Food and beverage (or F&B for short) is a key revenue driver for hotels, creating thousands of dollars in ancillary revenue per week. But the profitability of your F&B all comes down to your strategy, creativity, and of course, the quality of your food and drink.
F&B encompasses everything from in-room minibars to your on-site restaurants and bars. That means there’s a lot to work with when it comes to increasing revenue. However, if you’re stuck for ideas or need a bit of inspiration, here are 21 ideas for you to boost your F&B revenue.
What Qualifies as an F&B Service
F&B service at a hotel typically incorporates all the operations and services that are involved in providing food and beverages to hotel guests. These might include:
Restaurants: The primary F&B service offered by hotels is restaurants, which can range from casual cafes to fine-dining establishments.
Room service: Room service allows guests to order food and beverages directly to their room, often 24 hours a day.
Bars & lounges: Hotels typically offer bars and lounges that serve a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Banquet & catering services: Banquet and catering services are often offered for weddings, conferences, and other events. This includes creating customized menus, providing service staff, and handling all aspects of the event's F&B needs.
In-room amenities: Many hotels provide in-room amenities such as minibars, coffee makers, and snacks for purchase.
Grab-&-go: Some hotels offer grab-and-go options for guests who need a quick bite or drink, such as a convenience store-style outlet in the lobby.
Room packages: Some hotels offer F&B packages that include a room and dining experience, such as a romantic dinner for two or a family-style feast.
Special events: Hotels may host special events such as wine tastings, cooking classes, or themed dinners.
The Differences in F&B Service at Various Property Types
F&B offerings can differ significantly between different types of hotels, depending on the level of service and amenities offered.
Limited service: Limited-service hotels typically offer a small range of F&B options such as continental breakfast, grab-and-go items, and even a small restaurant or cafe.
Full service: The F&B offered at full-service hotels is usually more extensive than a limited service hotel, including restaurants, bars, banquet/catering services, breakfast, and room service.
Luxury: Luxury hotels often provide high-end F&B experiences like fine-dining restaurants, cocktail bars, and 24-hour room service.
Resort: Resort hotels usually offer an all-inclusive F&B experience where guests can enjoy free food and drink on the property for the duration of their stay.
21 Ways To Boost F&B Revenue at a Hotel
1. Include Offers Pre-Arrival
Before guests arrive at your hotel, they’ll be planning their itineraries and finding ways to enrich their vacations. This is a great time to nudge them with various F&B offers.
At this stage in the guest journey, it’s the perfect time to use upsell technology to send special offers to guests via email and text message. You can also use hotel upsell software to include special food and beverage packages as add-ons for purchase during the check-in flow.
2. Offer People a Complimentary Refreshment On Arrival
Your guest has arrived. They’ve had a long flight and no sleep. A warm welcome and a complimentary refreshment would go a long way. You could offer a cocktail, snack, fresh fruit juice, or a cup of coffee. This is a generous and kind way to let guests know about the fantastic beverage options you have to offer.
And don’t forget to take the opportunity to showcase your menu items, too!
3. Accommodate Multiple Types of Diet & Add Healthy Options
According to The Vou, there are currently 88 million vegans in the world and that number is only growing. But it’s not just veganism. There are gluten-free, keto, low-carbohydrate, low-FODMAP, and paleolithic diets — just to name a few.
When you play out the probability, it’s more than likely that diet-restricted individuals are staying at your hotel at this very moment.
However, to accommodate these guests, you don’t need to revolutionize your menus. Many restaurants simply add a couple of vegan or vegetarian options sections to their existing menus or add more information about how their meals are prepared.
4. Room Service Robots
Room service robots could — believe it or not — save you a whole load of money. They are a new technology in the hospitality world, and hotels are beginning to see their value.
By automating things like room service, you can save on labor expenses and increase staff efficiency. This is because while the robots do the fetching and delivering, you can plan employee schedules more accurately.
5. Use Customizable Minibars
A customizable minibar is a fun, creative way to increase your F&B revenue. Pack a minibar with the right stuff and guests could have a hard time keeping out of it.
Here’s how: Before guests arrive, ask them if they’d like a customized minibar. If they say yes, give them a range of options. Some of these minibar options could include:
Kid-friendly minibar: Include fruit juice, toys, and healthy snacks.
Wellness minibar: Include prosecco, facemasks, bath bombs, and healthy snacks.
Local flavors: Include locally sourced snacks, such as artisanal chocolates, craft beer, and gourmet chips, giving guests a taste of the region.
6. Offer Seasonal or Limited-Time Menus
Offering seasonal or limited-time menus shows guests that you are sustainable and dedicated to highlighting food that can be sourced in your immediate area. Eco-consciousness guests will appreciate the reduction in carbon footprint and will be more likely to recommend your hotel.
7. Create Room & Dining Packages
Group your accommodation and F&B offerings to provide a themed, exciting stay for your guests. You could offer:
A two-night stay for couples with a romantic dinner for two.
A week's stay for a family with a family-style feast.
A one-night spa break with a wellness-themed menu
8. Sell Via Upselling Technology Throughout the Guest Journey
We talked about sending offers to guests before their stay, but upsell technology also enables hoteliers to push offers throughout the entire guest journey. This can be done through the use of automated text message and emails, or even included in the checkout flow to provide guests with a sweet treat on their way out the door.
