Hotel Marketing

I’ve got a number of hotels in my trade area - 3 of them are Fairfield/Hampton Inn style places (cater to business travelers & have no food onsite). What have you guys done for marketing to this segment?

I’m thinking of catering my food into their staff meetings quarterly (on me). Also going to have $2 casino chips custom made - whenever a driver takes a delivery order there, he drops off a chip with the desk person, it’s good for $2 off anything on our menu - can use as few or many as they want per order.

As an indy, I think we have a big disadvantage to overcome with this segment … when I was a business traveler in my former life, I’d often order pizza when travelling - I stuck mainly with the big 3, not because I liked their pizza, but because I didn’t know which mom & pop was really good and which would have me running back & forth to the bathroom all night. The only time I’d try an indy is with a good recommendation from the hotel staff.

What do you do? How does it work? What do you think of my idea? Enquiring minds want to know! LOL

We are providing the room keys with our logo and a special offer for mentioning the keys. We catered a staff meeting for free so they tried the pizza, so they would be comfortable reccomending it. Since then the staff has ordered several times. The keys are being printed now, so they don’t have them yet, but they took out all other pizza menus from their lobby display and replaced with mine. When the keys are here next week it will be even better. My cost was 1100 for a year. The hotel has 114 rooms w/avg occupancy of 72%. First time I have tried this so I will update how it goes.

I’ve done the room keys for a couple different hotels and gotten much different results. In a “nice” clean hotel, my response was great and paid for itself very quickly. In a “slummy” hotel where many of the rooms were rented by the week or month, I really did not do well. What company set you up with the hotel and cards?

ADkey was who I went with, and there was only one hotel that I was interested in, that is about a 1/2 mile from me. It’s a fairly nice “Best Western” type of hotel.

Thanks for the feedback, guys. That sounds like a much better idea than what I was contemplating. I’ve got a ton of goodwill with these places that I want to cash in on:

Last winter, my town was hit hard by an unexpected blizzard (freezing rain topped with 18" snow) EVERYTHING was shut down. One of my drivers & me took out 4x4s out to round up a crew & I called all the hotels to let them know we were delivering. These places were filled to overflowing with people who had gotten stranded with nothing to eat. I made a ton of money that day and let the hotel managers look like heros - when I called them early in the day, I told them to tell their guests “I kept looking and finally convinced someone to open up for business today” What did I care, their guests don’t live in my trade area anyway. These guys have loved me ever since.

I printed up business cards each good for a free 12" 3 topping pizza. I go to every front desk in town and give them enough cards for every front desk employee to have one. I do this twice every year. I do this personally. I drive around, talk to the folks at every front desk and make a personal connection. We also advertise in the in room guides that pretty much every place has.

Since we are in a resort town, this means that I give away maybe 500 free pizzas a year to front desk people. Before you gasp, do the math: Cost on a 12 incher with delivery maybe $4-5. This is about a $2000 marketing program. Is it worth $20 to have all the front desk folks at the super 8 suggesting your place? It is to me.

We also offer $5 off any order to lodging staff if the order is delivered to work. The offer is valid on a small cheese pizza or even a large salad. On average, those orders cover cots and represent free marketing. Generally, the lodging staff is pretty good to my drivers on tips too.

We give the same $5 off PER PIZZA to lodging that wants to feed a staff meeting with our food.

We do something similar to the “casino” chips.

We have wooden tokens. For each pizza going to a hotel, we give the office staff a token. Once they’ve collected 12 they can redeem them for a 16" pizza with whatever they’d like on it. If they collect 15 tokens they can redeem them for a 16" pizza and a dozen garlic rolls.