The 15-story, glass-and-chrome atrium of Conrad NY Downtown with its massive mural by Sol LeWitt, may feel quite modern, but it is traditional concepts that draw the customers through the front doors.
The view; the food; the service. That’s what pulls people in, says senior food and beverage manager Joseph Mirsky.
“We have a great advantage in terms of our location and our international and continental brand,” Mirsky says. “We’re one of the more upscale hotels in Lower Manhattan and our waterfront view, which takes in the Statue of Liberty, never fails to please.”
In this week’s Q&A with Boxerbrand blog Recipe for Success, Mirsky discusses what it takes to make hundreds of daily diners and hotel guests happy.
BB: How do you compete in such a massive city?
CNY: Even though NYC is a big place, we compete on both a city-wide and neighborhood level. We’re one of the most upscale hotels in our Lower Manhattan neighborhood, and our well-known view and meeting space pulls people in from all over. But, on a neighborhood level, we check a lot of boxes from our neighbors in Battery Park and businesspeople from Goldman Sachs, who are looking for a higher level of dining experience. We’re located next to a BBQ smokehouse, sports bar, and taco place. And while those places are great, we bring a consistency to our food, which ranges from the classic Caesar salad and steak to on-trend bowls. We actually have a popular kids menu, which features a steamed fish and organic breakfast bowl!
BB: What is your approach to food?
CNY: We’re basically New American. We rebranded two years ago, and we’re a combination of international and continental fare. We still sell a lot of Caesar salad and steak. And we strive to bring in the best beef supply there is by working with farmers in a close radius. We’re part of Hilton, and this benefits us in our ability to bring in the very best. Our beef distributor is local, and we also use multi suppliers of dairy and a New York coffee company.
BB: How many customers do you serve daily? And how do you keep them happy?
CNY: We serve an average of 320 people every day in our Atrio Wine Bar. And our in-room dining, which is offered 24/7, serves 463 rooms. We also have a seasonal rooftop called Loopy Doopy, which is named after the artwork in our lobby by famous artist Sol Lewitt. Loopy Doopy seats 75, so it’s very intimate and popular for its views.
We’re very busy. And I think the way we remain consistent is that our staff has been with us a long time. Many of our staff have been here 10 years, and our least senior cook has been with us three years. A consistent staff with low turnover makes it possible for us to focus on the customers and their individual tastes and desires.
We go above all to make menu items happen, even if it’s not on the menu.