In recent weeks the hotel business articles have been focusing on the guest room coffee brewer. To leave or not to leave the brewer in the room, that is the big question. The coffee brewer is a mainstay of the guest room, even though the guest may not use it, it is there. The little machine is always ready to satisfy the guest with a cup of hot coffee in the morning. So what seems to be the problem? Well most hotels use an inexpensive coffee brew in the hotel rooms, let’s face it using a “known brand” would incur an expense that the hotels may not be able to recoup. Anyhow that is the train of thought today.
I Drink coffee: I will be the first one to scream if you remove the coffee brewer from my room. Do I use the in room coffee, NO! I travel with my own brand of coffee, but I do need the brewer to make it. I understand the cost involved in having a “Starbucks” type coffee in all of the rooms, it would incur an expense, but having said that, if I owned a property I would bare the expense, I can always add a few cents to the room rate to allow for it. There is nothing worse than to wake up to brew a lousy cup of coffee. When I am at properties that have coffee available in the lobby social area, I will try it, but invariably it will be warm and stale, because most of the time the front desk people make it. If the front office attendant does not drink coffee, you will always find bad coffee.
The guest room coffee
It is important that the guest have a brewer in the room, it has been a staple in all hotels for years, to remove it would cause an outcry heard around the world, and you would have guest wanting a discount because there is no coffee in the rooms. There are those guest that don’t drink coffee, they would also be yelling at the top of their lungs, why? Because the machine is not there. That machine is part of the room, like the bed and TV, so the solution it seems to me is to offer a branded coffee to the guest, or stay the course. It would be up to each individual owner as to what they feel their guest are worth.
In room amenities like anything else cost money and it comes off the bottom line, how to control those cost is up to your management staff. I think every owner, manager, GM have a pet peeve of one kind or another. My personal one is coffee. I will not tolerate warm coffee in a breakfast room, or in a social room area. I can say this I was one of the few manager that managed to have “Branded” coffee at a Motel6 property, the brand could not be advertised, since the company uses the same coffee at all its properties. So, be aware out there for those of you that own properties, I may be guest of yours someday, will your coffee be up to par? Be advised that I will complain if it is not. I don’t foresee the in room coffee going the way of the dinosaur’s. Once you give guest an amenity, they expect in the room even if they never use it. Such is life.
About the Author
Alan Campbell has been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and has worked for the major strip hotels. He has spent some time in California, Los Angeles where he worked for the Radisson and Sheraton hotels. Alan considers the hospitality industry the best job in the world - it is the only place that both king's and Paupers will visit you.