Blank CANVAS for Beverage Entrepreneurs

LOGO-Marriott CANVASCreative tea artisans and enthusiasts, chefs with a love for the leaf and mixologists with an inspired drink recipe will soon be able to realize their vision for amazing food and beverage concepts at Marriott International hotels.

Marriott recently launched CANVAS, a first-of-its kind hotel industry incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs. The crowdsourced website invites innovations for a dozen target hotels to be announced during the next six months. The first two are JW Marriott Shenzhen (China) and the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown.

The $13 billion hotel chain announced it will “kick start” the winning restaurant and bar concepts with resources, space, and expert support needed to flourish, while maintaining the autonomy of each winner to fully realize their vision.

WTN150105_MarriottCanvas“Committees of local restaurateurs, foodies, hotel owners and restaurant/bar experts will determine which entrepreneurs demonstrate the creativity, savvy and sound business plans to benefit most from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” according to Marriott.

Marriott will document the progress of competitors and after six months of operations, each concept will be evaluated for success based on popularity and return on investment, according to Marriott.

“We believe the key ingredient of CANVAS is to marry the best ideas of local entrepreneurs with Marriott’s resources, space and capital that will transform ambition into action right inside our hotels,” said Wolfgang Lindlbauer, global leader, Food & Beverage. “Just like travel, food and drink experiences today are about indulgence and discovery for modern travelers and local clientele alike, to savor, enjoy and share.”

As the program expands, Marriott will be able to attract, motivate and retain more talent, therefore creating a robust food and beverage idea pipeline. The goal of Marriott’s CANVAS is to deliver new and exciting restaurant concepts more quickly than the current hotel industry model. Marriott believes the program holds great appeal for millennials.

Documentary-style webisodes financed by Marriott will chronicle the journey many of the individual winners face as they take their idea from a dream to reality. “From the determination to craft and submit a business plan, to the elation of being chosen a winner, to the challenges the winners face as they build and design their restaurant concept in partnership with Marriott, to the crescendo of opening night and welcoming the first guests,” according to the company.

Thirty years before launching his namesake hotels, J. Willard Marriott, in 1927 opened a nine-stool A&W root beer stand in Washington, DC. With advent of cold weather that year his wife Alice, who had learned how to make tamales and chili con carne, introduced hot food and couple launched Hot Shoppes. The company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland has since expanded to 4,100 properties in 79 countries.