For most hotels the quality of food and beverage, and the service that comes with it, has a huge impact on the success of the business. One of the biggest aspects of a holiday is the wonderful food and drink guests hope to enjoy. Your hotel cannot afford to provide a subpar experience in this regard, given it’s often something customers are most passionate about.
Here are four tips for getting your food and beverage service right and satisfying your guests:
1. Be aware of changing consumer trends
People are becoming increasingly curious and concerned about where their food comes from and how it arrives on their plate. As travellers start to focus more on health, they’re turning towards local, homegrown food options. This is particularly prevalent in Asia where 48% of Chinese consumers say they prefer to cook at home for health reasons.
Social media is another big influence. While it’s always important for food to look appetising, social media makes it even more important – 62% of Chinese consumers say they post about their food experiences on social media at least once a month; the same figure is 42% in Korea, 40% in Singapore, and 29% in Australia.
The takeaway here is that your hotel’s food should always be restaurant quality, with a focus on local produce and an aesthetic that will appeal to the masses on Facebook and Instagram. Think of it as a bonus for you; the better your food looks the more free marketing you will get from consumers posting photos and tagging your business.
2. Don’t be afraid to be a little ‘different’ with your menu
Ultimately people travel to experience new things and create lasting memories. Food can be strongly linked to both. If travellers are in a destination they’ve never been to before, chances are they’ll be wanting to experience the tastes of local culture. People are also more prone to being impulsive and experimental while on holiday, so the more opportunities your menu gives them be this way the better.
Two things you can do at your hotel restaurant is employ a chef who can experiment with flavours and textures, and maintain close ties with local farmers and producers to ensure the authenticity of your meals. But the best tip: don’t be boring!
3. Treat your guests like they’re family over for dinner
Terrific customer service is half the battle at your hotel restaurant and/or bar. It’s essential that you be as warm and welcoming as possible to travellers who sit down for a meal or a drink. This is a simple measure to take, but not one that is always followed by hotel staff.
All guests should be treated equally. Don’t let appearances or attire lead you to prioritise certain customers over others. You never know who your biggest spender will be. It’s also important to tune into the body language of diners. Just because they haven’t asked for anything yet doesn’t mean they don’t need something. The way they’re sitting, looking at their glass, or touching their cutlery could suggest you need to check on them and offer assistance.
Here are some things to remember:
- Respect your customer
Make your guest feel important and do it sincerely. They deserve your full attention and for you to be polite and friendly
- Be honest
No one likes their trust to be taken for granted so don’t overcommit or break promises. Customers usually prefer honesty.
- Take responsibility
If something goes wrong, own it. Even if you don’t see an issue but a customer does, you need to take responsibility for the situation and do everything you can to resolve their issue, rather than taking the attitude of “it’s their problem”.
4. Treat your hotel restaurant as a unique business
Your hotel restaurant should be compatible and reflect to rest of your property but it should also be able to operate as a separate entity, to maximise business. Obviously it’s hard for a hotelier to possess the same nuance and attention to detail that dedicated restaurateurs have. But today’s consumer can find out a restaurant’s limitations online in a matter of seconds, and can easily avoid a mediocre dining experience.
A simple tactic you can use is to give every restaurant and bar in your hotel its own name and social media pages, where guests and locals alike can enjoy activities separate to what is happening in the rest of the hotel. Think about the spaces in your hotel and see if you can repurpose any for the benefit of your food and beverage service.
You should also try to make your prices as reasonable as possible. Lower prices make the public and social areas of the hotel more of a versatile meeting space and destination for locals.