Is Your Hotel Bar & Restaurant Missing The Non Hotel Guest Opportunity?
Strategic Bar Solutions (SBS) travels the United States visiting hundreds of hotels performing F&B Assessments. The goal of these visits are to bring an experienced bar business eye to a hotel bar situation and deliver feedback to property GM’s and F&B leaders. Every property situation turns out to be different. Opportunities are not consistent and the strategy to go after an opportunity is often driven by the specifics of a local situation. We don’t look at blowing everything up and starting from scratch. We aren’t fixated on creating perfect cocktails and the world’s best flatbread. We focus on spotlighting available chess moves that will move F&B revenues up and costs down. One chess move we continuously find that makes sense for F&B within the hotel is the execution of an inbound marketing strategy. The need for executing a bar inbound marketing program is dictated by two factors:
- Its tough to compete against all of the bar options in your local market, but Living Room concept bars are proving to not only be preferred by your hotel guests, they are a unique and preferred choice of a lot of potential local and transient customers.
- Hotel marketing programs are often world class, but the bar in the end is just an amenity. When you have a bar and a market situation which can pull in nonhotel guests, the lack of inbound marketing limits the connect potential with a customer constituency that could double your F&B revenues.
- The driver for hotel marketing programs is – more hotel guests (rooms). The industry is focused on Occupancy and ADR growth. The goal of the bar marketing program is to highlight the bar as a great amenity in the effort to win the customer as a hotel guest. There is nothing wrong with that strategy. But a bar marketing program has to also live on its own, outside the hotel marketing program and have its own digital identity. Yet because it is still an amenity, the program has to be executed in sync with overall identity standards. When property teams try to run their own social media programs for the bar, corporate marketing teams are driven crazy because of the standards conflicts and quality issues. This leads to a zero tolerance for independent local marketing programs.
- The kind of outreach messaging and targeting that you need to build a non hotel guest bar connection, is very different then what works to chase a hotel guest. In addition, a bar digital marketing program is very different than a restaurant focused program. A program that effectively supports a great concept restaurant with its own identity, will not work when you go after a Living Room bar customer. And you can’t turn to the promoter world that works in high volume active lounge / nightclub situations to drive customers into the venue, because a Living Room bar is not a nightclub. You need a unique program executed by experts who understand the business development environment in hotel bars.
- Inbound marketing programs for hotel bars require work to be done. And there are no resources standing around in lean hotel management teams to take on that responsibility. In addition the key to success in any inbound marketing program is delivering quality content that is effectively distributed. It’s not just about making Facebook posts like you do on your personal Facebook page. Corporate marketing teams are often fully consumed by the overall Hotel brand marketing objective. You need a partner who can execute locally with quality and who can stay in formation with the corporate marketing effort.
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