Top 10 Ways To Drive Direct Bookings in 2019

By Stuart Butler Chief Operating Officer, Fuel Travel | June 23, 2019

For more than a decade, the lodging industry has enjoyed tremendous and continuous growth. For many properties, RevPar and ADR are at record highs, and yet, profitability hasn't always followed suit. With the onset of digital, the complexities and choices of how and where to invest marketing dollars have encouraged some to sacrifice their margins by taking the easy route and simply relying more and more on OTAs.

I get it, I really do. OTAs offer a very simple and attractive solution to a not so simple problem. They are equivalent to turning on a faucet and you are all but guaranteed that you'll see a steady stream of bookings. So, where's the issue?

Well, what happens in the very near future, when we see another economic downturn and we experience a significant drop in demand? Those properties that are over-reliant on OTAs today will face a battle for their very survival. You see, OTAs really started coming into the picture in a meaningful way in the previous economic downturns, when properties could no longer generate enough demand on their own. In these instances, properties used the OTAs to supplement the business that they already had. It was supposed to be more of an "in case of emergency, break glass" type strategy. It was never meant to be THE strategy.

Fast forward to today and many in our industry have become lazy. It's not uncommon for properties to be 50%+ reliant on OTAs, and in extreme cases, I've seen properties who are in a 90%+ situation. So, where will these properties turn when the demand drops?

The problem is that many properties have settled for their existing share of the pie and they are happy to pay 20% of their revenue to a third party to maintain that comfort level as opposed to working harder and smarter now in order to afford themselves protection at a later date. OTAs were supposed to be an insurance policy - somewhere that a property will be able to turn to in their hour of need. Instead, the OTAs have become the single largest source of business and there's not going to be an effective way to turn the faucet to increase the flow come the hour of need.

The brutal truth is that OTAs don't care about your property; they don't even care about your destination. They just care about the customer, which is precisely why they've been able to gain such a massive chokehold in the market. To me, this is the scariest part of this whole mess. The OTAs own the hearts and minds of the guest. Despite not controlling the most important part of the travel journey, they have focused on owning the aspiring, planning, booking, remembering, and sharing phases. Leaving hotels to worry about the actual stay, without having a meaningful relationship with the guest at all. This is the secret to their success. The OTAs own the relationship.

The good news is that you can do the same. Instead of thinking about marketing as an ever-increasing checklist of things to do and places to spend money, start thinking about who your guest is and what they want. Then, come up with a plan on how to give it to them. Below are 10 things you should be doing right now that will have a measurable impact on reducing your reliance on OTAs and strengthen your properties resilience ahead of the next economic downturn:

1. Have a Super-Fast Mobile-Friendly Website

OTAs have invested millions over the years in creating the perfect mouse-trap. They work hard with their advertising to drive visitors to their website, and they work harder to ensure that the guest gets a great shopping experience when they arrive on the site. They are constantly running tests on their user interface, and they have been faster than most hotels when it comes to adapting to changes in consumer behavior. We are now in a mobile-first world. Many of my own clients here at Fuel have seen more than 50% of all website traffic coming from mobile devices for some time now.

Within the past year, we're also seeing that for more than a dozen properties using our mobile-friendly booking engine, that bookings on mobile are outpacing desktop. Yes, you read that right. We have clients that are getting more bookings via a mobile phone than they are via desktop. It is possible; you just need to work hard to get there.

As an industry, the lack of investment in a great website experience is costing us millions in lost opportunity. Guests want things to be easy and instant. The testing that we've done shows that shaving just a few seconds off of your load time increases overall conversion rate. Not to mention the fact that it will also help your search engine ranking. So, why, when hoteliers shop for a new website, do they focus on keeping it cheap and getting it done quickly. If you spent more money on your signage than you did on your website, you're doing it wrong.

Also, if your guests are looking at your site on their mobile device, you should be too. Stop editing and proofing your site solely on your desktop or laptop and get in the habit of looking at your site on your mobile phone and regularly go through the entire shopping experience with the mindset of a guest.

