Hyatt Commits to Sustainable, Local Food With New Philosophy

Staff Writer
After making change to the chain's food supply next year, Hyatt steps up commitment

Want more local foods in your continental breakfast? Hyatt Hotels announced their new philosophy, "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served." to overhaul how the hotel chain sources its food.

The philosophy, said Hyatt VP of food and beverage Susan Santiago, came into place after a year and a half of "deep soul searching and introspection." It shows the hotel's commitment to better serving its guests, as well as the planet and local communities. "The new philosophy speaks to the various demands from our guests, as well as what we had been seeing in the industry," Santiago said.

That means Hyatt will be adding more sustainable practices to its list: cage-free eggs in all North American restaurants (the first hotel chain to mandate it), an all-natural Meyer burger, and sustainable seafood that follows the Monteray Bay Aquarium standards. Those changes were implemented in 2011; now, the hotel chain is focusing on adding more vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options to the menu. The chain also plans on adding all-natural chicken, all-natural beef and steak dishes to the menus in 2012.

However, it's not the typical "one-size-fits-all" standard for each Hyatt hotel menu -- chefs are given wide parameters, Santiago said, so they can take their creativity and apply it to the menu. That way, guest have more of a choice when they travel -- the whole idea behind the philsophy. "It's not about making guests go on a diet, but to allowing them to not interrupt their lifestyle when travelling," said Santiago.

New dishes and food sources aren't the only changes on the menu; the chain also is in the midst of planning children's programming and menus to encourage healthy and sustainable eating. Santiago said she was excited to be part of the "driving change" in the hotel industry and giving guests informed choices. But one other aspect she was excited about -- the all-natural Meyer burger.

"We're getting rave reviews on the burger," she said, noting that she feels better about eating the burger with 30 percent-reduced calories. "It really is a fabulous tasting burger."