5 ways to increase your hotel’s food and drink revenue
With the dining sector facing its own struggles, it's harder than ever for hotel restaurants to rustle up the winning formula. At Independent Hotel Show London we were joined by industry heavyweights to digest the latest trends in F&B and found that increasing revenue from food and beverage orders is at the forefront of many hoteliers minds - with the most obvious solutions being to increase your bookings or raise your prices.
But what if there was a better way?
1. Find out what your customers are saying
What do your guests say about your hotel? Use this Google search (replace Hotel Name and Area) to see a list of your reviews online. Take a look through the negative reviews and see if there are any trends. Maybe your prices are too high? Maybe people dislike your food menu? Work with your team to identify any feedback that you can act upon now. It may sound like basic due diligence, but your reviews could contain revenue-boosting opportunities.
2. Is your team trained to upsell?
It's worth roleplaying with your team to see how they handle upselling. They may be encouraging guests to squeeze in a cheeky dessert, but do they know enough about the cocktails or wine selection to confidently suggest a higher-priced item? And are they able to position these suggestions as their favourites in a convincing manner? It’s well worth investing time into staff training to encourage authentic upselling. Get this right, and your guests will praise you for great service, your staff will be rewarded with tips, and you’ll enjoy a boost in your revenue.
3. Give your bar or restaurant a name
Naming your bar or restaurant is the first step in giving it an identity. This will set it apart from simply being “the restaurant at The Kings Head hotel”. You can even brand your space with its own logo, colour schemes and style. This investment in your brand can even take into account the kind of clientele you would like to attract. As Shoeless Joe Jackson once said in a field of dreams, “if you build it, they will come”.
4. Cater for vegan, vegetarian and other dietary needs
Veganism and vegetarianism are on the rise with many consumers specifically seeking venues that cater to their dietary requirements. This goes beyond being able to choose between arrabiata pasta and halloumi burgers. Guests are expecting dedicated vegan-friendly menus that offer enough choice to keep them coming back each day. This might seem like a lot of effort to cater for, but the loyalty you’ll receive in response is well worth the investment.
5. Invest in technology
We live in a world where some guests would rather order Deliveroo to their room vs the social anxiety of calling reception for room service. This is why it makes sense to allow guests to order food and drinks directly from their smartphones. You could also include online booking for your restaurant and table service for guests that are already seated. Smart technology could also be used to upsell to guests based on their past behaviour. Imagine a guest receiving a welcome email that includes a personalised invitation to try the newly improved version of the meal they had last time.
While not every hotel can take advantage of all of the above ideas, we hope at least one or two will work for you! And thank you to Juan Diego Farah, Global Head of Deliveroo Business; Sarah Frankland, Head Pastry Chef at Pennyhill Park; Sebastien Gillard, Director of Food & Beverage at Mandarin Oriental; and Adam Smith, Executive Chef at Coworth Park for inspiring this piece.
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