For any hotelier, booking rooms is, of course, the most important strategy for driving profits. But disregarding the potential for ancillary revenue would be a big mistake. Your hotel has more to offer than just a bed to sleep in, and it’s worth recognizing the potential of your property to offer additional products and services. This comprehensive approach to revenue generation will not only improve your bottom line but can help boost customer loyalty and build stronger ties to your community. Here are a few ideas for generating ancillary revenue at your independent hotel:
Utilize your space
When looking for new ways to generate revenue at your property, taking an audit of available spaces is a good place to start. Once you know what you have to work with you can make an appropriate plan. If your hotel caters to a high number of business travelers, or you’re located in a community with a demand for meeting spaces, consider setting up a conference room that can be booked hourly. Larger rooms could be rented out for events, or to local instructors to host exercise classes. A hotel in New York even knocked out two bedrooms to build a stage, and has hosted sold-out magic shows for the last three years.
Partner with local artists
You might not have enough space for large events or exercise classes, but what about a little nook in the lobby? A small display selling the work of local artists or artisans requires little investment of time and resources but can generate ancillary revenue and delight your guests. Think of it like a locally-sourced, trendy gift shop. Your guests are looking for authentic souvenirs to remember their trip. What better to buy than locally crafted goods from the community?
Events and activities are a great way to not only generate ancillary revenue from your guests but also members of the community. If you have an on-site restaurant or bar, you’re already set up to do it. Things like live music, trivia nights, and comedy performances can be a big draw in the right community. If you don’t have a restaurant, consider hosting things like outdoor film screenings or markets. And don’t forget about the option of offering your facilities for private events.
If you aren’t able to create your own events or activities, collaborate with community members that do. You can sell tickets to local tours, events, and attractions (for a cut of the profits) independently or as part of a package.
Sell hotel products
Are guests constantly raving about your luxurious linens or toiletries? You may want to consider selling those hotel products so guests can take a piece of your property home with them. Westin Hotels & Resorts are among a number of hospitality companies that sell their products (from shower curtains to body lotions) online. In addition to providing supplementary revenue, it can help reinforce brand recognition and loyalty.
Pets are a part of 68% of American families. That’s a significant cohort you may want to start catering to. Opening your property up to guests’ four-legged friends means, in addition to potentially boosting bookings, that you have an opportunity for ancillary revenue. Not only are pet fees common practice, but you can also offer services like dog-walking, pet-sitting, and other pet-specific extras.
Finding alternative revenue streams is never a bad idea – especially with high OTA commissions cutting into properties’ bottom lines. Look at your business with an open mind and you’ll be sure to find new opportunities for generating revenue. The potential is there. You just need to find it.