Having food and beverage choices for guests on your property is slowly becoming an essential aspect of the hospitality industry. A source of ancillary revenue that also grants a competitive edge, it is common knowledge that travelers typically prefer hotels that deliver convenience through on-site eateries.
Unfortunately, many small hotel owners refrain from investing in food and beverage (F&B) due to the misconception that it requires operating a full-fledged restraint.
Now, if you have the space, budget, and staff to manage a restaurant, nothing like it. However, if you do not, it is still possible to plan a strategy where F&B bring in extra money while strengthening your brand value.
How to increase the food and beverage revenue in your hotel
We’ll tackle the issue of boosting your hotel’s food and beverage revenue by categorizing it into two scenarios;
- Availability of an on-site restaurant
- No on-site restaurant
While some of the following suggestions are interchangeable between the two scenarios, we wanted to show that not having an in-house restaurant should not stop you from using F&B as a revenue source.
What constitutes Food and Beverage?
Let us quickly list what constitutes F&B in the hospitality sector, as it will give you the scope of possibilities when it comes to initiating it for a revenue boost;
- Catering / Banquet
- Culinary events
- Food-centric stay packages
- Room service
- In-room amenities
How to increase food and beverage revenue in a hotel via a restaurant
Having an in-house restaurant is like winning half the battle. Travelers are already more likely to book with you. Still, you do have to make an effort.
Create a separate identity
When you have an on-site restaurant, create a separate identity for it. Doing so allows you to advertise the restaurant as an individual entity, which helps with listing it on search engines. Simultaneously, it provides your hotel marketing agency extra social media promotional opportunities.
A successful restaurant on your property adds to your hotel’s brand value.
Promoting your restaurant in every way possible is necessary to increase a hotel’s food and beverage revenue.
For starters, the property should have clear restaurant signage and information available to guests in the room. The idea is that the restaurant is visible to guests and the general public looking for a place to eat.
Additionally, one must have an exclusive page for the restaurant on the hotel’s website. On it, guests should be able to gather the following essential information about the restaurant quickly;
- Ambience & Theme
- Design (via photos)
- Opening hours
- Chef profile
Recent studies on the must-have amenities in a hotel suggest tourists nowadays are looking for accommodations that go above and beyond the basics. The same holds for the F&B industry.
In order to boost restaurant reservations and thus increase F&B revenue:
- Be inventive with the menu and include specialties that are not available elsewhere.
- Look into serving sustainable recipes made with locally sourced ingredients.
- Be inclusive by planning a menu that considers various dietary needs.
- Offer healthy food options.
- Showcase the culinary history of the region you are in.
- Continue to offer the best sellers that people talk about the most.
Many small hotels suffer the most during the low tourist season. At such a time, having an on-site eatery that caters to locals can help the hotel stay afloat financially.
Therefore, while keeping your overseas residential guests in mind is vital, the restaurant menu should also include favorites that the locals love.
As a result, it is essential to have competitive menu prices if you wish to attract your city residents.
Discounts are an excellent way of encouraging guests to spend money on F&B.
You can also increase direct hotel bookings by offering restaurant discounts to guests who make reservations through your website.
If you have a hotel app, offer discounts to upsell guests who have already checked in.
Having a restaurant gives you extra space to host events on the property. These can range from wedding receptions and culinary festivals to weekly brunch specials and wine tastings.
However, remember to work with your hotel marketing agency to promote these features through the website and social media.
Opening these special events to the public and not limiting them to resident guests further leads to food and beverage profits.
Hold cooking classes
One of the most popular ways to increase food and beverage revenue is by organizing cooking classes for guests.
Lessons are easy to implement if you have a restaurant with a resident chef. However, if you do not have one, there is always the possibility of getting a local chef to come in on request.
Provide catering services
Setting up a catering business with a fully functioning kitchen is relatively straightforward.
Catering can be for events, be it a wedding, birthday, or business function held on the property or within the city. Again, this helps expand your restaurant’s reach and builds upon the hotel’s brand.
The best part about catering is that you can limit it to the months when the hotel business is slow so as not to affect the everyday functioning of the restaurant.
Use other sales channels
One of the best ways to increase your hotel restaurant’s food and beverage earnings is to expand sales beyond the physical site.
List the restaurant on aggregator sites such as Uber Eats and Zomato and offer some top-selling items from the menu.
At the same time, you may even offer takeaway and can do deliveries within a specific area to further increase sales.
Create a hype
As a form of advertising, creating hype aids in increasing the hotel and restaurant’s brand while bringing in more money.
Hosting a chef’s table, pop-up events with celebrity chefs, and creating signature dishes or cocktails are some ideas that can make your restaurant stand out.
For promotion, use email marketing and reach customers who have previously shown interest in the culinary world.
Moreover, your hotel marketing agency can assist with influencer marketing and website adverts to make these special happenings successful.
How to increase hotel food and beverage revenue without an on-site restaurant
It’s pretty standard for smaller hotels as well as bed and breakfasts to not have space or the budget for a proper restaurant.
The good news is that you can still generate food and beverage revenue by being a little creative and thinking out of the box.
Coffee/bar station in the lobby
Even though most hotel rooms have a coffee and tea maker in the room, guests are often eager to sit in a common living space and mingle.
Capitalize on this by having an artisanal pop-up bar or coffee and tea station in the lobby. To attract more customers, maybe include free snacks with every purchased drink.
Collaborate with local cafe/bakery
If you do not have the means to make any food or drink on-site, collaborate with a nearby bakery or cafe.
By doing so, you promote local businesses, get a certain percentage of the sales that add to the revenue, and celebrate your city’s rich culinary diversity.
Offer culinary excursions
Once again, you do not need a running kitchen to provide guests with a few gastronomic opportunities.
Many boutique hotels offer picnic baskets for guests to take on a romantic or family outing to the garden or beach.
You can also work with local guides offering food tours, taking a fixed commission from every booking you initiate.
Personalized in-room minibar
The latest in-room trend leans towards not having a minibar. Managing one, especially in a sizeable hotel with numerous daily check-ins and check-outs, can be daunting. However, this differs from country to country.
But a minibar isn’t bad if you wish to boost food and beverage revenue, particularly if you run a small hotel with few rooms.
In fact, think about adding to the uniqueness of your property by allowing the personalization of a minibar during the booking process. Guests can choose the content they want in the minibar, enhancing the overall guest experience.
Other ways to boost food and beverage revenue at your hotel
To make money, you have to be proactive, and the following techniques can further help with revenue generation.
Upselling is an art that starts before a guest arrives and continues until after they have left.
Work with your hotel marketing agency and promote your culinary options with a pre-arrival email. Then, the staff at the reception educate guests subtly about the latest happenings at the restaurant.
While larger hotel chains have extensive room service menus, it is not always necessary.
It is perfectly fine to have a limited room service menu if you have a small restaurant or none at all.
Try and include items that are easy to make and do not perish quickly. If you have a cafe or restaurant next door, collaborate with them.
Moreover, check with your hotel marketing agency to incorporate a contactless ordering system via the hotel app.
A tech-enabled room service system is more likely to generate a higher revenue than legacy methods like having the guest pick up the phone and make an order.
To increase food and beverage revenue at your hotel, guests must spend more at your restaurant.
Do that by linking it to the hotel’s loyalty program. Guests are more likely to eat at your restaurant if they will get credits for being loyal.
Ultimately, implementing F&B options does not have to cost the hotel owner an arm and a leg. But, increasing food and beverage revenue for the hotel requires forward thinking and initiatives that range from on-site actions to using social media and digital marketing.