Hotels have come a long way since the early days, offering more features, better amenities, and higher standards of service than ever before. Many modern restaurants also feature their own restaurants, but, as many experienced hotel owners will know, trying to bring success to these eateries can be a real challenge.
Many people assume that hotel restaurants shouldn’t have any problems in terms of getting customers. After all, hotels are typically filled with guests, giving them a ready-made clientele right on site. However, while it’s true that hotel guests will often fill out at least a portion of the on-site eateries, hotels can have a lot of trouble getting non-guests through the doors.
A big reason for this is that people tend to see hotel restaurants as just one extended part of the hotel itself, and if you’re not actually staying at the hotel, it can feel a little odd to visit its restaurant – some people even say it feels like they’re using the hotel amenities without actually paying for a room, which can make them feel awkward or uncomfortable. Here are some ways to remedy this issue.
Separate Your Restaurant from Your Hotel
The best way to start getting more business for your hotel restaurant and actually getting non-guests to give it a try is to do all you can to separate it from the hotel itself. Of course, you won’t be able to physically remove the restaurant from the hotel, but there are many different ways in which you can make the two feel like separate entities.
Giving the restaurant a name that isn’t connected to the hotel is a good start, as well as making sure it has its own unique entrances and exits, so people don’t have to walk through the hotel lobby in order to get in. By making the restaurant feel like its own entity, rather than a simple extension of the hotel, you’ll be more likely to encourage people to visit.
Individual Online Identity
When we look at how some hotels around the world have managed to turn their on-site hotels into serious success stories, one common thread appears again and again: the restaurants always have their own online identities in order to help them stand out.
These eateries don’t just have their own unique names and logos, but they also have their own separate websites, social media accounts, and marketing campaigns that are completely disconnected from the hotel itself. Of course, you can still advertise your hotel’s restaurant on your hotel’s site and channels, but make sure it also has its own individual accounts.
Turn to the Pros
Perhaps your hotel eatery already has a stellar chef, an excellent menu, its own sense of style, and a unique brand identity too, but is still struggling to attract new diners. Maybe you feel like you’ve exhausted all options and tried everything to change the fortunes of your on-site eatery and no longer what to do.
When this happens, it’s time to contact the pros. An expert hotel restaurant consultant will be able to come in, take a look at your hotel’s restaurant, and make use of their own experience and expertise in order to identify possible areas of improvement and make suggestions to help you. These consultants are often able to see things that owners can’t and can turn your restaurant’s fortunes right around.
Don’t Neglect Hotel Clientele
While you may want to concentrate a lot of your efforts on bringing in new guests from outside the hotel, it’s important not to overlook your actual hotel clientele. After all, they can bring a lot of money into the business on their own, and many hotel restaurants can reach a third or half capacity with hotel guests alone.
So while you’re working on giving your restaurant its own identity and separating it from the hotel brand, still make sure to continue marketing it to your guests. In-room adverts, website booking systems, and front desk mentions can all help to drive guests towards your hotel’s eateries, and make sure the levels of service remain high in order to encourage them to return and recommend the restaurant to others.
Getting non-guests through the doors of your hotel restaurant can seem like an impossible challenge at first, but with the right approach, it’s perfectly possible to transform your on-site eatery, turning it from a ‘hotel feature’ into an independent fine dining establishment in its own right.