More guests than ever are interested in coffee so it is no longer acceptable to provide a generic portion of cheap instant coffee and a kettle. Your guests deserve more! And they don’t just want to taste; they want to know all about your coffee offerings – where the bean was grown, the processing method and if it was ethically produced.
Small local cafes and roasters have popped up around the world, barista’ing is now considered an art form and the quality of coffee has sky-rocketed. Why? Because coffee tastes have refined, especially New Zealand coffee drinkers, and better coffee is what they demand.
The world-wide coffee industry is mega: coffee is the world’s second-most traded commodity after crude oil and one of the oldest, cultivated in over 70 countries across the world. In New Zealand, coffee is ingrained in our culture and whether you are a flat white, a long black, an espresso or even a mild mannered cappuccino person, accessing a good coffee is the nation’s quirk.
New Zealanders might not yet be quite the equivalent of such coffee aficionados as the Italians or the French – but are now very close. It was indeed a shock to the global coffee chains that failed to take off in New Zealand because they didn’t understand the fully-formed coffee scene already in place, with very fussy customers – a nation of coffee snobs?
Coffee drinking here is a diehard national habit with specialist coffee roasters running the length and breadth of the country, real estate values actually improve whenever hipster coffee enthusiasts move into an area. The proximity of hotels and accommodation to great café strips, world-class baristas and local award-winning roasters has proven to be a huge marketing point.
The ability to access a good coffee wherever you are in a hotel is also a convenience taken for granted, even at the most budget chains. Guests possessing more refined coffee tastes, spoiled by that talented barista down the road, still enjoy the convenience of a quick, good quality coffee in their hotel room, business suite, reception area or conference room.
For as long as guests stumble out of bed and reach for their morning coffee, in-room coffee offerings will still be demanded, but in this coffee-obsessed culture, accommodations need to think about what they offer and how it is presented. Thankfully, there has been an attempt to improve the quality of in-room coffee across hospitality, with boutique properties especially highlighting good quality, local, sustainable, ethical, organic roasts.
For those accommodations that pride themselves on their good quality ‘free’ coffee amenities, they are acknowledging their appreciation of New Zealand’s coffee culture and how much it means to the nation. Managers also recognise that guests demand the same amenities or better than what they have at home, with many guests already owning a coffee machine, so they expect one in their guestroom. It is essential to keep up with all current industry trends and in-room coffee machines are certainly right on trend.
To provide great coffee or even a coffee machine, creates the opportunity for your guests to enjoy their favourite roast at any time of the day or night in the comfort of their room, or in other areas of a property – a seamless coffee drinker’s experience. You can use it to attract and move guests around your property and cement your philosophies by providing a brew that gets you noticed. Want more visitors to your in-house shop? Offer some free coffee and they will come running. Be knowledgeable about your product and most importantly, always try the coffee you offer.
How coffee options are displayed in the room can make or break your guest’s overall first impression and ruin the experience, so think about your coffee display and make sure it looks appealing. Guests want convenience and ease-of-use when making themselves an espresso and a trend in the domestic market for capsule coffee highlights this. So when you decide what coffee experience to offer your guests, you should consider that a capsule machine is unique in its ability to use a variety of capsule coffee brands. A multi-capsule solution can satisfy a range of coffee drinking needs.
Giving guests great coffee options may also include a good quality plunger coffee – very simple to use option, and very cost effective. It also gives guests a more sensory and satisfying coffee experience: open the packet, smell the coffee, watch it brew and separate – then push the plunger down.
But even as tastes change there will always be a call for hotels to stock a good quality instant coffee, because everyone is different, with very different needs, therefore when it comes to providing coffee options, consider the type of guests you cater for, what they expect from you and what coffee options are offered in, or near your property.
The message is: there are plenty of great coffee options available on the market that will inspire and appeal to your guests, but emphasis must always be on offering a high quality product that is presented in the most appealing way. Coffee is a great way to schmooze your guests, to get them to return to their favourite accommodation. Guests want to be comforted, invigorated, and plain delighted by your coffee offerings, so give them what they want.