2. Make Sure Your Booking Engine Doesn't Let You Down

For those properties that did spend the time and the appropriate budget on creating a great website experience, it's important that the same experience continues through the entire booking process. Is your current booking engine built from the ground-up to maximize mobile bookings? If you're using one of the big two booking engine providers, then probably not. Some simple rules to follow for your booking engine:

  • It should be fully responsive and not offer a different experience between mobile and desktop
  • The look and feel, including the navigation, should be identical to the rest of the site and should not appear like a bad facsimile
  • The engine should absolutely NOT open in a new tab
  • The user interface should be clear, logical, and have large call-to-action buttons
  • The total number of clicks from start to booking should be kept to an absolute minimum

If your current booking engine doesn't do all of the above, then it may be time to start looking for a new provider. When the guest jumps between your site and the OTA site, the ease of booking is going to play a considerable role in their decision making process. This is why Fuel spent an inordinate amount of time testing and refining the mobile experience on our booking engine product.

3. Use Psychology to "Nudge" the Guest to Book

It may not be news to anyone, but people can be influenced and persuaded. Advertisers influence us every single day and persuade us to buy their product instead of someone else's. During the shopping and booking experience, your potential guest is getting inundated with new information with every click they make. Your job is to ensure that you're putting your best foot forward and encouraging the guest to pick you and to do so by booking on your own website as opposed to via a third-party.

Booking.com is the epitome of what I'm talking about. When you search their site, there are so many subtle (and not so subtle) psychological hacks that influence the guest's decision making process. They use the concept of Social Proof, by saying things like "25 other people have booked this room within the past 24 hours." They play on people's fear of missing out by showing "Only 2 rooms left," and they double down on this by also showing the property that already sold out a few minutes ago. Another tactic they throw at the unsuspecting guest is the power of reassurance. By telling guests that there's no deposit, or that they can cancel at any time, they take some of the barrier to book out of the way.

Hotels should absolutely copy this approach on their own website. Each time you remove a barrier or you offer a helpful nudge to encourage the guest to book, you're reducing the chance of the guest leaving your website and going to book on an OTA site.

4. Offer Incentives to Book Direct and Make Sure They are Visible

Give people a reason to want to book direct. There's no limit to the incentives you can throw at them because you control the stay. While folks like Marriott offer discounted member rates, there are other tangible things that you can offer to direct bookers:

  • Free or faster Wi-FI
  • Free or discounted breakfast
  • Free or discounted parking
  • Discounts to future stays
  • Discounts or exclusive offers to on-property food and beverages
  • Early check-in or late check-out
  • Room upgrades
  • Welcome Basket
  • Access to exclusive events

While some of these incentives may cost you a little, they all increase the guest satisfaction, which will lead to higher review scores and more repeat business. Considering the fact that you're probably paying around 20% to OTAs, budgeting 5-10% of the room revenue toward giving incentives to your guest makes short-term and long-term sense.

Once you've determined what it is you will offer, it's imperative that the guest knows about it. The messaging should be clear and should appear front and center on your website and throughout all of your advertising. It should also appear throughout the booking process. Don't be afraid to use popups and slideouts to draw attention to it. While you may think that these tactics will potentially alienate the guest, the data says that they work.

5. Answer ALL of the Questions the Guest May Have

One of the biggest reasons that guests don't complete the booking process is because they have doubts or unanswered questions. Those questions could pertain to pricing, fee breakdowns, cancellation policies, amenities, location, room layouts, accessibility, check-in process, sheet thread count … the list goes on. The point is that you should anticipate and address as many of these questions and concerns as possible by communicating with your reservation staff. The questions that guests have will manifest in some of the phone calls your staff receive.

Over time, you can leverage this information to build out robust content and place it in the appropriate locations throughout your website. You should also make this content findable by having a prominent keyword search within the header of the site. This will also give you valuable data as to what guests are searching for.

