Why We Should Offer Complimentary Food and Beverages

The growing popularity of limited service and all suite hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts is changing the hotel industry. According to the 2005 edition of Trends in the Hotel Industry by PFK Consulting, hotels in the United States increased spending on complimentary food items 13.1% from 2003 to 2004.

R. Mark Woodworth, Executive Managing Director of PKF Hospitality Research, said “Clearly, these segments are making an effort to upgrade the quality and quantity of the food and beverages they offer to their guests. Stale doughnuts just don’t cut it anymore.”

The implications for the bed and breakfast industry is that we may have to adjust our customer service to better compete wtih the changing service offered by area hotels. If your facility does not offer complimentary snacks and beverages, you may want to consider doing this as an extra guest amenity.

What sort of complimentary snacks should you offer?

I have worked at facilities that offered complimentary ice cream with all the trimmings, homemade cookies, chocolate, and a variety of beverages. In my own facility, I offer a variety of dried fruit, fresh fruit, chocolates, sugar free candy, freshly baked cookies, bags of chips, and various beverages including sodas, diet sodas, a variety of teas, and instant coffee.

To accomodate guests who have brought food from home or ordered take out, our dining room includes a microwave oven, extra place settings, a bussing carton for dirty dishes, and a wastebasket for trash.