Travellers rate the quality of their experiences not by one event but by a plethora of individual touchpoints, and for the overwhelming majority an excellent “cup of Joe” rates close to the top of the list of their hospitality expectations.
In fact, coffee culture has become such a large feature of modern life that bulk-bought budget blends which have been the traditional hallmark of hotel beverage offerings are likely to rate a prominent and extremely negative mention on traveller review sites such as TripAdvisor. And for any travel service provider negative comments are body blows, because peer review sites are now followed by millions of users worldwide – every one of them prospective customers.
Constant innovation and superior market disruption are therefore the hospitality industry’s new mantra and none do it better than The Century City Conference Centre and Hotel (CCCC & H), which has since its launch been forward-thinking in every aspect of its approach to conferencing and events. Placing a high value on the hospitality aspect of conferencing, specifically the food and beverage offering, has seen it quickly forge ahead of its competitors.
With hoteliers at the helm, joint CEOs Gary Koetser and Glyn Taylor have always strongly believed that coffee is one of the most important guest satisfaction touchpoints. “It’s no secret that the South African coffee scene is considerably different to what it was a few years ago; for consumers, it’s not just a hot beverage anymore, it’s become a lifestyle”, comments Koetser.
Understanding their customers’ need for an authentic and deeply satisfying “ahh moment” when they take their first sip of coffee has created a South African hospitality first, with the CCCC & H becoming the first conference centre and hotel in the country to partner with renowned and leading coffee culture brand, vida e caffè.
Visitors to CCCC & H can now enjoy vida e caffè coffee whilst attending conferences, staying at the hotel or dining at the Square Cafe & Wine Bar. Hotel guests enjoy bottomless coffee at breakfast from the self-service machines, or for speciality coffees they can order from the vida e caffè-trained Barista. There’s even a take-away option for those on the go.
“For us it’s always all about the dozens of little experiences; how we can surprise our guests and exceed each and every one of their expectations. Coffee is a major part of that,” comments Taylor.
This is in line with the Deloitte Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook 2017 (An analysis of travel disruptors), which among its consumer “key takeaways” notes:
- Consumers want authenticity, personalisation, removal of friction, and on-demand functionality in their travel experiences; and
- The rapid growth of industry disruptors is encouraging companies to capitalise on products outside of their traditional offerings…
The coffee selected for the CCCC & H is the Estrela blend. “Estrela” is the Portuguese word for star and is the original blend that vida has served for more than 15 years. Estrela is a blend of beans from Central & South America.
Vida e caffè Strategic Executive Hitesh Patel says expansion into the hospitality industry is extremely exciting for the brand, and they are delighted to partner with hoteliers who constantly innovate to improve their offering to customers and guests.
Phase two of the strategic partnership with vida e caffè will see the installation of coffee machines in each of the 125 rooms at the Century City Hotel. These will be accompanied by a selection of complimentary pods, allowing hotel guests to enjoy the finest quality coffee in the comfort of their own rooms.
Koetser says while there may be a modern focus on coffee culture, the CCCC & H certainly hasn’t forgotten about tea lovers, who can enjoy a wide variety of Ronnefeldt Teas at the conference centre and hotel.
“Hospitality isn’t about doing one thing well; it’s about constantly training staff to ensure that we do everything well, including providing the best hot beverages in South Africa,” Koetser concludes.