People venture into a restaurant to eat the food. People visit their fitness studios to workout. People travel to a hotel to sleep. If any one of those businesses simply relied on the purported “main service,” would they be profitable? Maybe somewhat, but not as much as they could be. Restaurants train team members on how to upsell the fancy desserts, drink menu, gift cards, and more. Fitness studios sell merchandise such as workout gear, water bottles, private events, and more. Following in the same fashion, hotels must upsell ancillary items to increase revenue. And we don’t mean just for leisure travelers. Oh no, upselling meeting and event ancillary options will propel you faster towards your bottom line goals.
As the leisure travelers check-in, the front-desk team provide them with brochures touting spa services, hotel restaurant specials, local tour packages and other non-included amenities your may hotel offer. Excellent practice, and the same should be done for meetings and events, but with different techniques.
The first step is to identify every possible source of additional revenue. Once identified, strategize ways to market these additional ancillary items to the customers. The good news is that executing your strategies may not be difficult, and you can utilize tools already in your possession to do so.
Everyone Loves a Vacation
Offer and promote extended stays! A guest who lives in Kansas City, Missouri travels to San Diego, California for a four day work conference, in February. What are the chances that this guest won’t be enticed to stay the weekend afterwards to bask in the sun and frolic along the sand? Very likely. It’s a mere matter of using your online booking system to have automated special shoulder date rates ready to offer those attending the conference.
Because Who Doesn’t Want the VIP Lifestyle?
Rather than simply offering one rate option, extend a few different rate tiers. In your RFP, offer a range of specially rated tiers. Start with a low rate, a medium rate, and then a higher rate. Make sure that the group is aware of what a great deal this specially priced package range is. You never know, perhaps a more indulgent stay is what the group wants!
Be the Life of the Party
With leisure travelers, your hotel is under intense competition for their entertainment dollars. Especially if your hotel is in a big and exciting city, it isn’t too likely that your guests will stay on property for dining and entertainment. On the flip side, business travelers are much more likely to stay on property depending on the setup of the event. To maximize revenue potential here, it comes back to upselling at the time a group is negotiated, by showing meeting planners the benefits of turning an annual company event into an enjoyable getaway. More than just the actual meeting space, offer package deals that include meals, team-building activities, group entertainment and more. Do whatever you can to keep those groups on your property and utilizing ancillary items.
Make Them Feel Pampered and Special
Food is one of the easily identifiable ways to upsell, and it’s a great ancillary item! Spa services, even bar services, can be great as well. People participating in group meetings and conferences are probably in great need of relaxing spa services! Offer a special promotion just for attendees in hotel events. Have a signature drink concocted highlighting the group name/logo at a happy hour price for each event.
When it comes to ancillary items… be creative! If you and your team are excited about the special offerings your hotel has, the planners, participants, and everyone else will be too! As the new year approaches, brainstorm which strategies will work best for your hotel to make 2016 the most successful and profitable year yet!
For immediate success, utilize a hotel management company with an arsenal of tools and trainings to get your well on your way to success. Contact Young Yoon, corporate director of development for HMG Hospitality. He can be reached at 858.673.1534. The possibilities are limitless with a little guidance, creativity, and drive.
Young Yoon is the Corporate Director of Development, and is responsible for overall development of HMG Hospitality. He has more than 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including hotel and restaurant operations and corporate and brand management. Most notably, he managed operations for Sheraton, Warwick International Hotels, and NYLO Hotels, and as a part of the corporate office of InterContinental Hotels Group, he oversaw a portfolio of 63 hotels under six brands focusing on the Greater Los Angeles and Las Vegas regions. He studied at the Ceasar Ritz College in Brig Switzerland, an institution that specializes in hotel and restaurant management. While at Brig, he was a member of Eurochrie, an international organization supporting education and training for the hospitality industry.
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