The hospitality industry is thriving, but today’s travelers have more lodging choices than ever and increasingly, they’re choosing cheaper and alternative options like Airbnb. Despite the growing competition, you actually have an advantage that online vacation rental marketplaces lack — in-house food and beverage (F&B) outlets.
In recent years, overall spending on F&B offerings has skyrocketed. In fact, Airbnb’s own study found guests spent an estimated $6.5 billion in restaurants from 2016 to 2017. Ready to take your hospitality program management to new heights? Use your F&B outlets as an opportunity to both differentiate your hotel’s offerings and build stronger brand loyalty.
Whether or not you consider Airbnb a threat, the hotel industry is undergoing a transformation that can change guest experiences for the better. But it requires taking full advantage of the onsite F&B outlets that alternatives like Airbnb simply can’t match.
Armed with guest data and unique F&B offerings, hotels can employ digital solutions to:
1. Personalize guest experiences. Whether they’re grabbing a drink at the bar or enjoying skyline views from the rooftop, guests remember personalized experiences and who delivered them. Track customer menu preferences and special requests across all your F&B outlets using guest management tools. With this data on hand, you can tailor experiences to continually engage guests, even long after their visit ends. Remembering a guest is allergic to nuts and stocking their room with the appropriate snacks, or seating diners at a table they enjoyed during their previous visit, are ways to provide unique experiences guests won’t be able to find with online rental marketplaces.
2. Leverage social media. With channels like Facebook and Instagram, you can find meaningful information about your guests and tailor F&B experiences around those preferences. Hashtags on Instagram, for example, can reveal the kinds of food your guests are photographing and which items are popular among frequent travelers. If a specific dish or drink is taking off on social media, try catering to customer interest by making those F&B offerings available. In addition to tracking trends and preferences, social media also makes it easy for your hotel to spotlight special dining options and even drive visits to an online reservation system.
3. Creatively market and expand F&B experiences. Once an F&B program is established, you need to promote those services effectively to attract and keep future guests. This could mean providing seasonal or exclusive guest-only services at your hotel, and targeting guests with personalized offers based on their past purchases and travel history. Hotels can also host special F&B events like members-only wine tastings or a guest chef dining experience to further diversify service offerings.
Interested in a discovering more ways to enhance your hotel’s F&B? Download our playbook, “Harnessing the Power of the F&B Experience.”