9. Develop a Loyalty Program
There are multiple ways to develop and implement a loyalty program at your hotel. For example, you could introduce a loyalty program for corporate clients including discounts on dining and catering services, or reward guests for dining at the hotel's restaurant or bar multiple times during their stay.
10. Host Special Events
Hosting special events, such as wine and food tastings/pairings, cooking classes, or themed dinners, could help you attract guests and locals to your hotel. This is particularly helpful during periods of low occupancy.
You could also give paying guests a discount for partaking.
11. Introduce a Happy Hour
Happy hour is a popular concept for a reason. It works. Attract guests and locals during off-peak hours by introducing a happy hour in your bar or restaurant. Some bars offer two drinks for the price of one during this time.
12. Add a Brunch Menu
Introduce a brunch menu or a Sunday roast option to get guests and locals in on the weekends.
13. Create a Social Media Presence
A good social media presence is a marketing must-have. Posting images of your most popular food and beverages is a great way to attract diners and build brand awareness.
You could also encourage customers to tag you and use a special hashtag when posting photos of your food to their social media.
14. Create a Signature Dish or Cocktail
Adding a signature dish or cocktail to your menu is a great way to add to your brand’s personality and differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are a few best practices for creating a signature dish or cocktail:
Understand your brand thoroughly
Research current food and drink trends
Use local ingredients
Experiment with recipes
Get guest feedback
Promote your new dish or cocktail on various channels like social media
15. Partner With Local Food Bloggers & Influencers
Promote your hotel's dining offerings by partnering with local bloggers and social media influencers. They often post to thousands of followers who may not be aware of your property. Influencers can also help boost bookings by advertising promotions, packages, and special rates on their profiles.
16. Offer Catering Services
Catering for weddings, corporate events, and other special occasions, could give you an additional revenue stream. It might also help you expand your customer base and increase your reach.
To close catering business quickly and easily, use digital credit card authorizations and digital contracts that are PCI compliant and mobile-friendly.
17. Walk People Through F&B Packages at the Front Desk
Food and beverage packages are a good way to make sure your guests have an enjoyable stay. If you haven’t already upsold a package before the guest’s arrival, check-in is a great time to walk guests through your options. Here are a few examples of packages you could offer:
Milk & cookies package: This could be for kids — but doesn’t have to be!
Romance package: Offer guests a romantic meal for two and deliver champagne and chocolates to their room.
Picnic package: Deliver guests a basket filled with gourmet picnic items like sandwiches, fruit, and wine.
Yeah 18. Give Guests the Option To Order Contactless
Give guests the option to order at their tables from their mobile phones. While some guests will prefer giving their order to a waiter, more tech-savvy travelers may prefer the convenience of ordering and paying online.
Provide each table with a unique QR code. When guests scan the code, take them to a website where they’ll be able to input their order and confirm. Either they can pay at checkout or request the check at the end. You could also allow guests to order through a hotel app.
19. Offer a Wide Range of F&B Options
Whether it’s room service, restaurant service, or your minibar selection, ensure that you’re offering a broad range of F&B options, from fruit juice and Coca-Cola to champagne and whisky.
This will help you cater to the wide range of tastes, diets, and preferences of your guests and ensure there’s something for everyone.
20. Introduce a Chef's Table Experience
A chef's table experience, where guests watch the chefs prepare their food can be a unique and upscale dining option that can increase F&B revenue at a hotel in several ways:
Premium pricing: A chef’s table experience brings with it a higher price tag than other F&B options, helping you boost revenue for the hotel.
Personalized experience: For guests looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, getting a seat at the chef’s table could be the perfect option. This could result in positive word-of-mouth referrals, complimentary social media posts, great online reviews, and repeat business.
Showcase culinary expertise: Showcase the skills, knowledge, creativity and dexterity of your chefs with a chef’s table experience. This is a great way to enhance your reputation and differentiate yourself from competitors in a crowded F&B market.
Opportunities for upselling: A chef’s table experience gives you the perfect opportunity to upsell further food and beverage items. You could offer wine pairings or premium ingredients.
21. Partner With Local Businesses
Partnering with local F&B businesses has plenty of benefits for your hotel. Firstly, it establishes you as part of the local community, allows you to provide guests with exciting, authentic culinary experiences, and decreases your carbon footprint. Here are a few ways you can partner with your local businesses:
Offer locally brewed or distilled beers, wines, and spirits.
Provide freshly baked items such as pastries or sourdough bread.
Work with a local farmer or fisherman to source fresh meat and fish.
Food and beverage is an essential aspect of your hotel’s operation, providing you with an opportunity to drive revenue and boost guest satisfaction.
Improving your F&B offerings takes a bit of creative thinking and guest knowledge. But once you get it right, guests will let you know.
Best Practices for Guest Service in the Hotel Industry
Great guest service is the cornerstone of a successful hotel business. Whether you’re facing guests, event planners, event attendees, or business travelers, the quality of your guest service could mean happier customers, better reviews, and more revenue.
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