The Hidden Profit Potential of the Hotel Breakfast
Hoteliers spend a lot of time training hotel staff and ensuring their property is clean and welcoming. But when it comes to maximizing profits, breakfast can be an overlooked revenue booster.
Because your guests use “breakfast included” as a primary search filter. If your hotel relies on OTA search traffic, you want to increase your opportunities for getting found. One of those is offering breakfast included and displaying it prominently.
Revenue management is the science of raising your hotel’s brand reputation and visibility to maximize room revenue year-round.
Part of that methodology is breakfast as a profit center. From setting to service, you’ll see ways to make small changes to your breakfast service that greatly impact your guests and your hotel’s reputation.
For instance, TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Breakfast surveyed guest habits. 91% of the guests interviewed said they prefer an in-hotel breakfast. Another 83% said breakfast service is essential for a positive hotel experience, and 65% said they chose the hotel based on breakfast service.
Such numbers show breakfast is the most important meal of the day in more than a nutritional sense. Below you can see the popular OTA search filters.
“Breakfast included” can make a big impact on your hotel’s OTA visibility along with budget and reputation. Google also pays attention to “breakfast” because it knows that budget, breakfast service, and customer reviews are important to hotel guests. The Otas’ and Google algorithm will favor your property if your property boasts great recent reviews and a good breakfast option.
More visibility can pay off in more bookings.
Booking.com even places the information on the score and quality of breakfast in close contact with the button “I’ll reserve.” Such a choice further demonstrates the importance of breakfast in the mind of the guest. Its presence can encourage the user to reserve.
Guests come to a hotel for many reasons. Some are logistical, they’re away from home and need a clean and comfortable room. Others are joining a wedding party or family gathering. No matter the reason for traveling nor their budgetary concerns, breakfast leaves a lasting imprint on the guest.
When you think of the impact of breakfast, it’s an investment in the reputation and visibility of the hotel. By now, you understand the paradigm shift of “Cost ➝ Investment ➝ Profit” is the key to understanding how breakfast can be a deciding factor for your development strategies.
If you read hotel reviews, you’ll see more than half refer to breakfast and/or to the hotel restaurant. The breakfast experience for guests indirectly impacts the overall score due to the algorithm ratings.
If the breakfast service is a deciding factor in attracting guests, it deserves your attention.
This meal is one of the guest’s last impressions of your hotel. As in the first impression, it’s critical this experience must be positive. That way, the guest leaves feeling positive about their experience at your hotel even if they’d experienced something unpleasant earlier in their stay.
How Hotel Breakfast Impacts Your Property’s Reputation
When you think of how people travel in the internet age, you know they’re searching online and reading the reviews of previous guests.
If the potential guest is comparing similar hotels, they’ll lean on the positive reviews and higher score. Most will pay a few euros more for the higher-rated hotel.
This applies to hotels at every level. The hotels with the higher ranking will attract more guests.
You probably already realize the importance of online reviews. Statistics show that 95% of people read online reviews and use them to guide their decision-making. OTAs use the breakfast included service as an essential parameter, as you saw above.
You don’t have to offer a lavish breakfast to make a difference. In our eBook, Breakfast as a Profit Center, we dive into tailoring your options for your guests and keeping breakfast simple yet satisfying.
For example, most guests who care about breakfast are leisure (or bleisure) guests who stay at least two nights. These are the same types of guests who are most likely to leave reviews too, as opposed to guests who stay just one night and don’t need to use the breakfast service. Positive breakfast experiences often translate into positive, upbeat reviews that encourage others to book.
As you’ve seen, strong reviews are critical to your hotel’s online visibility. Yet, you need both quality, quantity, and recency to gain the highest online rankings. Therefore, it’s nearly always preferable to prioritize the room sale with breakfast included to (b)leisure travelers in your revenue management strategy. They’re the ones most likely to appreciate it and leave a positive review, which boosts online visibility and, therefore, new bookings.
Now that you know breakfast is an essential part of your revenue management plan, you’ll want to know how you can improve yours. In the graphs below, Booking.com offers guidance.
Hoteliers serious about revenue management know small improvements stacked across categories can make a big difference to your guest’s experience and bottom line. It’s also helpful to have input from revenue management experts.
Over the past 15 years, Franco Grasso Revenue Team has worked with around 2000 hotels. Our research shows a strong breakfast service combined with revenue management methodology and dynamic pricing pays off in a strong brand reputation.
In turn, the property enjoys greater profitability.
Even smaller properties that don’t have proper spaces to serve breakfast could alternatively consider the opportunity to collaborate with nearby operators (as long as reputable and in close proximity) and take advantage of this enhanced visibility provided by OTAs filters.
For hoteliers who want to improve their property’s revenue, you can see why breakfast should be more than an afterthought.
Those who improve their breakfast service can help their hotel be the obvious choice for travelers choosing between hotels of similar quality, location, and price. A positive breakfast experience leads to more positive reviews and boosts the hotel’s visibility.
Revenue managers recognize such visibility boosts occupancy in the low season and ADR (average daily rate) in the high season. In other words, improving the breakfast experience can make for higher profits.
Download our ebook for free and start making your hotel breakfast a profit center: