Many of the guests in our hotels stay with us for a long time. They are away from home on business for days, weeks and months at a time. The focus at our properties is to make their dining and relaxation experiences feel like their home away from home. Knowing if they like cream with their coffee at breakfast or what they like to drink after hours are but a couple of the ways to make long-term guest connections. By providing excellent service, memorable food and beverages, reliable schedules and reasonable prices, guests will feel welcome in their home away from home.
When they are a long-term guest, they are often on a first name basis with the dining and bar staff. This familiarity helps create the homey atmosphere, but staff must be sure to maintain excellent service levels. The comfort level must not detract from the speed at which they deliver a requested condiment, or even lead to ignoring the other guests to chat with a frequent one. When the guest is relaxing in the lounge, or lingering over dinner servers should be attentive, but not too familiar or hovering.
Memorable Food and Beverage
A nice balance of food that reminds guests of home while providing that “something different” with a local slant will be the winning menu with guests. Local brews in the lounge and dishes inspired by the area are sure winners. Do keep in mind that female business travelers will expect to have some lighter menu choices available along with the other offerings. If they are traveling solo, female guests also prefer to dine in a café or bistro environment.
If a hotel has breakfast hours posted from 6:30-10:00 am during the week, the pancakes had better be ready at 6:30. A business professional’s busy schedule is often timed down to minutes and if they don’t have to make another stop, they can often take time for a full breakfast on your property – if it is ready on time. And if it is scheduled to go until 11:00 am on the weekends, make sure it does. The basketball team staying with you may have budgeted the breakfast price and time serving in to their expenses and travel times.
Pricing for meals should be reasonable and comparable to nearby restaurants and other hotel properties. Neither too low (to portray cheap food, etc.) nor too high (discouraging guests from dining at the hotel), pricing should be a reflection of the surrounding market. Do make sure to conduct comp set reviews at least quarterly on the pricing and menus of the competition. No one likes the surprise of wondering why the F&B revenues are down and then finding out that the neighboring restaurant has significantly dropped their prices. Regular comp set checks will ensure a balance – or at least awareness.
Ensuring the satisfaction of long-term guests at the hotel property will create the connections that will keep the corporate clients coming back. And when staff members are trained to ensure guest satisfaction at all levels, everyone knows their responsibilities and works hard to make it happen. Creating a home away from home for our long-term guests is our first priority.
Need assistance with food and beverage management at your hotel property? Contact me via email or at 602-314-3827. We can work together to make your food and beverage a profitable and memorable venture.
What is your biggest challenge when preparing breakfast for hundreds of guests every day?