Finally, in addition to having a prominent phone number on the site, with knowledgeable staff answering the calls, you should also consider the addition of a live chat feature for those guests who prefer typing over talking.

6. Develop an Email Strategy that Doesn't Rely on Spray-and-Pray

If done correctly, email is still the single most efficient method of communicating with your guest. The reason that it has such a bad rap is because the vast majority of marketers have been doing it wrong and have ruined it for the rest of us. The key is to approach email from the guest's perspective, not your own. It's not something you turn to by blasting out to the entire database when your weekend is looking soft. Instead, treat every single guest on the list as an individual - with individual interests, behaviors, and needs.

A good email relationship begins the same way any relationship begins. You have to offer value and build trust. Start by being up front about what types of content you can provide and ask the guest which of these they may be interested in. Be clear and upfront about what you'll be sending and when you'll be sending it in order to set expectations, and then be sure to meet those expectations. Don't ever fall into the trap of sacrificing the long-term relationship for short term gain.

The other piece of advice I give my clients is to focus on helping your guest as opposed to selling to them. Offer content that is relevant and valuable. If a guest stayed with you in order to attend a specific concert or event last year, provide them with information when that event or artist comes back in to town. If you're a seasonal destination that sees a lot of repeat business, perhaps you can trigger a personalized message to them 30 days prior to the day they booked the previous year and show them the rates for the same room they stayed in for similar dates this year, along with an events calendar for that same time period. To make it even more effective, collect their feedback or their photos from the first trip and include that in the message.

If you're not already doing it, you should also send emails to the guest prior to arrival with helpful information about the check-in process, what to expect, where to park, what's going on in the nearby vicinity, etc. This is a great way to start building the relationship and to ensure that the guest has a great stay.

7. Push the OTAs Out of the Way on the Channels They are Hijacking

One question I often get asked is whether or not a property should bid on its own brand keywords on Google and Bing. In most cases, my answer is an emphatic "Yes!" In fact, I would go as far as to say that you should allocate a part of your advertising budget to anywhere that the OTAs have a presence. This includes Google and Bing Ads, META searches, Trip Advisor, Google Hotel Ads, etc. You want to make sure that not only is your property visible, but that you have the greatest chance to capture that booking yourself by outbidding the OTAs or optimizing your ad to appear above theirs. This is the approach that we use for our clients at Fuel and it's been effective at driving OTA reliance down to below 10% in some cases.

In addition, look for places that the OTAs don't appear, such as local CVB or chamber websites, locally owned destination portal sites, and smaller blogs and niche sites. If your area doesn't have these kinds of sites, perhaps you could form a co-op with other local properties instead. Being findable in as many corners of the web as possible is key to self-reliance. The advantage that the OTAs have is that they appear to consumers high in the funnel because they can rank for broad keywords such as "Hotels in Austin." Find other, non-OTA, sites that rank for relevant keywords and ensure that you have a presence.

8. Limit What You Give the OTAs Based on Seasonality

There's no rule that says that you have to have the same strategy for the OTAs year-round. There's no exact science to this, but I encourage you to be selective about what inventory you push out to the OTAs during your busier periods. Part of the value of the OTAs is that they help your property get found by people who haven't stayed with you before. So, as long as your property is showing in the results, there's a chance that the guest will visit your site. Our data suggest that the majority of consumers who use an OTA will also visit the property website before finalizing the booking. If you're following the advice above, you have a good shot at converting the guest when they do. Therefore, pushing out limited inventory, or only specific room types to the OTAs can work just as well for peak times as pushing out all of your inventory.

9. Train Your Staff So That They Can Be Soldiers in the Fight

This may be the most important item on this list. Having your staff involved in driving more direct bookings will likely have a bigger impact than anything else we've already discussed. When someone calls you, having that staff member be helpful and answering questions is great, but having them be knowledgeable about the incentives for booking direct and communicating them effectively to the guest can make all the difference. Sometimes, just letting the guests know that if they book directly with the property as opposed to through a third-party that it helps the property is enough, but when you make the pot sweeter by showing the guest the benefits, you go a long way to keeping the booking.

