Here’s something of a new one as hotels begin re-introducing services that guests demand. The London Marriott County Hall has opened up its club lounge but they reportedly want to strictly limit costs. “the happy hour at the M Club [is] table service only…[and you’re] limited to two canapes per person.”
- We’ve all seen guests load up plates like they’re at a Mongolian barbecue restaurant
- Or go for seconds and fifth servings like it’s Golden Corral
- Usually the food’s not that good but when it’s included (‘free’) demand is infinite
This goes on in airline lounges too, for instance a couple of British Airways passengers were caught on video shoving 20 cans of beer and chips into their bag to take away.
A handful of guests drive up lounge food costs, and some lounges combat this by using very small plates, preplating small portions in small individual plates, and using low quality ingredients (this is both cheaper and less desirable leading to lower consumption).
I can be sympathetic about edge cases! But hotels made this all work before the pandemic. Where room rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels hotels should deliver the value they’ve offered guests at that price point.
In contrast Marriott’s CEO thinks guests should be more grateful for what they get when spending as much or more than before, and should be more understanding that hotel owners need to take your money and not give you as much as before. He says guests have ‘short memories’ and fail to appreciate the needs of large REITs.