When you operate 450 restaurants in North America, small changes in buying habits can have big results. Hyatt’s 132 hotels contain establishments that run the gamut from full service to quick service to restaurant bars. Each one menus between three and six seafood items, or 20 percent of the offerings.
“Demand for seafood at our hotels has definitely increased over the last five years, up between 10 and 15 percent,” said Jim Milkovich, Hyatt’s corporate director of purchasing. “As a result, we’ve expanded what’s available. In the past you might have found just shrimp and salmon on the menu. Today we’ll offer four to five different species with various preparation styles, the selection changing seasonally.”
Hyatt North America spent USD 23.8 million on seafood in 2011. The company has seen its total seafood costs rise up to 10 percent since 2008.
Over the last two years Hyatt has made a concerted effort to educate its 2,500-plus chefs and cooks about seafood sustainability, using tools like educational webinars that teach chefs about aquaculture. The goal, Milkovich says, is for the chefs to go out and question their suppliers to ensure that the product they’re getting is being raised sustainably.