Study: F&B is a Major Influence in Hotel Choice

NATIONAL REPORT—Sixty-five percent of Americans would choose one hotel over another if that hotel stay includes complimentary breakfast, and 51% would be more inclined to book a hotel room that includes a complimentary drink or meal upon arrival. That is according to the “Checking in for F&B” report from SevenRooms, which uncovered the most important things to today’s traveler when it comes to food and beverage at hotels.

The study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, examined people’s preferences around hotel restaurants and bars, uncovering that F&B holds quite a bit of weight. In fact, nearly one in three (31%) Americans think hotels with great restaurants are more memorable than those without. The full report is available at sevenrooms.com.

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 F&B factors would sway them to a hotel either for the first time, or for a return visit, and aside from a complimentary meal or drink, the data found some of the top selections to be:

  • A variety of food options for all dietary preferences and restrictions: 34%
  • Loyalty rewards for their restaurants and bars: 32%
  • The hotel sent a personalized offer to book again based on previous dining and stay history: 23%
  • The hotel asked for dietary preferences/restrictions prior to the stay, making the trip more tailored and seamless: 19%
  • The minibar is personalized to snack/drink preferences based on previous stays or allergies: 14%

And when asked what would make them choose one hotel over another, many of the same factors held true:

  • Multiple options for sit-down meals (41%)
  • A restaurant open late (38%)
  • Third-party reviews that note exceptional service at the restaurant (21%)

“When you think about hospitality, hotels are regularly the first thing that comes to mind,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO, SevenRooms. “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. 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.”

Building Loyalty

Hotels with multiple properties in a variety of cities may have the biggest opportunity to build loyalty with guests. What do hotel guests look for to truly elevate the experience when they’re staying brand-loyal with one hotel?

  • Perks for free food or drinks: 36% are more likely to book with one hotel across multiple cities if their loyalty program made it easier to earn rewards outside of hotel room nights.
  • Ensuring variety: 34% indicate 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.
  • Seamless communication between properties: When staying at a hotel with multiple properties, 29% expect their preferences and guest profile to be easily communicated between properties.
  • Great service: 26% admit 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 (26%) of Americans think hotels have an opportunity to engage with more locals through their bars and restaurants. In order to create a brand-loyal, returning guest, operators should focus on offering locals:

  • Unique and diverse food and beverage options: 24% of Americans agree that if a hotel in their area has unique and diverse food and beverage options, they’re more likely to consider booking with the same brand when traveling.
  • Local talent: 23% of Americans love when hotels host/showcase local talent at their F&B venues.
  • Excellent Service: 17% expect hotel restaurants and bars to have a higher level of service than other restaurants and bars in their area.

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