Blog of Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS August 5, 2010
The full title of this series is Engaging the “high-touch” side of our business by instilling passion in our people and reader comments and feedback on the first two segments has been positive. Segment 1 emphasized the authentic requirement for hospitality businesses to provide a unique experience or face the probable penalty of being viewed as a commodity.
Segment 2 defined in some detail the experience of today, whether you are an independent hotel or brand affiliated. It also focused on identifying ways to encourage hotel general managers and their staffs to think about the “guest experience” and offered concrete examples from workshop attendees’ ideas on ways to avoid being seen as ordinary or a “commodity” in the area every guest experiences, regardless of hotel location, room rate or level of service: SLEEPING. Practical ideas addressing all five of the human senses were shared.
This segment examines another area that I have written on previously and that is of considerable significance to hotel guests everywhere: BREAKFAST. I am recapping feedback and suggestions from hoteliers and restaurant managers who participated in some of my workshops.
FULL SERVICE HOTELS
- The competition from the Rooms Only Hotels in your marketplace is increasing and many of the mid scale chains provide complimentary breakfast. Providing an exceptional breakfast offering that makes potential guests decide to select your property is important.
- Breakfast is a chance to shine, as more guests and salespeople are viewing breakfast as an ideal time to “do” business, as well as the guests who are looking to start their day on a positive note. Hotel restaurants are frequently busier at breakfast than at other meals, unless your hotel is an upscale property with a high demand for business lunches. Shouldn’t your sales team show a restaurant that appears to be well used and popular?
- Time spent at breakfast is viewed by many as more useful than other meals, because all participants view this as a time for productive business for all parties. There is less likely to be quite as much warm-up banter, as everyone wants to get down to business.
- Breakfast at full service restaurants remains a best value, when compared to other meals. In challenging economies, this can be a deciding factor for hotel selection.
ROOMS ONLY HOTELS
- Many rooms’ only properties offer very attractive continental breakfasts. Managers and sales team can impress potential clients with a breakfast presentation that will be part of their guests’ stay.
- While many brands have clear guidelines, extra efforts in breakfast offerings have demonstrated returns for operators and satisfaction for guests.
- Remember that McDonalds’, Wendy’s, Subway and many other fast food restaurants recognized the value of breakfast in the last 5 to 15 years and turned formerly closed hours into periods of substantial profitability by meeting the needs of people who were looking for a quick, perceived value option for breakfast. For many family restaurants such as Denny’s or International House of Pancakes, breakfast remains their highest and most profitable volume period.
Participants who shared these observations also commented on several other high touch points in both full service and rooms only properties:
- Breakfast is the ideal time to interact with guests. General Managers can learn a great deal about the guest experience by chatting with guests and active listening.
- Sales staff can make excellent contacts at breakfast.
- Menus and food offerings should change, either with the season or by some other plan. Regular guests appreciate the basics, but also value some variety. Rotating decorations that complement food specials does not need cost a great deal, and the variety can motivate the staff as well.
The next segment of this blog topic will share best practices on staff responsiveness to a guest’s concern or complaint, which can decide a guest’s satisfaction and loyalty.
Feedback or ideas for future pieces are welcome -contact me at info@HoganHospitality.com
Blog of Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS 8.5.2010 HospitalityEducators.com, HoganHospitality.com
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.
 Principles for success – Understanding the Value and Power of Breakfast (two part series) and A Baker’s Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Restaurant Managers