Did You Know That All Renaissance Properties Have This Secret Menu Item?
Menu items at the Renaissance Denver Downtown.
Last week, while having a drink in the lobby of the Renaissance Denver Downtown - we opened the bar menu to take a peek at the fare. Amongst the typical city-priced items, we noticed that one option stood out from the rest.
It looked strange and out of place, that last item with the peculiar price tag: 99 cent homeamde chips and dip. Was this a mistake? If soft pretzels are $8, and almonds $6... were the chips stale or something? We immediately put our hand in the air for the bartender to come over. We pointed at the menu. Are you serious with these chips?
Well, wouldn't you know that we just so happened to stumble upon one of the industry's best kept secrets. Turns out, all 157 Renaissance Hotels around the world have featured 99 cent chips on their bar menus since 2010. We've always been told to never question a good thing, but that simply doesn't work for a writer. Why, in a world where, quite frankly, hotel guests have become complacent and accepting of overpaying for food and beverage, would a hotel do such a thing?
Apparently, despite all our journalistic efforts to uncover an evil motive, it's just a solid move by Renaissance. And, while it doesn't necessarily apply to the property in Denver (hatch chiles are from New Mexico), the hotels try to use local ingredients and influences from the area to create the salsa recipe. The property in Seattle, for example, serves Walla Walla onion dip with its chips.
"We keep it at 99 cents mainly because we want to show that you can still get something delicious at minimal cost," said Catherine Leitner, Global Senior Director of Public Relations for Renaissance, via email. "We actually donít make money on the chips - in actuality, we probably lose a little money - itís just a nice 'to do' in lieu of your standard peanut bowl."
We don't feel bad for Renaissance (any money it loses on the chips it makes up for in $8 pretzels), but we sure as hell appreciate the gesture. Suddenly, a trip to the lobby bar seems a little more approachable and appealing. Unless, of course, you're overly fond of peanuts.
Fingers crossed that other hotels are paying attention.