With hotels focused on increasing revenue per available room (RevPAR), food and beverage (F&B) revenue is often an overlooked source of financial opportunity for properties.
Hotels and resorts can’t afford to ignore their F&B offerings, and successful properties invest in innovative technology solutions that expand their F&B reach and create new revenue streams to improve their bottom line.
As reported in a survey by the International Association of Conference Centers earlier this year, while location and price rank the highest to planners, a hotel’s F&B takes the third spot on their priority list during site selection. Today’s F&B solutions offer more choices to guests in terms of anytime access and flexibility in ordering, elevating their experience on property and further personalizing their stay, and help hotels optimize operational efficiency and retain their strongest employees.
1. Digital Menus
Digital menus can provide guests with a clear view of ingredients and nutritional information, and they can offer upsell opportunities for the hotel. Guests can easily make choices on dynamic menu boards updated in real-time. If the restaurant is out of a food item, it will not appear on the menu, and the property avoids disappointing the guest and wasting their time.
Many digital menu solutions allow users to create menus with supplied templates or create their own designs with high resolution images, dynamic pricing, and menus with auto-updates at scheduled times. Venues can program rotating menus and promotional prices or seasonal specials. Connecting the digital menus to the property’s F&B point-of-sale system on the back end ensures all prices and images are auto-updated so guests are viewing all selections, nutritional information, and pricing in real-time.
2. On-Demand Food and Beverage (F&B) Service
A guest-facing order-and-pay solution is a revenue stream that many properties are missing out on because they do not extend their F&B service beyond the walls of the restaurant. Through on-demand F&B service, guests can access menus from multiple food and beverage outlets across the hotel property, can conveniently pay via their mobile device, and have food ready for pickup or delivered wherever they are on property by scanning a location-specific QR code – whether in their room, by the pool, or in the spa. This extends the convenience of anytime ordering to meet the guest on their terms.
With the right F&B solutions partner, properties can improve operational efficiency. On-demand menus can be updated in real-time to avoid guests ordering items that are no longer available, and venues can be displayed or hidden on the solution to coincide with their operating hours. On-demand solutions help improve the level of service provided, as allowing the guest to order directly ensures order accuracy, the guest doesn’t have to wait for staff to take their order, and the order goes straight to the kitchen without delay. An on-demand solution can also recommend upsell items, increasing the average ticket.
3. Self-Service Kiosks
Self-service kiosks allow resorts to expand their service reach by providing F&B outlets and grab-n-go markets with a quick self-serve and self-pay option for guests. This technology has seen rapid adoption at grocery stores, and more recently, with unassisted bag drop at airports. For hotels, kiosks provide guests the freedom to browse menus at their convenience, from anywhere on property, without requiring staff interaction. This is especially appealing to guests where the control of self-service and moving quickly through lines is held in high regard.
4. Point of Sale (POS) with Mobile Functionality
While on-demand F&B service provides guests with a self-service option, mobile POS solution allows staff to take F&B service to guests who desire a more personal service experience. Resorts are finding
that mobile point-of-sale solutions for food and beverage service dramatically increases profitability by allowing staff to cover more tables in a shorter period, reducing staff stress, and allowing the resort to operate in situations with limited staff availability.
Through full POS functionality offered on a tablet, staff can offer F&B service to guests in areas like the pool deck, on the casino floor, in the spa, or in the lobby. Menus, ingredients, and specials are updated in real time, and orders go immediately from the tablet to the kitchen reducing errors. This is another opportunity where technology increases efficiencies yet also creates another high value interaction point with the guest.
5. Contactless Payment
Solutions that allow guests to scan a QR code on their food bill to pay their check or give them the option to pay on their mobile device are convenient and time-saving for guests and staff. Guests don’t have to wait for a server to return to process their credit card, providing the added security of ensuring the guest’s credit card always stays in their possession. Guests have now been conditioned to expect flexible payment options like contactless payments. As a result, properties have seen a rise in adoption especially within the last year.
6. Inventory and Procurement (I&P) Solution
One area that many hotel properties forget to prioritize is inventory and procurement. A large portion of a property’s operating costs are related to food purchases and optimizing how supply is managed on an ongoing basis. I&P solutions help staff manage and predict inventory needs, manage food costs, and limit food waste.
Why F&B is More Important than You Think
Aside from its impact on property revenue, hotel F&B is one area that can make an immediate impression on the guest, build loyalty, and affect the property’s reputation. Food experiences play a critical role in guest stays as can be witnessed on vacation social posts. A bad food experience, whether unavailable food choices, ingredients not being displayed, or poor service, can lead to negative reviews of a stay. Even if every other aspect exceeded guest expectations, a bad food experience can damage a property’s rating. This also plays an expanding role in terms of contribution to RevPAG.
F&B is also important for hotels focused on meetings and events business. According to the International Association of Conference Centers, “Accommodating guests’ dietary needs is a great opportunity for upselling. No attendee wants to forgo a meal because of an allergy or a food sensitivity, and rarely do they want to make a fuss about their dietary restrictions…Venues that can serve vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options will be more attractive to planners even if they are more expensive.”
Properties can’t afford to ignore the importance of F&B in driving loyalty and ongoing hotel revenue. When they provide a variety of F&B offerings delivered through innovative technology tailored perfectly to a guest’s preferences, properties see an increase in spend and a positive impact on the guest experience.
Hotels that offer guests the ability to choose how they want to order food – whether face-to-face with their favorite server in a fine dining restaurant or delivered to their cabana at the pool – will see a direct increase in F&B revenue and better reviews for the property and in the form of tips to their servers.
These properties are retaining their best team members, they are extending the reach of service to capture more orders, they are better managing their food and labor costs due to improved operational efficiency, and helping to forge a lasting bond with guests who receive an exceptional experience through their food and beverage interactions.
Agilysys is well known for its long heritage of hospitality-focused technology innovation. The Company delivers modular and integrated software solutions and expertise to businesses seeking to maximize Return on Experience (ROE) through hospitality encounters that are both personal and profitable. Over time, customers achieve High Return Hospitality by consistently delighting guests, retaining staff and growing margins. Customers around the world include: branded and independent hotels; multi-amenity resort properties; casinos; property, hotel and resort management companies; cruise lines; corporate dining providers; higher education campus dining providers; food service management companies; hospitals; lifestyle communities; senior living facilities; stadiums; and theme parks. The Agilysys Hospitality Cloud™ combines core operational systems for property management (PMS), point of sale (POS) and inventory and procurement (I&P) with Experience Enhancers™ that meaningfully improve interactions for guests and for employees across dimensions such as digital access, mobile convenience, self-service control, personal choice, payment options, service coverage and real-time insights to improve decisions. Core solutions and Experience Enhancers are selectively combined in Hospitality Solution Studios™ tailored to specific hospitality settings and business needs. Agilysys operates across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information visit Agilysys.com