Also, training the front desk staff to thank guests for booking direct and fulfilling the promise of incentives will reinforce that behavior and ensure that they do the same next time. For those that did not book direct, have the front desk staff collect the email address of that guest and educate them on the value of booking direct next time. Getting the email address will allow you to nurture the relationship and reinforce the benefit of booking direct in future.

By informing the guest of the value of booking direct, you could possibly create some animosity, so consider going out of your way to offer them the same incentive the first time they book through a third-party but informing them that they will need to book direct next time in order to enjoy the same benefits.

If you want to take it a step further, you could really celebrate those guests that booked direct by giving them something that differentiates them to all staff members. This could be a different colored pool bracelet or some kind of sticker that you give out to the kids. Then train your staff to acknowledge and thank these VIPs for booking direct. This would make them feel extra special and would encourage them to do the same next time.

10. Nurture the Relationship with Every Guest

You should use every possible opportunity you can to interact with your guests on a personal level. Certainly, while they are on property, you should make them feel special and ensure that each and every interaction is one that enhances and solidifies the relationship. Simple things like having the staff smile and acknowledge the guest when they walk by, using the guest's name whenever possible, or giving the guest's children fist bumps will generally make people enjoy their stay a little more but won't necessarily impact whether the guest books direct next time. So, what about when the guest is not on property? How can you continue to build the relationship and encourage direct bookings?

 An often overlooked tactic is to train your reservation staff to make outbound calls to folks who called but didn't book. If a potential guest calls your reservationists but chooses not to book at that time, before they hang up and have the freedom to go book somewhere else, ask them if it would be OK to check back in with them in a day or so. Most people will be OK with this and it builds a stronger bond between the guest and your property. Then, ensure that the same person who originally took the call is the one to make the outbound call.

You can extend this beyond the current booking journey. Provide your reservationists with a daily list of guests who stayed with your property the previous year and booked through an OTA. Have your staff call these people 15-30 days prior to the anniversary of their booking date for the previous stay and offer them an additional incentive to come stay with you again.

The communication doesn't have to be limited to those folks who are in the booking cycle. You can also nurture the relationship after the stay. A simple phone call to every guest who stayed with you, thanking them for their business would be a very nice touch. It can be even more effective if that conversation included an offer for them to receive an incentive toward a future stay if they book direct next time they are in town.

In conclusion

We are living in a time where everything (relatively speaking) is going well for the hospitality industry, but that won't always be the case. Now is the time that you and your staff should be working harder and smarter than the competition to ensure that you are self-reliant and that you have an emergency button in the form of the OTAs when things get a little leaner.

Yes, It may take a little more effort and it may cost you a little more money in the short term, but it's easier to do it now than it will be during the next economic downturn. And it's a lot cheaper and less risky in the long run than being beholden to the OTAs.

Mr. Butler Stuart Butler is the Chief Operating Officer at Fuel Travel, a full-service agency and software provider for the hospitality industry. A native of Horsmonden, England, Mr. Butler moved to the United States in 2001 and has spent the past 18 years implementing technology and overseeing marketing strategies for hundreds of hotels worldwide. With a degree in Physics with Space Science and Systems from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a background as a Coldfusion programmer and project manager, Mr. Butler leverages cutting-edge technology and takes a solutions-minded and innovative approach to everyday marketing challenges. He is also a keynote speaker, a co-host on HSMAI's This Week in Hospitality Digital Marketing show, and has published more than 100 episodes of the industry's #1 weekly marketing podcast - The Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast. On the podcast, Mr. Butler and his team of Fueligans discuss industry trends and provide tangible marketing advice. Stuart Butler can be contacted at 843-848-2164 or stuart@fueltravel.com Please visit http://www.fueltravel.com for more information. Extended Biography

HotelExecutive retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.

