An Inside Look at Relaunching a Resort Restaurant
What it takes to expand an on-site restaurant and attract local diners.
Rethinking a restaurant is no easy feat, but there are great potential rewards, such as improving the owner experience and gaining new guests. For Arizona’s Holiday Inn Club Vacations Scottsdale Resort, a $36 million property-wide renovation in 2016 brought the opportunity to expand Graze Desert Grille, its on-site eatery. In April 2017, the restaurant reopened with new offerings under the name ArteZania Kitchen & Cantina. An adjacent café serving breakfast, Marketplace, was also unveiled.
The first step in the renovation was to decide what to change. “We determined the concept by identifying what type of service style and experience was needed to best provide and display the regional flavors of Scottsdale,” says Chris Motts, food and beverage manager at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Scottsdale Resort. The current menu balances existing favorites with new dishes influenced by the area’s cuisine, such as a pepito sandwich with carne asada and caramelized onion.
Part of the goal was to attract both Scottsdale residents and HICV owners to the relaunched restaurant—which meant competing with destination eateries in town. “Opening to the public ensures the operation executes at the highest standards and expands reach in the community,” Motts says. To spread the word about the reopening, the team put ArteZania Kitchen & Cantina on online reservation website Open Table and hosted an event for Yelp Elite reviewers. The resort also marketed the restaurant through social media and mailing lists.
This approach is proving to be successful. “Our owners’ responses have been extremely positive,” Motts says. “We are encouraged by repeat guests and the positive verbal and online feedback we are receiving throughout the community.”
Image credit: Courtesy of Holiday Inn Club Vacations Scottsdale Resort