The Hotel Hunger Games: Building a Winning Digital Food & Beverage Strategy

On average, the Food & Beverage department is the second leading contributor to total revenue in any full-service hotel, although a number of limited-service hotels are expanding F&B offerings and seeing revenue intake as well.

Mobile technology is being applied for various purposes in the hospitality industry, and many hotels are beginning to incorporate it into F&B strategies as well.

The potential benefit to revenue is significant. Research shows that consumers tend to spend more money when making purchases on mobile devices, particularly in-room tablets. Studies at various restaurants have shown that providing consumers with the ability to view a menu and make orders on tablets increases total orders, the amount of tip left behind, and dessert sales.

“I think our impulse levels might be a little harder to control when we’re tablet shopping,” said Boston College researcher S. Adam Brasel.

For example, after installing in-room tablets for guests to order room service, Philadelphia’s The Inn at Penn reported a 12-percent increase in average room service orders and a 10-percent increase in room service usage.

Here are some ways you can capitalize on mobile technology and related systems to improve your F&B strategy and increase revenue.

Streamline F&B operations

Mobile technology provides guests with the convenience of full access to all information they need, such as restaurant locations and menus, as well as the ability to place orders or make reservations through a device. Hoteliers can integrate mobile with other systems, such as point-of-sale, in order to have all information collected in one location for easy review. By going digital rather than relying on manual processes, you can also improve turnaround time, decrease service response delays, and eliminate order errors.

Improve inventory management

Using digital systems to track F&B sales offers an opportunity for better insight into guest behavior, such as which menu items are most popular, the various factors impacting demand, and more. This is useful for developing a comprehensive yield-management plan with more reliable forecasts that allow you to alter inventory as needed to meet demand.

Quickly update menus

In the past, updating menus could be a tedious process that required costly reprints. Technology provides the ability to make immediate adjustments to digital menus, including available items and pricing while saving money on printing. Proactively monitoring F&B activity also makes for efficient revenue management as hoteliers can immediately respond to shifts in demand and supply.

Take advantage of mobile advertising

Mobile advertising is growing in popularity, accounting for more than half of all digital spending in 2015. One of the main reasons for this is that adults spend a significant portion of their day using mobile devices, so it’s a perfect place for brands to enjoy direct visibility. Promoting various F&B services and offerings through mobile, whether through in-app banner advertisements or push notifications, is a great way to get information directly in front of guests and should be included in any hotel’s F&B marketing plan.

For more information about the benefits of technology to not only F&B but all departments in a hotel, please take a look at our hospitality technology platform. Ready to find out how the INTELITY platform can help you increase guest engagement, maximize revenue, and streamline your operation efficiencies, schedule a demo with a member of our team today.