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We have provided opportunities for you to contribute Content to our Site. It is our policy, however, not to allow any Content which may constitute intellectual property infringement; violations of federal, state, or local law; obscene or defamatory material, or may otherwise be unacceptable or inappropriate. Upon learning of such Content, we will attempt, and you hereby give HotelExecutive the right, to delete, edit, remove, disable, change, or restrict access to or the availability of the Content, which in our sole discretion, is otherwise unacceptable or objectionable. We may or may not notify you about what action we take with respect to the disputed Content. The provisions of this section are intended to implement this policy but are not in any way intended to impose a contractual obligation upon us to undertake, or refrain from undertaking, any particular course of conduct.

B. Complaint Procedures

If you believe that another user or other third party has posted Content which violates this policy or specifically the USE RESTRICTIONS in Section 3 above, you may notify HotelExecutive via e-mail at editor@HotelExecutive . In order to allow HotelExecutive to respond effectively, please provide HotelExecutive with as much information as possible in your correspondence, including: (1) the nature of the right infringed or violated (including any applicable registration numbers of the federally-registered intellectual property allegedly infringed), if applicable, or the unacceptable or inappropriate Content; (2) all facts which lead you to believe that a right has been violated or infringed, if applicable; (3) the precise location where the offending Content is located; (4) any grounds to believe that the party or user which posted the Content was not authorized to do so or did not have a valid defense (including the defense of fair use), if applicable; (5) if known, the identity of the party or user who posted the infringing, offending, or inappropriate Content; and (6) in the case of alleged copyright infringement claims, information sufficient to identify the work and your claims to ownership.

C. Indemnification/Waiver of Certain Rights

By contacting HotelExecutive and complaining of an alleged violation, you agree that the substance of your complaint shall constitute a representation made under the pains and penalties of perjury pursuant to the laws of the State of California. In addition, you agree, at your own expense, to defend and indemnify HotelExecutive and hold HotelExecutive harmless against all claims which may be asserted against HotelExecutive, and all losses incurred, as a result of your complaint and/or our response to it.

D. Waiver of Claims and Remedies

We expect all users of our Site to take responsibility for their own actions and cannot and do not assume liability for any acts of third parties which take place at our Site. By utilizing the Good Samaritan procedures set forth herein, you waive any and all claims or remedies which you might otherwise be able to assert against hotelexecutive under any theory of law (including, but not limited to, intellectual property laws) that arise out of or relate in any way to the content at hotelexecutive or our response, or failure to respond, to a complaint.

E. Investigation/Liability Limitation

You agree that we have the right, but not the obligation, to investigate any complaint received. By reserving this right, we do not undertake any responsibility in fact to investigate complaints or to remove, edit, disable or restrict access to or the availability of Content. We will not act on complaints that we believe, in our sole discretion, to be deficient, incomplete, or otherwise questionable. If you believe that Content remains on HotelExecutive which violates your rights, Your sole and exclusive remedy shall be against the user or other party responsible for said content, not against HotelExecutive. your sole and exclusive remedy against HotelExecutive shall be to terminate your use of HotelExecutive and service.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Compliance. As set forth in Subsection (b), you must contact our agent if you believe that a work protected by a U.S. Copyright which you own has been posted on our Site without authorization or that our Site, in some material way, contributes to its infringement. It is our policy in appropriate circumstances, if possible, to terminate the access rights of repeat infringers and other users who use HotelExecutive in an inappropriate or objectionable manner.

