For hotel groups, the F&B side of business is no longer just an additional revenue stream: it’s becoming a proper customer acquisition channel. At the restaurant, diners get a broad stroke of what they can expect from the brand. If their experience is positive, they’re more likely to stay at one of the hotels during future trips.
F&B managers now have the tools to make the best of the first part of this customer journey. With table management systems and CRMs, restaurants can collect guest data such as spend history, number of visits and food preferences, and use it to delight and retain diners with personalized service and targeted marketing campaigns.
However, as regular diners become new hotel customers, their so far seamless experience is disrupted. For them, staying at the hotel is clearly an extension of the same relationship with the brand. But while the restaurant staff would remember their name and always set aside a bottle of their favorite wine, as they arrive at the reception desk, they realize that the hotel knows very little about them.
The main reason for that is the lack of data integration between the group’s PMS and the table management system. Although hotel CRMs are becoming more and more integrated globally, the customer journeys of residents and diners have traditionally remained separated, each one with its own technology stack.
Fortunately, this trend has reversed, and integration between PMS and F&B data is beginning to take shape, becoming a necessity for many hotels.
PMS and F&B integration drives revenue
By sharing hotel and F&B data, hospitality groups can fix a broken guest journey, going from having multiple profiles in different systems, to a centralized 360º view. From here, they can cross-reference data, or be aware of any customer satisfaction issues, creating a seamless brand experience for guests, regardless of how they were acquired.
This integrated approach creates opportunities to drive more revenue.
Hotels can offer a personalized experience to new residents that came from the restaurant channel. When a diner books a room for the first time, the hotel can promote special events prior to arrival, based on food preferences and spending habits, or use that information to offer perks, upgrades, and discounts during their stay.
The benefits of this type of integration work in the opposite direction too. Hotels can use post-stay communication to their guests to promote other restaurants located in their hometowns. Once a resident becomes a diner, the restaurant will be able to use data from previous stays to personalize their experience right away.
Finally, restaurant data can be used to delight and retain regular residents. This has become even more important during the pandemic, when travel restrictions left many hotels without transient tourists, forcing them to target the more restricted cohort of ‘staycationers.’
Challenges hotels face
There are different challenges global hospitality groups are facing on the road to integration. As guest data is often personal and sensitive, they will need first of all to adhere to local privacy laws and ensure a high level of security.
But challenges are internal too. Sometimes hotels are big ships that require huge engine power to take turns. Going from A to B doesn’t always happen in a straight line. Their structure can be complex and include different departments that need to align around a specific tech solution or a strategy.
Ultimately, however, integrating PMS and TMS data has the potential of driving up revenue per available room. Once its impact becomes clear, this emerging trend is bound to become a staple in the hospitality industry.