May 25, 2016

Upping the Hotel Restaurant Game

Hotel restaurants and bars have always been intended as a home away from home for the weary traveler, putting guests at ease and providing consistency. An increased interest in eating interesting foods in engaging settings has led to higher expectations of restaurants in high-end hotels.

This poses several interesting problems, as well as a shifting mentality, amongst hoteliers. Hotel food and beverage outlets of yesterday were commonly regarded as lacking innovation and creative vision, driven by corporate standards over the conditions of local markets, earning them a reputation for stuffy service and overpriced, characterless menus. Traditional hotel fine dining is no longer relevant to emerging foodie culture, and as markets evolve and become more competitive, the need for distinct concepts is ever important. While the in-hotel guest appreciates the convenience of on-property dining options, they are more likely to leave the property for known eateries when they have the opportunity. These consumers are becoming more brand driven. In the past, hotel restaurants needed to appeal to a broad audience, lending to generic concepts lacking distinct identities, ultimately failing to appeal to anybody. This no longer works, as diners are in search of a sense of place, and seek understanding of an establishment upon first impression.

An increased interest in dining paired with an increased willingness to spend money on food and drink results in the potential for increased revenue within the hotel. By developing their own unique concepts that look and feel like freestanding establishments, hoteliers can not only retain their guests, but attract external traffic and avoid profit loss to third parties.

Over the past several years, we’ve had the privilege of working with esteemed brands such as Loews Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Company, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Sotherly Hotels, among others. Our mission, whether overhauling under performing restaurants through renovation and reconcepting or inventing new revenue-generating concepts, has been to position the outlets as independent restaurants and bars that just so happen to be located on hotel property.

Specific strategies help with the success of this challenging task. Working alongside hotel management, often at a local and corporate level, we work to define a concept that appeals to the out-of-towner and local alike. Expanding the market results in greater profits and enhances perception of the hotel itself. Careful analysis of the local landscape allows for a significant degree of differentiation from the competition. A unique and specific brand personality is defined, further disassociating the food and beverage outlets from preconceived notions about on-property options. This includes development of a distinct name, visual identity, and separate website. Furthermore, concept-specific signage, entrances and addresses help to create a strong, independent street presence. We strive to communicate a sense of time and place appropriate to the properties’ location and target markets, characterized by approachable interior spaces with an energetic ambience and lifestyle appeal. Simplified menus are often focused on regional cuisine; a selection of hotel mainstays or comfort favorites are offered in an effort to appeal the masses, but never at the cost of diluting brand messaging.

As a whole, these unique concepts are less traditional than your conventional hotel restaurant. They are hallmarks of authenticity and creativity without sacrificing consistency. Moreover, they overcome the long-established stigma of hotel dining, extending a reputation of outstanding food and drink.

Bank & Bourbon / Loews Philadelphia Hotel (Philadelphia, PA)

Custom logotype lettering is paired with a thoughtful selection of supporting type styles that provide contrast and character. Carefully curated, stylized illustrations and photography lend to a casual vernacular that walks the fine line of irreverance when paired with tongue-in-cheek copywriting.

Precinct / Loews Boston Hotel (Boston, MA)

A mix of modern sans serif and more traditional serif type styles creates an eye-catching and attention-commanding visual approach, while the use of vintage imagery lends an authentic, historic perspective.

Beach Barn / Loews Boston Santa Monica Beach Hotel (Santa Monica, CA)

With its use of playful illustrations and lighthearted copywriting, Beach Barn is a place that is friendly and inviting to all.

St. Johns Provision Company / DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (Jacksonville, FL)

Named after Jacksonville’s St. Johns River, it was imperative that the restaurant’s riverside location and locally-sustainable menu offerings were thematically represented in the logomark and collateral design.

Highball & Harvest / The Ritz-Carlton (Orlando, FL)

In an effort to connect a rustic and relaxed ambience with the iconic nature of the Ritz-Carlton brand, we worked to tell a charming and nostalgic story that reflected the restaurant’s history, culture and offerings.

Proof & Provision / The Georgian Terrace Hotel (Atlanta, GA)

Upon defining the brand’s individual tone and personality, we developed a memorable name for the concept, and from there were able to delve into visual exploration and extensions. Aesthetic choices were made to convey a modern industrialist sensibility that was every bit as unique and hip as it was comfortable.

Community Smith / Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel (Atlanta, GA)

The visual vernacular deliberately complements the approachability of the space and the menu offerings, not to say that either are anything short of classy and sophisticated

April 8, 2016

Horizon Interactive Awards

Congratulations to the Green Olive design team for winning seven Horizon Interactive Awards. The Horizon Interactive Awards have become one of the most prestigious awards in the field of interactive and creative media. The competition recognizes, promotes and awards the best websites, videos, online advertising, print media and mobile applications.

