Hilton’s VP Emma Banks on how good lighting can boost business

Published: 12 July 2020 - 7:57 a.m.
By: Jane O'Neill

Lighting is the most important element of a successful restaurant concept.

That's the view Hilton F&B strategy and development VP Emma Banks wants to share with her industry.

The key senior figure in the hotel industry spoke to our sister title Hotelier Middle East after hearing Jeremy King OBE speak at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Amsterdam.

Speaking about that moment, she says: "If I could admire and respect him any more as a true industry great it was at that moment, when all the years of relentlessly discussing the need for lighting designers and why we should not overvalue engineer the lighting or even the desperate pleas of let’s invest in a dimmer, came flooding back, to coin an apt expression."

Banks goes on: "So really, why should we invest in lighting and what are the technical and physical benefits?

"As we look forward to a period of recovery within the industry, we know our customers are going to be even more demanding around all aspects of their restaurant experience from hygiene and cleanliness, authenticity, provenance, service styles, and yes, design will become even more critical. Good lighting design can elevate an average design and bad lighting can destroy the aesthetics and ambience of the most beautiful spaces."

She flags up key lighting hot spots for hoteliers to consider as the the "chameleon concept" of the all-day diner and urges them to listen to designers' views on the warmth of the colours of the lighting scheme, which serves to make food look more appealing.

"Lighting is often considered an extra expense but, it can make or break the design, atmosphere and experience you are wanting to achieve and deliver within your restaurant, lounge or bar."

Earlier this year, Samer Moukalled, VP of Scientechnic Lighting Solutions, told CID that commercial spaces were looking to a connection between natural light and wellbeing (or health).

Human Centric Lighting, commonly known as HCL, can benefit the biological, emotional, health, or wellbeing of people. Usually, this can be achieved by incorporating tunable white and dimming controlled smart light source, to mimic the levels of sunlight throughout the day. Studies have shown that poor lighting can have negative health effects—especially on our circadian rhythm.

Read the full interview on Hotelier's website here.

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