Hilton pilots coffee shops on high street

Hilton International Hotel is piloting a high-street standalone version of its Caffè Cino coffee shop as it attempts to expand into new areas.

The company created the Caffè Cino format a year ago to brighten up its hotel foyers and has rolled it out to 30 of its 80 UK hotels.

This is the first time Hilton has extended this brand, or any other, outside the hotel as a standalone operation.

Hilton UK marketing director Mike Ashton says: “It seemed logical to extend Caffè Cino to the high street as we are trying to expand the business. If the pilot is successful, it would be crazy not to open up more branches.”

The standalone branch of Caffè Cino opened in Birmingham’s City Plaza shopping mall last month and does not carry any Hilton branding.

Hilton has also created three new restaurant brands named Britisserie, Barbacoa and Zucotta. These specialise in traditional British, South American and Mediterranean food respectively. They were created because many hotel customers find hotel restaurants dull, and often dine elsewhere.

Different combinations of these brands have been rolled out to about 30 UK hotels in recent months, but there are no plans to launch any as a standalone operation.

Meanwhile, Hilton will launch a £1.7m advertising campaign on April 17.

The ads were created by The Morgan Partnership and feature the US actor Jeff Goldblum.

Hilton Group, which also owns the betting chain Ladbrokes, announced pre-tax profits of £305m for 1999 – up 9.9 per cent on a turnover of £4.3bn, down from £4.6bn in 1998.

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