Check out Green Olive Media's award-winning website design work on the following projects:

Superica | Atlanta, GA

Burger Tap & Shake | Washington, DC

Community Smith | Atlanta, GA

Cool Smoke Barbeque | Richmond, VA

Honeysuckle Gelato | Atlanta, GA

Rowe Bar | St. Pete Beach, FL

WAG-A-LOT | Atlanta, GA

March 14, 2016

The Rowe Bar - St. Pete Beach, Florida

We're proud to announce the opening of The Rowe Bar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, located at the magnificent Don CeSar Hotel (or "The Pink Palace," as the locals refer the the iconic property, which was built during the Jazz Age).
The menu is 'creative coastal;' the cocktail list was developed by expert mixologist Eben Klemm, a Cornell Biology grad who began bartending soon after graduating. He's the author of The Cocktail Primer: All You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Drink. The list includes several takes on the traditional julep. Varieties include Gin (Hendrick's, St. Germain, grapefruit, arugula), Bourbon (blueberry infused Buffalo Trace, mint, black tea) and Tequila (Corazon Blanco, chartreuse, bell pepper, cilantro).
We had the pleasure of working on the brand from concept to opening.

March 10, 2016

Charleston Wine & Food Festival — March 2016

Festival season is upon us! The Green Olive team and clients and had a busy, fun and memorable weekend at The Charleston Wine and Food Festival.

Chef Joy Crump - FoodE + Mercantile | Fredericksburg, VA
Joy Crump's "Fire" Menu
Chef Joy Crump entertains the crowd at her Rosé & Grilling demonstration
Chicken and sweet potato dumplings from FoodE

Chef Woolery "Woody" Back - Table & Main | Roswell, GA
Dan Pernice and Chef Woody Back of Table & Main
Serving up Roasted Beets with Pickled Carrots on a Silver Dollar Hoe Cake

Chef Duane Fernandes - Isa's Bistro | Asheville, NC
Chef Duane joined us from Asheville for the "Earth" demo
Carolina Bison Carpaccio
Chef Duane's menu for EARTH

Chef Robert Phalen - One Eared Stag | Atlanta, GA
Chef Phalen cooks pork belly, white beans, cauliflower kimchi and kale at 3rd Space: Fire.
From left to right: GOM team member Henri Hollis, Chef Phalen and his wife, Allison Phalen.
Chef Phalen was assisted all weekend by his brother-in-law Lance Gummere.

Chef Matthew Basford - Canoe | Atlanta, GA
Chef Matthew and his GOM helpers at Bowen’s Island
Chef Matthew was hand-picked to cook up the St. Jude Farms Sweet Grass Mussels

Chef Eddie Hernandez - Taqueria del Sol | Atlanta, GA
Chef Eddie loves a good selfie
Taqueria Dream Team – Mike Klank, Allison Haber, Eddie Hernandez
Mike and Eddy lend a hand at the Slow Meat event at Home Team BBQ

Jonathan & Justin Fox - Fox Bros Bar-B-Q | Atlanta, GA
Homemade smoked pork sausage with cheddar and hatch chiles, topped with a spicy hatch mustard sauce, cracklins and micro cilantro on a lotus bun
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and Taqueria del Sol teamed up for the Toasted: Up in Smoke Finale with a pastramied short rib  taco topped with spicy Southwestern slaw – it was a crowd favorite for sure!
Don’t mess with Fox Bros!
Chef Duane Nutter - One Flew South | Atlanta, GA
Chef Duane Nutter brings his “Southernational” Cuisine to Charleston
Chef Duane’s entry for the “Air” category
Lemon soy glazed chicken with pickled veggies, crunchy noodles and sesame seeds

Tuffy Stone - Cool Smoke + Q Barbeque + A Sharper Palate + Rancho T | Richmond, VA
Chef, Pitmaster and TV personality Tuffy Stone brought his signature Cool Smoke Jambo pit to Charleston
Tuffy fired up some flatiron steak on a Cowboy Cauldron
Thanks for the help, Jason Alley! Jason and Tuffy plated almost 1000 dishes in just over an hour
Chef Todd Richards - White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails + Richards' Southern Fried | Atlanta, GA
Chef Todd prepping for his AIR demo
Smoked Springer Mountain Chicken with bourbon + ginger glaze, popped sorghum and pickled peppers
Chef Todd's menu creation for AIR

Chef Jason Alley - Comfort + Pasture | Richmond, VA
What a team! Chef Jason Alley and the folks from Swig & Swine and the National Pork Board served up a “Redneck Bo Saam” for Up in Smoke
Redneck Bo Saam — smoked pork belly, Rappahannock River oyster, seaweed mayonnaise, kim chi chow chow
Jason Alley, Josh Loge, and Tuffy Stone repping RVA

Chef Drew Van Leuvan - Seven Lamps | Atlanta, GA
Chef Drew, Madison and John ready to take on the festival
Crisp Abalone + red pepper & strawberry gazpacho
John + Chef Drew — Teamwork makes the dream work

Mike Johnson - Sugarfire Smokehouse | St. Louis, MO
Sugarfire’s smokin’ team prepping their buns. 
Chef Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smoke House chopping up Tomahawks. 
Chef Mike Johnson’s Tomahawk Ribeyes on the Cowboy Cauldron 

Chef Zeb Stevenson - Watershed | Atlanta, GA
Chef Zeb getting his Gospel Brunch on
A nice dollop of Banner Butter on Chef Zeb's French Toast
Chef Zeb's menu for the Gospel Brunch