- C3 will take over in-room dining and local deliveries at the Las Vegas Westin Hotel & Spa, owned by Highgate, as the food tech company targets hotels for expansion.
- The deal, following similar partnerships with Graduate Hotels and the Mandalay Bay Casino, means C3 now handles in-room dining for 75,000 hotel rooms worldwide, according to a press release.
- Hotel foodservice, with its naturally captive audience, has proven an attractive area for diversification as ghost kitchen operators, food tech platforms and virtual brand companies target new areas for expansion.
Hotel foodservice, especially in dense markets like Las Vegas, is a natural target for C3, given founder Sam Nazarian's experience in hotels. Nazarian's company, SBE, worked in hotel operations for years. Two hotels, SLS Baha Mar and SLS Dubai, which Nazarian partially owned, have partnered with C3 to conduct their foodservice operations. Nazarian sold his remaining 50% stakes in Accor Hotels, including the aforementiond SLS properties, to Accor in 2020.
C3, which has a large number of virtual brands — including Umami Burger, Sam's Crispy Chicken and Krispy Rice — will enable Westin guests to order from these digital restaurants during their stay at the hotel. The brands will also be available for local delivery outside of the hotel through C3's shared kitchen model. Customers can order from multiple brands within a single order, according to the press release. C3 implemented this same digital food hall model at Graduate Hotels early last year.
Hotel traffic in Las Vegas has recovered substantially from 2020, but is still below 2019 levels, which may lead hoteliers to search for cost-saving measures in foodservice and other amenities.
Arash Azarbarzin, CEO of Highgate, said the partnership was part of Highgate's investment in new technology.
"The launch of this partnership with C3 reflects Highgate's interest in emerging technologies that satisfy the evolving needs of our guests," Azarbarzin said in a statement.
Other ghost kitchen platforms, like Kitchen United, have diversified their operations by entering grocery stores and malls, which offer high foot traffic.
C3 is also interested in capturing foot traffic directly by creating brick-and-mortar spaces of its own to broaden its operational reach. Last fall, the company announced plans to open a two-story, brick-and-mortar concept in Manhattan that features 13 service kiosks and two full-service eateries. The concept will feature food created by several celebrity chefs for takeout, delivery and on-premise dining. C3 will also launch a 24,000-square-foot food hall in Atlanta this year, and will roll out similar locations in Miami, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia and California in the future.