The Mews Blog > How to manage and increase your hotel banquet sales
Hotel banqueting represents an important source of revenue for hotels, which is why it’s so important to understand how to better manage this service in order to increase sales. Banqueting is a fundamental part of the hospitality industry and as there are so many different moving parts, it’s important to have a defined system in place in order to guarantee the success of the operation.
By taking a holistic approach to banqueting and understanding the different moving parts that are in play, you can optimize the service in order to make the most out of your resources. It is important to measure the different costs, such as food and beverage (F&B), human resources, administrational costs, property maintenance costs, and marketing efforts.
By understanding the associated costs, you can without a doubt find out how to optimize them in order to increase sales and drive revenue.
In this article, we will look at why banquet sales are so important for hotels, and ways to increase sales.
Why are banquet sales important for hotels?
Banquet sales are at the core of profitability. Offering extra services is a key way to drive revenue regardless of seasonality, and to provide alternative sources of revenue to the hotel by diversifying your offer. There is no doubt that banqueting requires a lot of human resources and management, but there’s no comparison between the revenue provided by a one-night stay vs a one-night event.
With a tool like Mews’ hotel revenue management software, you can manage hotel room rates and package rates, creating categories and rules that allow you to maximize revenue from the sales of rooms, and then supplement that revenue with that derived from banqueting.
Optimizing inventories and maximizing profits is at the center of any strategy, and events such as weddings, conferences, and corporate meetings are fundamental to ensure your hotel remains profitable year-round.
Best ways to increase hotel banquet sales
Now that it’s clear why banquet sales are so important for hotels, let’s take a look at six key ways to increase hotel banqueting sales.
Differentiation is key
As in any business, the key to success is differentiation. Start by doing benchmarking to find out what your competitors are offering and how you can do it better. Then you can define your unique value proposition so that you can use these learnings to set you apart from the competition.
Whether it’s a unique food offering, a sustainable events center, or better prices, differentiating yourself is key to increasing sales. Be sure to share pictures of the food, or your events space on social media so that you can leverage your uniqueness to generate leads for weddings and other special events. Read more about marketing strategies to increase sales.
Take the targeted approach
Once you’ve understood what makes you different from the competition, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. After all, you can’t sell a product if you don’t know who you are selling to. While you may want to accept any kind of event, it’s better to take the targeted approach.
Understand who your audience is and what they are looking for. If you find that you attract business guests, position your hotel for corporate events and conferences. Of course, the location of your hotel will greatly affect the type of events people want to host with your hotel banqueting service.
For example, if your hotel is right on the beach then perhaps your target will be more leisure guests looking to host a wedding, a birthday, or an anniversary party. Make sure to understand who is visiting your hotel so you can create your offer based on this target audience and thereby promote the events accordingly.
Upsell your offerings
Once you’ve attracted the right target audience and differentiated yourself from the competition, it’s time to sell and upsell. Once a client is already spending a lot of money on organizing an event, they won’t even notice if they spend a few extra bucks per bottle on a better wine or more for a premium cut of steak.
Food and beverage represent an important extra revenue source during hotel banqueting events because when managed correctly, there should be a high-profit margin over the food cost.
As in any business, networking for your hotel’s banqueting services is key. Start working with other local businesses to provide extra services that your hotel doesn’t have the bandwidth to provide for the events such as wedding planners, florists, photographers, print shops, and more.
Networking with your local businesses allows your hotel to be at the top of their minds when they have to host an event, and they are more likely to recommend your services by word of mouth. Or, better yet, you will have the opportunity to work together to increase sales by promoting each other’s businesses in parallel.
Keep in contact with your loyal customers
Keeping in touch with your loyal banqueting contacts is an important part of leveraging marketing efforts, and boosting your banquet sales and bottom line. Remind customers who booked a holiday event with you in the previous year and give them a discount for returning. You can use the same principles of creating a loyalty program to keep guests coming back.
By reaching out to your already existing guests, you reduce the costs of acquiring a new customer, and you can re-invest the money saved in acquiring the clients in marketing efforts to acquire new clients.
Now that you have loyal customers, the next most important thing is offering a top-notch level of service at the events so that people talk about you online. Regularly monitor online channels such as Google My Business and Tripadvisor so that you know what people are saying about you and leverage those comments to boost sales.
Read more about how to increase your hotel rankings on Tripadvisor.
Taking a strategic approach to increase hotel banqueting sales is key. These simple but useful tips that we have outlined in this article to increase hotel banqueting sales will make a difference in your hotel’s overall profitability and bottom line.
This approach starts by defining your target audience, differentiating your hotel from others, and upselling. By networking and keeping in touch with loyal clients you have the ability to increase sales, but only by providing an excellent quality of service can you maintain loyal guests long after the events are over. Happy clients turn into regular clients, and regular clients are exactly what is needed in order to increase revenue from hotel banqueting.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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