NEW YORK – SevenRooms, a data-driven hospitality platform that combines operations, marketing, and guest engagement tools, recently released its Checking In For F&B report, which uncovered the most important things to today’s traveler when it comes to hotel F&B. According to the data, 65 percent of Americans would choose one hotel over another if that hotel stay included complimentary breakfast, and 51 percent would be more inclined to book a hotel room that includes a complimentary drink or meal upon arrival.
The study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, examined people’s preferences around hotel restaurants and bars, uncovering that hotel F&B holds quite a bit of weight. In fact, nearly one in three Americans think hotels with great restaurants are more memorable than those without.
Knowing that food and beverage can be an incredible asset for hotel brands, setting them apart in a sea of options available to today’s savvy traveler, SevenRooms set out to uncover which elements would encourage travelers to stay at a certain hotel.
Americans selected what hotel F&B factors would attract them for a first or return visit. Aside from a complimentary meal or drink, the data found that more than one in three would frequent a property that offered a variety of food options for all dietary preferences and restrictions, and 19 percent would stay at a hotel that asked for dietary preferences/restrictions prior to their stay to make their trip more tailored and seamless. Loyalty rewards for restaurants and bars would draw 32 percent of respondents. If the hotel sent a personalized offer to book again based on a traveler’s previous dining and stay history, 23 percent said they would stay with that property. Of those surveyed, 14 percent said they would be swayed at a hotel that stocked its mini-bar with personalized snack and drink preferences based on previous stays or allergies.
When survey participants were asked what would make them choose one hotel over another, many of the same factors held true: multiple options for sit down meals (41 percent), a restaurant open late (38 percent), and third-party reviews that note exceptional service at their restaurant (21 percent).
“When you think about hospitality, hotels are regularly the first thing that comes to mind. But what many don’t consider is that it’s not only a well-appointed room and a knowledgeable concierge that guests remember—it’s often the experience they had at the on-site restaurant or bar,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO of SevenRooms. “Hotel brands, especially those with locations in various cities around the world, have a unique opportunity to build loyalty with customers through their F&B offerings. By listening to what makes a guest experience exceptional, and using technology to help deliver that experience, they can develop long-lasting relationships with their guests, creating a brand-loyal traveler for life.”
Hotel F&B Loyalty
Hotels with multiple properties in a variety of cities may have the biggest opportunity to build loyalty with guests, according to the SevenRooms report. Thirty-six percent of hotel guests were more likely to book with one brand across multiple cities if their loyalty program made it easier to earn rewards outside of hotel room nights, like through food and beverage. Thirty-four percent indicated liking the convenience that comes with staying at the same hotel brand in different cities, but expect there to be variety with food and drink at each location. When staying at a hotel with multiple properties, 29 percent expected their preferences and guest profile to be easily communicated between properties. Twenty-six percent admitted that if one of the hotel’s locations had poor service in their restaurant or bar, they’d reconsider continuing to book with that brand.
The Local Influence
Hotels also have an opportunity to capitalize on their city’s roots since guests are craving curated local experiences, whether it be to spend the night or to grab a quick drink. Even further, once they travel home, hotels have a chance to continue guest relationships—more than a quarter of Americans think hotels have an opportunity to engage with more locals through their bars and restaurants. To create a returning guest, operators should focus on offering locals unique and diverse food and beverage options (24 percent) and consider hosting or showcasing local talent at their F&B venues (23 percent). Additionally, 17 percent expect hotel restaurants and bars to have a higher level of service than other restaurants and bars in their area.