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Point and click menus: an online menu maker allows for customization and drives efficiencies at Hilton properties.

The Best Chain Beverage Menu Award this year went not to one menu, but to many. Hilton Hotels Corporation's Custom Beverage Menu Store allows beverage professionals at each of its nearly 300 Hilton managed properties to design and print customized drink menus that also hit the high notes on efficiency, consistency and cost reduction.

Launched in January 2006, the Custom Beverage Menu Store is an online, interactive state-of-the-art menu development site that guides Hilton beverage pros through selecting drinks and graphic elements and menu covers appropriate for their specific location. Users can choose from an array of standard drink recipes developed by the Hilton Food & Beverage Team in concert with Patrick Henry Creative Promotions of Stafford, Texas. Categories include Martinis, Margaritas, Specialties, Favorites, Classics and Non-Alcohol Refreshers. Beer, wine and spirits are also listed for selection; pricing is determined by each hotel property. To complete the menu, appetizer and promotion offerings are also available.

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Once the beverage selections are made, menu designs are created. Two menu sizes are available in designs including the simple and sophisticated Classic, the Parisian-themed Bistro and the nostalgic Retro, which has a 1950s motif. Three types of cover finishes are also available: Brushed Aluminum, New Age Linen and Coach Faux Leather. Each cover features hidden post and screw binding. The individual restaurant or lounge logo can be embossed on the metal cover or de-bossed with colored foil on the linen and leather formats. The menus are designed for durability and visual appeal.

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The system utilizes the Hilton intranet, and Menu Maker instructions guide beverage pros through the process. In addition, a help desk is available to assist with questions.

Feedback from the field has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Al Ferrone, senior director of corporate food and beverage marketing for Hilton Hotels. "This allows the hotels to customize their menus to the specific needs of their marketplace and provide a uniform level of quality in both presentation and offerings," he says. "Also, it saves the hotel printing and menu costs as there is no charge for the menu."
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Author:Crecca, Donna Hood
Publication:Cheers
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:347
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