Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina’s food and beverage offerings are crucial to its guest experience.
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina believes in sweating the small stuff. “When someone comes here and orders a cheeseburger, they don’t know how many weeks we’ve spent sourcing the right patty or agonizing over the type of bun to put the patty on,” says Jerry Janus, regional director of food and beverage for the Fort Myers Beach, Fla., condominium hotel resort. “Our owners have spent their whole lives in the hospitality industry and take pride in food and beverage in particular. They focus on the quality of the food and the quality of our resort, and that’s what distinguishes us.”
The resort features two restaurants: Bongo’s Beach Bar and Grill, an outdoor poolside bar and restaurant; and Jack’s, which serves breakfast and dinner. With every room reservation, two full-service breakfasts per day at Jack’s are included.. After serving breakfast for roughly 300 to 500 people daily, the restaurant closes for a few hours to transition to an evening dinner service. In addition, room service is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
For a unique experience, guests have the option to reserve Dinner on the Beach, which is a four-course dinner for two, set with a candlelit table and chairs on the sand. For the adventurous guest, a seaside campfire can be reserved for the whole family, complete with a fire pit and four chairs on the sand along with a platter of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers to make s’mores. Banquet and catering services are also offered for beach weddings and corporate events.
Bongo’s Beach Bar and Grill serves the resort’s three pool areas as well, as chickee huts and lounge chairs on the beach, which overlook the Gulf of Mexico. “Everything revolves around that operation,” Janus notes.
Although Pink Shell’s guest rooms include kitchens, many guests avail themselves of the resort’s food and beverage offerings. “Food and beverage is a huge part of our experience,” Janus adds. “We have a very loyal following among the guests who vacation with us. Although they will cook meals in their room, they will also come have breakfast with us and maybe stay for lunch and dinner.”
All of Pink Shell’s food and beverage offerings can be catered to the individual dietary needs of its guests. The resort’s executive chef, Craig Panneton, regularly speaks to patrons concerned about gluten, nut or other allergies before they check in. “We make sure we meet guests’ needs,” Janus says.
The quality of the resort’s food – as well as its amenities including a spa, marina, fitness center and yacht and beach club – makes it easy for guests to spend their entire vacation on the premises. “We’re a great family resort that strives to keep families busy while they’re here,” he adds. “We want to create memories for our guests and have them come back to us again next year.”
Telling a Story
The dinner service at Jack’s is branded as Jack’s Farm to Fork, named for the methods used to source the seafood, beef, pork, poultry and produce the restaurant serves. “We can change the menu there every day if need be based on what our chef purchases from local farms and other sources that provide organic and sustainable menu items,” Janus says.
The resort started the farm-to-fork concept in 2016. “I always like to tell a story, and for me there’s no better story to tell a guest than that of where their food came from,” he adds. “When you order a seafood item, I can tell you which day and where it was caught, the name of the boat and name of the boat captain. We enjoy being able to do that.”
Pink Shell’s farm-to-fork offerings reflect the resort’s overall interest in sustainability. “In 2008, we made the decision that we wanted to be responsible for the environment and became a Two Palm Florida Green Lodging Resort,” Janus says.
For the resort, this included switching from plastic straws to straws made of biodegradable material. “After we did that, the town is now considering passing law barring establishments from using plastic straws, so we are ahead of the game on that, and that makes us happy,” he adds.
Pink Shell’s interest in the environment extends to offering nature walks with an on-staff naturalist. The resort is also noted for being home to an osprey nest, which guests and others can view in person as well as through a webcam on the resort’s website.
The resort continues to find ways to improve its food and beverage facilities and engage with its guests. The resort recently renovated the bar at Bongo’s and plans to further upgrade the restaurant. Pink Shell also recently added a “stargazing night,” where guests can peer at the skies through a telescope on the beach. “We will continue to innovate our offerings and find ways to keep our guests entertained,” Janus says.