HB Exclusive: CAMO launches marketplace dining platform for hotels

Hospitality industry veteran Kevin Rohani has launched CAMO, what he calls the first and only hotel-centric marketplace dining platform, built to provide direct ordering, a marketplace of restaurant brands and instant off-premise demand. Utilizing existing infrastructure and at no cost, hotels can optimize dining revenue and efficiency while offering guests an enhanced room service experience.

Kevin Rohani

“Hotels have no real ability to capture revenues off of third-party [foodservice] orders,” Rohani told Hotel Business. “They’re increasingly starting to push away this this amenity that I grew up loving, that I grew up executing in the business world—ordering room service and having great food at your hotels…Ultimately, I saw a path to be able to create something asset-light from my experience that enabled hotels to reimagine their food services.”

With the rise in popularity of ghost kitchens to create add-on demand, CAMO is a hybrid offering. It enables a hotel kitchen to service its own guests while simultaneously aggregating nearby hotels’ room service orders through its direct ordering system and marketplace offering. Its proprietary platform uses market data and analytics to seamlessly develop highly efficient, sustainable and on-trend virtual restaurant brands. This provides guests direct access to multiple food genres with freedom, flexibility and convenience to mix and match orders, putting power into guests’ hands, according to Rohani.

Hotels have been losing a vast majority of their dining revenues to third-party marketplaces, he reports. While the ghost kitchen sector could reach $1 trillion by the end of this decade, hotels are left with limited options to capitalize on this trend. Outdated brand standards, long wait times for room service, limited menu offerings and high fees limit a hotel’s ability to generate demand, even with a built-in audience. This drives guests to look for off-premise or third-party delivery options. Additionally, F&B operations for most hotel segments aren’t built to generate any dining revenues from the community.

From 2014-2018, DoorDash’s room service orders grew by 900% in New York City and 550% in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg Second Measure. Currently, according to a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) less than 25% of U.S. hotels offer room service, and since 2014, digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic, as reported by Upserve. Hotels lose money on food and beverage services, and many have decided to end their relationship with traditional Room Service.

“We have absolute certainty that the majority of hotels leave millions of dollars on the table, and the nature of our system is to capture and redistribute those revenues,” said Rohani. “Our test launch showed incredible promise and we were instantly and consistently generating greater than anticipated room service orders, with over 80% of our orders across three-five brands, often with check averages breaking the $200 mark.”

“The platform is turnkey and built to enable hotels to keep dining revenues on-premises,” he said. “Each hotel will be able to grow its own visibility and reach utilizing our culinary concepts, hotel-centric technologies, and aggregated marketplace demand. We needed to develop something with staying power, more dynamic than third-party marketplaces and built into the hotel stay.”

The platform is currently built for a broad consumer market, targeting independent and limited-service hotels that historically lose money on F&B, according to Rohani. The company is simultaneously developing highly efficient and sustainable marketplace menus for all hotel segments and kitchen types to meet its rapidly growing pipeline. CAMO either operates hubs in high-density hotel markets or licenses the platform as an add-on to existing hotel restaurant operations needing to drive incremental revenues to reach profitability.

The company has partnered with leading technology service providers to create an exclusive omni-channel platform centered around hotels and has assembled a team of mission-driven investors and talent, recruited from global leaders across hotel, culinary, technology and logistic sectors, he reports. The company plans a series of new announcements that speaks to its momentum and projected growth. Rohani intends on partnering with more than 1,000 hotels in serving millions of guest orders annually.