Hyatt boosts wine, dinner sales via iPod, PC guidance


DALLAS The Grand Hyatt Hotel at DFW International Airport here has reported substantial gains in sales by using iPods and personal computers to guide guests in tastings of cheeses, chocolates and wines and for wine pairings with meal selections.


For $25, guests in the hotel's lobby-based Moka coffee bar can have a 30-minute "iTaste" cheese or wine tasting with video guidance from an iPod — or can do the same for $20 with a chocolate tasting. After the half-hour tasting, customers get a DVD of the video podcast to take home.



The hotel has been selling 10 to 15 tastings daily since the program began three months ago and has seen iTaste grow to represent 16 percent of wine sales at Moka, hotel general manager Michael Stephens said.



According to Stephens, the new computer-based Virtual Menu wine-pairing service in the hotel's Grand Met restaurant has boosted its average check by about 18 percent.



Hyatt paid about $2,700 for 12 iPods to start the program at the 298-room property, said Stephens, who indicated that the Hyatt chain may launch the programs at other hotels.