Keeping up with the ever-changing F&B trends all while keeping an eye on your profit can feel like a huge challenge. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, the answer is yes!
Read on to discover why following new F&B trends is good for your bottom line and which new tendencies you should embrace at your hotel.
The role of F&B in boosting your sales
Aggregated data on upselling sales shows that F&B offers are some of the most powerful ancillary revenue drivers. Top deals include discounted breakfast which, on average, brings in 29% of total upselling revenue. Dinner reservations take second place with a 15% share in total upselling income.
If you want to start leveraging the popularity of food and drink-related offers, check out the trends listed below to inspire your high-converting F&B deals.
1. An ongoing concern for hygiene
Stringent hygiene measures were a must during the pandemic. But even as rules are relaxed now, many guests still want to know you’re taking cleanliness and safety seriously. Simple steps can go a long way here. For example, keep your hand sanitiser stations around and maintain distance between tables. Set up air purifiers or air out your venue regularly. And if you’re offering a buffet, set up shields for the food, use hands-free dispensers where possible and change the service utensils regularly.
2. Rethinking the buffet
After reopening, many hotels began moving away from self-service buffets. Consider options like letting staff serve your diners on the buffet line instead. Pre-portioned, packed and sealed items or made-to-order dishes are also a possibility – think live cooking stations.
3. Increased demand for outdoor dining
With the lockdowns still fresh in people’s memories, the demand for outdoor seating is skyrocketing. It’s also a safer dining option because distancing protocols are easier to implement, and ventilation is always guaranteed. If you can, do up your outdoor space to attract guests looking for an al fresco table. Feel free to get creative and offer a unique and fun experience. Putting in a little extra effort will also give you a leg up on your competitors.
If your location is prone to bad or chilly weather, consider options like individual greenhouses, transparent tents or a covered pergola. The options here are endless, and with a bit of originality, you can create an outdoor space your guests will remember fondly.
4. Simplified menus for more efficiency
If you’re struggling with staff shortages in your F&B department, streamlining your menus can unburden your team. Trim down the number of dishes you offer during peak times or for take-out. Switch to a smaller, seasonal menu that changes weekly or monthly. That way, repeat guests see new dishes, and you can concentrate on a few select specialities. On top of saving you time, this can even help you reduce costs by cutting food waste.
5. Longing for authentic, local dining experiences
During the lockdown, many people began dabbling in the culinary arts and decided to hone their skills in this area. Since more travellers are now familiar with making standard dishes at home, they’re more curious about new and uncommon foods while travelling.
Here’s how you can scratch that itch at your hotel and provide a unique, locally inspired experience:
- Feature local chefs and their signature dishes
- Encourage your chefs to test new recipes
- Focus on local, seasonal ingredients and dishes
- Put a new spin on traditional foods.
6. Get on the healthy food train
While the popularity of comfort foods soared during the stressful lockdown times, things are swinging the other way now. People are keen on healthy food both at home and while they’re on the road. Adapt to this trend by including a few lighter, healthier items in your menu. To keep things simple, you could offer different versions of your staple dishes. For example, give guests a choice between burger buns and lettuce leaves, meat and plant-based patties, fries and salad as a side.
7. A good breakfast goes a long way
Tasty food is the way to your guests’ hearts – especially a solid breakfast. According to a new Google survey, breakfast is the most anticipated experience at the hotel for 42.4% of travellers.
That gives you a fantastic chance to wow them and even encourage them to try some of your other venues. Unfortunately, staunch competition from surrounding cafés, bakeries or grab-and-go outlets can make this difficult. Make your breakfast irresistible by offering the staples (e.g. bakery items, eggs, bacon, fruit, etc.) as well as some more inventive options. This can include fun items like breakfast parfaits or healthy options like superfood bowls or smoothies.
Take it a step further with a well-rounded all-day breakfast menu or even breakfast in bed deal.
8. Sustainability remains vital
Sustainability is steadily becoming more important to travellers everywhere. For F&B venues, this means sourcing produce locally, offering more plant-based options and cutting waste as much as possible. Replacing single-use plastics (e.g. straws, cups, take-out containers, etc.) with reusable or recyclable products is also a way to show that you’re doing your part to make hospitality greener and reduce your environmental impact.
How to realise your F&B department’s full potential
While many of these trends emerged or developed more quickly due to the pandemic, most of them are here to stay because they improve the guest experience. Adopt them as best you can to show clients you understand their needs. That will keep them coming back and help you drive more revenue in the long run.
If you’re looking for more ideas on F&B-related upsell deals, explore these ready-to-use upsell templates. They include everything from holiday-themed offers and classic bestsellers to room service ideas and creative treats.
As you come up with new deals to offer, always keep one thing in mind. The better they can provide a unique and memorable experience, the more your guests will book, enjoy and rave about them.
And that paves the way to an even more successful F&B department that lives up to its full potential.