If there’s one fight that will probably continue as long as the hospitality industry exists, it’s the fight over guest amenities. While hotel managers and accountants eye free giveaways and complimentary services with a skeptical eye (if not outright hostility), brand managers go gray just imagining what would happen if guests found out those things were disappearing.
A lot of research has been done into hotel amenities,1 and the findings justify the feelings of both sides of this particular argument. Yes, amenities and complimentary services cost hotels money, which either cuts into their profits or forces them to raise prices, but those same amenities and complimentary services are also a large part of what entices first-time guests to try an establishment—and, most importantly—to keep coming back.
The Cost of Amenities
The more amenities a hotel offers to its guests, the more housing each guest costs the organization. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is a fact that must always be kept in mind when considering what services a hotel will and will not offer.
In recent decades, guests have come to expect more from hotels. When a hotel does not offer the complimentary services they want or overestimate the amenities that will be provided them during a stay at a hotel, guests will often find another hotel to stay at in the future or never book a room in the first place.
As such, the initial burden for hotels is higher now than it has been in the past. However, the payoff of offering these amenities more than makes up for this increased up-front cost in most cases, as we will see below.
The Benefits of Amenities
Because hotel guests expect amenities to be provided them, these services have the extra dimension of working to attract customers to an establishment and in convincing them to come back.
According to a study by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, free internet access had a significant influence on whether or not a consumer would become a first-time guest at a particular hotel. When it came to deciding whether or not to return to an establishment, however, internet access became much less important.
Somewhat surprisingly, the study found that the amenity most likely to generate an ROI for hotels by encouraging people to become repeat guests was whether or not they offered complimentary bottles of water.
Other research also showed the importance of amenities. Unsurprisingly, Gallup’s 2014 Hospitality Industry study found that the number of services a hotel provided increased customer engagement with a hotel chain. Additionally, it also found that the more engaged guests were, the less conscious they were of the price they were paying.
In other words, hotels that offer more amenities are more successfully able to charge higher prices to cover their costs without alienating customers or losing business.
For all the hotel supplies and amenities you’ll ever need, contact National Hospitality Supply today at 800-526-8224.