Hotels ready to optimize drinks offer as summer approaches

With the summer season approaching, hotels are looking to revamp their offerings following a year of interrupted visitation

CGA’s Hotel Study report explores the significant impact of COVID-19 on the hotel channel, particularly across key hotel amenities (bars, restaurants, mini-bars) and traditional hotel earners, such as conferences and banqueting.  

 

Consumer research contained in the report also highlights key changes in the hotel visitor, including preferences, behaviors and expectations across visits and eating / drinking occasions in hotels.   

 

COVID-19 AND THE NEW HOTEL EXPERIENCE 

According to the report, 67% of all hotel users stated that COVID-19 will have or has had an impact on which hotels they consider staying in. This is echoed by the fact that 38% of consumers are likely to visit luxury hotels over the next 12 months, compared to only 29% of consumers typically visiting these hotels before COVID-19. This marked shift towards more premium hotels is likely due to the perceived level of cleanliness and attention given to COVID-19 secure practices.  

 

THE MENU STILL MATTERS 

Though safety and consumer trust are at the forefront, traditional factors in enticing the hotel visitor remain the same: coming closely behind cleanliness is the quality of food and drink options, with 43% citing it as ‘very important.’ Despite the challenges they face around logistics, sanitization and safe practices, the study highlights that hotels should not compromise on food and drink, as they still have a significant impact on consumer decision-making.  

 

OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP A STRONG DRINKS OFFERING  

With social distancing measures and some hotel bar / restaurant restrictions in place, the study also suggests that hotel visitors will increasingly use hotel amenities that require little to no human contact.   

 

These include the use of the grab-and-go kiosk (which 42% of users are using more than they did pre COVID-19), as well as room service (37%) and the mini bar (36%)–the top 3 amenity areas for increased use. For drinks suppliers (and hoteliers and chains), this suggests new opportunities to improve the drinks offering in these lesser developed areas.  

 

CHAIN SPECIFIC DATA TO AID HOTELS AND SUPPLIERS IN RECOVERY 

Based on a survey of 5,000 consumers, CGA’s Hotel Beverage Study drills down to banner-level specifics, including what drinks brands and categories consumers are drinking in 37 of the biggest hotel brands in the U.S. As a key factor in getting hotel visitors to return, the findings also reveal specifically how confident hotel visitors are in returning to each of these 37 chains as we head into the summer of 2021.   

 

For beverage suppliers, CGA’s unique insights around drinks brand consumption also reveal how aligned specific brand drinkers are with each hotel chain, empowering them with fact-based selling stories to keep and gain menu listings during a time when hotels are likely to be cutting back–or at least changing–their drinks assortment.  

 

Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director at CGA, says “As many major hotel chains now begin to adapt to the ‘next normal’ and start up RFPs again with major suppliers and distributors, we felt this was an appropriate time to look into what is truly going on in this important channel. With drink assortment being refined and often reduced in traditional consumption zones, such as bars and restaurants, a greater understanding of the opportunities in other areas (e.g. grab-and-go) is needed.   

 

“The channel is still facing stiff challenges with international and business travel still impacted, so hotel groups really need to understand what local and domestic visitors need from their stays – especially as they begin to book trips in for summer.  More than ever, hotel groups need robust evidence for the important assortment and pricing decisions they are making, and the suppliers who can offer these tailored, fact-based insights will be the winners now and beyond this challenging period.”  

 

For more information on CGA’s Hotel Beverage Study and to discuss your upcoming RFPs, please contact Matthew Crompton at Matthew.Crompton@cgastrategy.com 

 

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