduced labor model,” added Holthouser. “From a development standpoint, this is definitely a more viable F & B alternative for markets where guests have a plethora of dining options right outside the hotel’s door or is a part of a mixed use project.” 

Design Elements and Menu Offerings 

The new hip casual restaurant segment created by Flying Spoons offers guests a social environment in the hotel lobby where guests can check e-mail, connect with others or just “be.” Signature design elements include: 

  • Display of Fornasetti dinner plates: Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) was known for decorating everyday objects with fanciful motifs. The most famous is the 19th-century black-and-white magazine image of a woman’s face, which he adapted for a series of dinner plates. 
  • Comfortable, casual furniture: Custom-made pieces include an access lamp with power ports and other free-standing elements, rather than built-in pieces, portraying a more residential feel. 
  • Variety of Seating Styles: Bar-height /transactional seating for people on the go; traditional restaurant seating with tables and chairs; wing-back chairs and ottomans with custom lamp and power ports for people who want to settle in for a relaxing dining experience. 
  • Inviting décor: The interior design of Flying Spoons encompasses a warm color palette of dark gray, light gray, chocolate brown, burnt orange and robin’s egg blue. The ottomans featured in each hotel showcase the famous verse from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 
  • Flexible packages for developers: Hotel developers can choose from three design levels to meet their hotel’s specific needs, from complete turnkey package to a smaller-scaled version. 
Innovative menu items being offered at Flying Spoons feature lighter fare such as fresh soups, salads and gourmet sandwiches, to more sophisticated dinner options like salmon, scallops and lobster enchiladas. The menu will also feature a rotating selection of pastries and desserts, along with specialty coffee drinks, teas and boutique soft drinks. 

Flying Spoons will offer convenient hours of operation for guests, no matter the travel schedule. The restaurant will be open from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. 

About Embassy Suites Hotels 

Founded in 1984, Embassy Suites Hotels defines the upscale, all-suite segment and today has 190 hotels, with an additional 50 in the pipeline. With spacious two-room suites, engaging team members and an inviting atrium environment, guests are allowed to put their feet up and feel right at home. To learn more, visit 

Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,900 hotels and 490,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories, including 100,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®. 


Embassy Suites Hotels
Dawn Ray, 901-374-5954

Ruder Finn, Inc.
Alicia Rainbolt, 212-593-5863

Also See: Hilton Hotels Corporation Names Jim Holthouser SVP of Embassy Suites Hotels, Rebecca Wyatt SVP of Homewood Suites by Hilton / February 2006
Innkeepers USA Opens the Embassy Suites Valencia; California Property Features Brand’s New Prototype Design / November 2007


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