HOTELS Interview: Hilton’s Restaurants VP Talks Brand Goals, ‘Top Chef’

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA Beth Scott has some big goals for the food and beverage concepts of Hilton Hotels. Scott, vice president of restaurant concepts for full-service and luxury brands for Hilton Worldwide, believes the restaurants at all of the flagship Hilton brand’s hotels can and should be high-quality dining destinations.

On the heels of her recent appearance as a guest judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” where the culinary contestants tried their hands at creating a new dish for Hilton menus in the United States, Scott talks with HOTELS about how she intends to elevate Hilton’s brandwide F&B to the aspirational level.

HOTELS: Tell us about your efforts to improve Hilton F&B. What are your goals and how are you going about achieving them?  

Scott: At Hilton, we have a great culinary history. Our team members have invented several firsts, from the piña colada created at Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico to the American brownie at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Today, we have amazing chefs doing incredible work at our award-winning hotels around the world. I want to return Hilton to its rightful place of culinary prominence and do a better job of sharing with our guests the great food and beverage at our hotels today.

For a long time, running successful restaurants has been a challenge for hotels. At Hilton, we believe our expertise, global perspective and understanding of what today’s travelers need enable us to create and operate successful restaurants that deliver results for our owners and are relevant to our guests.

To this end, we have assembled a talented global team and are working on a number of initiatives that will deliver new concepts and tools for our owners. These elements will be foundations from which hotels can add local flavor to provide authentic experiences with the Hilton promise of quality. For example, we are working on a database that will match hotels with pre-approved restaurant concepts based on their needs. This database will further help to streamline the process for hotels and allow them to launch successful restaurants quickly and easily.


HOTELS: What are some examples of Hilton properties that are doing F&B especially well?

Scott: I’m always in awe of what our Hilton chefs do for our guests each and every day. We have such incredible talent, from Chef Andre Cote at Washington Hilton, who feeds the president and other world leaders, to a team member at Hilton Tokyo Bay, who is an internationally acclaimed ice sculptor.

The Hilton Hotels brand portfolio includes several award-winning restaurants worldwide, such as Michelin-star-rated Galvin At Windows (London Hilton on Park Lane) and AAA 4-diamond recognized restaurants in Bali Steak & Seafood Restaurant (Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa) and Orchids at Palm Court (Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza). There are countless examples of Hilton restaurants that are successful and doing innovative things in F&B. In the Asia Pacific region, our restaurants have mastered the art of live action stations and the balance of providing native cuisine and traditional comfort foods for global travelers. At Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor in London, we recently introduced Bo’Vine, a steakhouse serving grass-fed Caledonian Crown Scottish beef aged for a minimum of 28 days. We are looking at our proprietary global research to shape new concepts that will help us deliver on our brand promise to our guests.


HOTELS: Is it realistic to expect that every single Hilton hotel to have top-notch F&B?

Scott: It is realistic to expect Hilton to provide best-in-class services, products and amenities in every part of the guest experience. That is the expectation we set for ourselves, and what really spurs our innovation and is our focus following Hilton Worldwide’s recent global alignment. With more than 530 Hilton hotels in 76 countries, this is not going to happen overnight. But by providing our hotels with great restaurant concepts that focus on quality and straightforward implementation, we are working toward strength in food and beverage for the Hilton brand.


HOTELS: If you had to define Hilton F&B’s “brand promise to guests, what would it be?

Scott: Our goal is to satisfy the needs of today’s savvy global clientele by providing food and beverage experiences that are timeless, smart, relevant, authentic and generous.


HOTELS: What was your “Top Chef” experience like? Any fun anecdotes to share?

Scott: I had a great time appearing on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” We gave the “chef-testants” a challenge to develop a dish that is relevant to today’s global travelers, while still being healthy, value driven and easy to execute, affordable and sophisticated. 

As a personal fan of the show, I was additionally thrilled to participate and view firsthand the amazing process of producing the show. I enjoyed sampling their dishes, which ranged from a hummus-inspired pasta dish to a bacon and cheddar whole-wheat waffle with poached eggs. There were a few missteps, but overall the food was exceptional.

Our favorite dish was Braised Beef Short Ribs with a Balsamic Infused Reduction, Citrus Gremolata and Crispy Shallot Salad, which won the challenge and will be featured on menus at select Hilton hotels in the U.S.


HOTELS: As a presenting sponsor of this season’s “Top Chef,” what is Hilton hoping to achieve, both from a marketing and F&B standpoint?

Scott: Food and beverage is incredibly important to Hilton. The Hilton brand saw an affiliation with “Top Chef” as a fantastic way to shine a spotlight on our culinary heritage and speak to our contemporary relevance in F&B. “Top Chef” is the number one food show on U.S. cable and has a tremendous fan base and is the perfect platform for telling our story and aligning our culinary aspirations

Success comes in a variety of ways. We obviously want to remind consumers that our hotels offer great food and beverage, that Hilton has long been a leader in culinary and that there is a great deal of excitement and innovation around our current F&B strategies. This partnership gives us a great opportunity to showcase our own Hilton chefs, culinary firsts and award winning restaurants. We are featuring all of these online at and realize that celebrating these storylines internally is just as important as sharing them externally.

Beyond building this buzz, we keep an eye on direct consumer engagement through traffic to our microsite, Hilton Culinary Sweepstakes entries and interaction through our brand social media channels.