How to improve guest experience with coffee

The rise of the coffee culture has led to remarkable statistics such as, 95 million cups of coffee being drunk in the UK every day.

A survey conducted on 1000 UK consumers by UCC Coffee UK and Ireland; found that 30% of the people surveyed said that they would not consider returning to a hotel which served poor tasting coffee. So it’s no surprise that improving the quality of coffee in hotels would have a direct correlation with guest satisfaction.

Making the coffee experience in your hotel extra welcoming and special for your guests should be a high priority to encourage repeat visits, positive reviews and increase levels of experience satisfaction.

Read on to find out how upping the coffee game in your hotel can improve your overall guest experience:

Invest in equipment and staff training

Investing in the right equipment, buying high-quality coffee beans, and training staff to make a good cup of coffee is suggested to improve guest experience and increase the likelihood of return guests.

Depending on the size of your hotel, the appropriate coffee machine will also differ. You may wish to invest in a coffee machine that is easy to us, such as a bean to cup machine, or if you are aiming for a more luxurious coffee experience, you may wish to invest in an espresso machine. Having an espresso machine in your hotel restaurant or bar requires you to have trained staff who can correctly use the machines and make signature coffees. Barista prepared coffees are particularly in demand at high-end boutique hotels.

Part of improving guest experience through coffee is ensuring that the customer service and the coffee making skill of your staff are at a high level. These are factors that your guests will remember and a perfect opportunity for you to wow your guests and make a good impression. With proper training your staff will find that an espresso based coffee machine is very easy to use. Not only do they need to know how to make basic drinks, but also how to clean and maintain the coffee machine to ensure that they are delivering the best cup of coffee every single time.

If you are a smaller boutique hotel and buying a coffee machine is not in your budget, you may want to consider the option to lease or rent a coffee machine. This can be an inexpensive option to spread the cost of a commercial coffee machine over each month until the end of the contract period. Benefits of this option include servicing and maintenance by the provider, if your machine has a fault or breaks down.

Have it easily accessible

Many people will agree that coffee is a universal need.  Having a coffee machine accessible in your hotel makes a lot of sense, as providing decent-quality coffee proves that you have thought about what a modern hotel guest really wants.

More recently, hotels are choosing to ditch the hospitality trays in every room – which traditionally contained instant coffee, tea bags, UHT milk sachets and occasionally a couple of biscuits. In its place, coffee pod machines have now become more popular; as it is a more premium and fun way for guests to make coffee. If the choice between a sachet coffee and a perfectly made espresso was given to guests – they would always opt for the latter.

However, having a coffee machine in each room may not be the most economical choice for your type of hotel. At an absolute minimum, it is recommended to have a self-service coffee machine in the communal areas such as reception, lounge or dining area. Finding the most suitable coffee machine for your hotel will be dependent on how many coffees you expect it so serve per day, the variety of coffee it can make, and your budget.

It is also worth considering having a coffee machine on each hotel floor and placed in a position that your guests can easily spot on the way to their room. You want them to remember the position of the coffee machine the moment they wake up, and still conveniently placed for them to comfortably walk to, from their room.

Small efforts like this go a long way to add that special touch, which will make guests appreciate the level of service your hotel provides, and improve their overall experience.

A sensory experience

Coffee has an aromatic and distinct smell, and there is nothing better than the smell of fresh ground coffee in the morning. Research studies have shown that the smell of coffee alone increases alertness, improves brain function and performance. Having complimentary coffee readily available in hotel rooms gives guests the choice to have a fresh cup of coffee.

It may be the comforting experience they need, if they are craving for something familiar while they are in a new country or place. Having the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the hotels breakfast lounge compliments the spread of pastries, croissants and other breakfast foods you may be offering your guests. The scent gives any breakfast spread a nice premium touch and is a lot more reminiscent for your guests as coffee is often associated to being a fundamental breakfast beverage.

The sense of smell is the most associated to memory and emotion. Smelling a certain scent may trigger particular memories and at the end of the day, you want to your hotel guests to have a positive memorable experience. You may have the most aesthetically pleasing décor, the comfiest feeling sheets, and the most amazing tasting food but adding another layer to the sensory experience is always advisable – it may be the difference between the guests remembering their experience after 1 year or after 25 years.

A conclusion on coffee

Given coffees significance in everyday life, hotels can no longer afford to cut corners and provide mediocre coffee experiences for their guests. Not only does it have a great potential for other avenues of revenue, it is a cultural norm that continually grows and evolves.  Adjusting to this shift will automatically improve guest experience and be an investment that is worthwhile in the long run.

By Joemar Carillo, a content writer for Logic Vending. She has written for a variety of sites on business, hospitality and marketing.

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