Tips for luring hotel guests to the bar in 2014 – Hotel Management

Hotel Management posted their top tips for luring hotel guests to the bar in 2014.  Among their tips:

Focus on millennials. This generation is characterized by high expectations, disposable incomes and a thirst for new trends. “As millennial continue to invest in the experiential value of dining, eye-catching drink presentation as well as innovative and even adventurous ingredients will continue to drive incremental sales particularly in casual and upscale dining concepts in 2014,” Melanie Austin, account executive at Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, told Nightclub & Bar.

Simplicity should be left behind. Operators are encouraged to think outside of the box and innovate, as guests are becoming tired of repetition in hospitality and want to see personality in the properties they visit. It’s open season for hotels to start taking chances on how to attract customers.

Social media is also expected to continue to climb in popularity and utility throughout 2014, and there is also expected to be more social media options available to both guests and operators. Hashtags are now a marketing tool, and it is important to learn to use them in cross-promotion.

Ok, this may not exactly be helpful to you if you are running a hotel with a typical lobby bar.  That is where TrueGuest can offer a few more tips.

  1. Make 2014 the year you focus on providing an engaging experience in your bar.  Visit your bar on a Wednesday night, you will most likely see many guests having a drink or a snack alone.  People visit bars for social interaction.  Your bartenders and servers need to know how to interact with guests who are looking to chat.  We’ve been to many bars where the bartender said no more than 5 sentences to us during the entire visit.  We’ve also been to bars where the bartender engages every guest in a conversation.  A good bartender can start a conversation with a guest and then leave that guest to continue the conversation with a complete stranger.
  2. Evaluate your happy hour program.  A good happy hour is supposed to bring guests to a bar at a time they would not normally visit the bar.  Unfortunately, hotels do a horrible job of promoting happy hours.  Our Service Experience Analysts have audited hundreds of hotels where no one mentioned a happy hour.  Then when we arrive at the bar, we find out that it is happy hour.  Congratulations, you just turned a customer that was going to pay full price into a customer who is now going to only buy happy hour items.  If you do have a happy hour, make sure you are doing plenty to promote it.  Otherwise, you are just offering a discount to your existing customers and not bringing in customers who were not planning on visiting.

Source:  Hotel Management Article