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Last October, Holiday Inn announced their new Social Hub concept for all their lobbies which they followed up on in April with some renderings of the spaces as well as a food taste test. (See all the yummy goodness contributor JetsetCD got to taste right here.)
Currently, the Social Hub can only be found at The Holiday Inn Gwinnett City in Atlanta but yesterday at the InterContinental Hotel Group's Annual Investors and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, we got to see what the HUB (capitalized like that) will look like in person.
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The days of Holiday Inns with generic lobbies, business centers packed with fax machines and only regular or decaf coffee with breakfast are almost over. Get ready for Holiday Inns with cappuccino machines, an "e-desk," and a lobby that's more like a living area complete with gaming zone; it's called the "Social Hub," another humongous advance by Holiday Inn after their $1 billion rebranding.
There's a lot of information and details to discuss with regard to the new "Social Hub," but what you really need to know is that you'll be able to experience all of the new stuff as early as June, when the Atlanta area's Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center launches it for real. A second, yet-to-be named property will also get a social hub later this year but the roll-out plan for the rest of Holiday Inns worldwide is still being fleshed out.
So what's exactly in a "Social Hub" aside from good eats? Let's see...
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When was the last time you ate at a Holiday Inn? Wait...wait, we mean besides a breakfast of generic omelet. Chances are, you can't remember the last time you went to a Holiday Inn to eat, let alone hang out, but Holiday Inn is hoping to change that fact...and fast.
Please welcome the concept of the Holiday Inn "Social Hub." Following their rebranding, Holiday Inn is now gearing up to tear up their 3,000+ hotels around the world to introduce a more modern and welcoming public area, where guests (and non-guests!) can feel free to chill out, grab some food, some drinks and maybe futz around on their iPads or laptops without having to be confined to their hotel rooms. Oh, there will be modern seating, there will be free WiFi and outlets aplenty, and there will be food you drool for.
Macaroni & cheese waffle sandwich, anyone?
During a recent stay at Holiday Inn in Denver, one of our contributors was rather blown away by the "fierce lobby area" particularly with that flashy white piano worthy of an Elton John singalong night.
We actually thought it as just an anomaly. Perhaps the owner of this particular Holiday Inn really wanted to set up a party scene. But according to this WSJ article, Holiday Inn as a brand is making a conscious move to give guests a social scene on property, introducing what they call a "social hub."
The social hub would tailor Holiday Inn's lunch and dinner menus to bar fare that can be shared, such as gourmet meatballs, sesame chicken wings, hamburgers and a few significant entrees, such as steaks and salmon club sandwiches.
Those changes would allow for more food to be served by the bar staff, which in turn would allow Holiday Inn's franchisees to limit their labor costs by reducing restaurant staff, especially at slow times of the day.