Increase your room revenue by 30% through savvy guest amenity choices, by Liz Snowball, Consumables Buyer at Beacon.
Underestimate the impact of guest amenities at your peril. At Beacon we have positive, firsthand experience of the role guest amenities can play on revenue and why it is so important for a brand to get them right.
At Beacon we were involved with a number of Best Western hotels trialling a premium room offering, which included enhanced guest amenities. The pilot scheme which is still running has demonstrated some incredible results.
The hotels, which are currently part of the pilot, are seeing an increase in revenue for their upgraded rooms of 30% month-on-month vs. an increase of 17% for non-pilot hotels. A key part of the programme is the use of better quality guest amenities and choosing an appropriate brand of toiletries. Although toiletries are just one part of a room offering, they are an important decision to make, and hoteliers must remember that these finishing touches are often the key to increasing room rates, and therefore profitability.
The impact of having the right brand in the bathroom can have a reflective impact on the guest’s experience and expectations.
There are many choices available to hoteliers when it comes to choosing a brand for their guest amenities – current trends are moving away from personalised soaps and toiletries, to the use of consumer facing brand names such as Clarins and Molton Brown. We work with a number of suppliers that offer more luxurious products for the hotelier looking to treat its guest to a premium experience. Gilchrist & Soames, for example offers the London collection, and we worked with them to create and launch a smaller tube option, as suppliers have recognised and amended their offer to suit the wide-ranging requirements of hoteliers and guests today. Guest expectations extend to the bathroom; they do not end at the bar, bedroom, the restaurant or the standard of the public areas.
We know from our customers that hotel guests check the bathroom as a priority when checking in, and this is where the hotel can really make an initial impact. A high-quality brand of toiletries will instantly make guests feel pampered and appreciated. We would therefore encourage hoteliers to explore the ways they can advertise their choice of guest amenities in their promotional materials – a well-known brand may well be a differentiator between hotels and a cost-effective upgrade an hotelier can make. As it can be a differentiator, it is also important for hoteliers to be aware of their competitors’ choices, as we know of certain brands that will not permit two hotels within a geographical region to both stock their products.
Taking this into account, choosing the right brand for your hotel is essential, and if a premium product isn’t the right fit for your property, it’s important to consider the options for a brand that is. An indicator of how crucial this decision is, is that there are examples of inspectors denying the use of a brand as it was not in keeping with the hotel’s desired star rating and refusing entry into a hotel’s brand due to their choice of toiletries brand, - clearly this is a topic that cannot be overlooked. Bearing this in mind, hoteliers should consider upgrading amenities, in line with ongoing refurbishment or choose different brands dependent on room type, for example they may offer additional products in a suite vs. a standard room or a spa brand in a spa suite.
One of Beacon’s key suppliers, Aslotel is seeing particular success with spa branded items, which offer a superior feel for guests, so this can be a good option to differentiate room types, and therefore room rates. We are also seeing a continued trend for eco-friendly and green products including airless dispenser systems to appeal to more environmentally minded guests. This can often be overlooked, but the trend towards natural plant-based products is definitely here to stay, as people become more conscious of the ingredients used within guest amenities.
The choice of guest amenities completes the guest experience and compliments other amenities that the hotel provides, so it’s important to offer a top quality guest amenity line if you are offering a luxury service throughout the hotel. We’ve seen that when hoteliers consider their selection of guest amenities carefully, the results can be rewarding in terms of revenue, so we would urge all hoteliers to consider this an important area of their ongoing purchasing strategy.