Is your hotel breakfast an overlooked profit center?  - Insights
Insights

Is your hotel breakfast an overlooked profit center? 

Many hoteliers are surprised to discover the impact breakfast has on their property. Breakfast can be a profit center from brand recognition, search engine visibility, and increased turnover and profitability. 

Perhaps most surprising, it’s not the food itself, although that is important. It’s more the positive association guests make when they have a positive breakfast experience. Plus, because it’s one of the last impressions of your hotel, it’s what they carry away from their stay. 

Additionally, our research shows that most leisure travelers (or bleisure) stay at least two nights. They’re most likely to leave a review about their experience if they appreciate your breakfast service, as opposed to guests who stay just one night and don’t need/want to use the breakfast service. 

Such reviews boost your hotel’s online reputation and visibility. 

The graph below shows how guests use “breakfast included” as a primary search filter on OTAs. 

On a TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Breakfast survey, 91% of the guests interviewed said they prefer an in-hotel breakfast. Another 83% said they consider breakfast service a requisite for a positive hotel experience, and 65% said a hotel’s breakfast service affects whether or not they book with a property. 

“Breakfast included” and positive reviews can mean the difference between attracting new guests or not. It’s not just the OTAs, either. The Google algorithm notices positive guest reviews with “breakfast” mentioned, and it will showcase your property. 

You can see the positive reviews from the below Booking.com and Google screenshots. 

 

As you can see, guests mentioned the breakfast service and gave it a high rating. In the below graph you can see the “I’ll reserve” button is close to the “Your Choices” column where “wonderful breakfast” is prominently displayed.

Most hoteliers want to boost their property’s reputation and visibility, and that’s more than vanity. It ties directly to increased turnover and profitability. Revenue management principles ensure a path to doing this with an eye on maximizing year-round room revenue. 

As you can see, your hotel’s breakfast can impact your guest satisfaction more than you may have thought. Luckily, the breakfast service doesn’t have to be costly.

The paradigm shift of “Cost Investment Profit” is the key to understanding how breakfast can be a deciding factor for your development strategies.

Minor improvements can boost your hotel’s visibility  

In the internet age, every hotel is subject to the whims of its guests. Negative reviews require a well-considered response, and while it’s natural to have an unhappy guest on occasion, you want the positive reviews to outweigh the negative. 

When travelers look online for hotels, they compare price, location, appearance, reviews, and breakfast. Statistics show that 95% of people read online reviews. Not only do they read them, but if everything else is similar, a hotel with good reviews and good scores will attract guests. 

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. 

When you make your hotel’s breakfast service critical to your revenue management plan, you’ll want to make adjustments quickly. Where are the quick wins? In the graph below and your own Booking.com account, you can see areas for improvement. 

Revenue management methods incorporate many micro improvements across all the areas of your hotel. Often, the changes are easier than you think. 

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.

Quick summary

A positive breakfast experience can leave your guests feeling satisfied and happy. They remark on this in their review which boosts your visibility and increases occupancy even in low season. 

You’ll discover that even in the low season, you can maintain your visibility which feeds into your ADR (average daily rate) and conversion rate in the high season. As it turns out, breakfast is a significant meal indeed. 

Over the past 15 years, Franco Grasso Revenue Team has worked with around 2000 hotels. The 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.

Download the ebook for free and start making your hotel breakfast a profit center: Breakfast as a profit center

About the author

Massimiliano Terzulli is Revenue Management Strategist and International Business Developer for Franco Grasso Revenue Team. He’s helped hundreds of hospitality businesses achieve 20%+ yearly revenue growth in competitive business markets. With a decade of prior experience as hotelier, he’s managed every hotel sales aspect as well as front and back-office operations. From 3 and 4-star hotels to luxury resorts like Relais&Chateaux and Carnival cruise lines, he consistently excelled at controlling costs, ensuring quality and reputation, and maximizing profitability.    

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