9. COOPERATION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

HotelExecutive reserves the right to fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing HotelExecutive to disclose the identity or other information regarding any user or member alleged by any governmental entity to be using HotelExecutive or any Content or materials available in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive in violation of any law or regulation, or in violation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, the posting of e-mail messages, or publishing or otherwise making available any such materials. By accepting this agreement you waive and hold harmless HotelExecutive from any claims resulting from any action by HotelExecutive during, or as a result of, its investigations, and from any actions taken as a consequence of investigations by either HotelExecutive or law enforcement authorities

10. APPLICABLE LAWS, VENUE, JURISDICTION & MANDATORY ARBITRATION

If any provision(s) of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to law, then such provision(s) shall be construed, as nearly as possible, to reflect the intentions of the parties with the other provisions remaining in full force and effect. HotelExecutive's failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision unless acknowledged and agreed to by HotelExecutive in writing. The section titles in this Agreement are solely used for the convenience of the parties and have no legal or contractual significance. This Agreement may be assigned in whole or in part by HotelExecutive. This Agreement may not be assigned in any manner by you without the express, prior written permission of HotelExecutive.

Any and all disputes or controversies of any kind, including but not limited to any performance, duty, obligation or liability arising under or related to this Agreement which are not first resolved informally, shall be determined by binding arbitration in San Francisco, California, in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The final award in any such arbitration proceeding shall be subject to entry as a judgment by any court or competent jurisdiction, provided that such judgment does not conflict with the terms and provisions hereof. The jurisdiction of the arbiter (or arbiters) with respect to legal matters shall be limited only by the statutory and common law of the State of California and the United States.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any and all disputes, which the parties cannot informally resolve, regarding the scope of issues or matter with the jurisdiction of the arbitrator, shall be resolved by a separate dispute resolution process whereby HotelExecutive, in its sole discretion shall elect the dispute to be resolved by either (1) a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of California or (2) a panel of three new arbitrators.

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California notwithstanding any conflict of laws provisions. You and HotelExecutive agree that the venue for all legal disputes, controversies, actions of any kind arising under or related to this Agreement shall be San Francisco, California. You and HotelExecutive further agree that in case of any litigation regarding this Agreement, you irrevocably and unconditionally (i) consent to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the County of San Francisco, California for any litigation or dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement, (ii) agree not to commence any litigation arising out of or relating to this Agreement except in the California Courts, (iii) agree not to plead or claim that such litigation brought therein has been brought in an inconvenient forum, and (iv) agree the California Courts represent the exclusive jurisdiction for all litigation relating to this Agreement.

11. MEMBERSHIP FEES

Hotel Business Review Subscriptions

If you choose to purchase a subscription, member subscription payments can be made in U.S. Dollars, as well as a variety of international currencies. Membership terms are Annual Recurring, and Monthly Recurring. The Annual Recurring subscription is an annual commitment and subscribers will be charged each consecutive billing cycle. Annual Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first billing cycle and within 30-days of the billing date for a full refund. Monthly Recurring subscriptions are ongoing and subscribers will be charged each consecutive monthly billing cycle. Monthly Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first month and within 7 days of the monthly billing cycle for a full refund.

12. PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION

Payment for the services provided to you in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive may be made by automatic credit card, debit card, direct debit, bankwire or Paypal and other approved payment means offered in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive, and you hereby authorize HotelExecutive and its agents to transact such payments on your behalf.

You hereby authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card to pay for your membership to HotelExecutive. You further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card for any and all purchases of products, services in association with HotelExecutive. You agree to be personally liable for all charges incurred by you in association with your access or other use of any content provided by HotelExecutive or any third party in association with HotelExecutive. You acknowledge and agree that your liability for all such charges shall continue after termination of your access or any type of membership arrangement with HotelExecutive.

In the event that you have chosen to have your membership automatically rebilled, unless and until you notify HotelExecutive that you wish to cancel or terminate your membership to HotelExecutive, you hereby agree and authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to automatically renew your membership to HotelExecutive on a continuing basis and to charge your credit card (or other payment means you have selected) to pay for the ongoing cost of your membership. You hereby further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card (or other approved payment means you have selected) for any and all purchases of products, services and entertainment provided to in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive.

13. PRIVACY POLICY

The following is the Privacy Policy for HotelExecutive

We can be reached via telephone, email, or online at our contact page. When you visit our site we do not log any information regarding your domain or email address. Information Sharing: We do not share user information with any third parties other than via press release distribution as described below.

Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.