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Adrienne Andreae

Marketing Your Hotel to Foodies: A Very Haute Topic

June 18, 2014

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They post on Instagram.

They Yelp!

They blog. They Pinterest. They freely promote restaurants online.

Who are they? They are foodies, those elusive self-proclaimed food lovers who play social media like it’s a sport. Get them in your doors and you’re sure to see your hotel’s name all over social media.

It could be simple to do–if only your budget would allow you to hire a James Beard winner or even a nominee. If only you could focus your restaurant menu on winning over the foodies, instead of trying to feed the everyday hotel guest.

Your guests want comfort and reliability while the foodies want an experience.

Unlike most restaurants, hotel restaurants have the unique task of being in business to support another business—the hotel. People don’t wander out of their room and go to a stand alone restaurant like it’s part of their home. But they do in your hotel. Your guests want comfort and reliability while the foodies want an experience. Satisfying both crowds feels impossible.

But you can win over both crowds without hiring the latest Food Network star.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Keep it simple: The days of the 12-page menu are over. Educated diners are skeptical about the quality of so many food items kept in your kitchen. Scale down your menu to some favorites. (You’ll also improve your food cost, make training new staff simpler, and speed up service.)
  2. Pick a specialty: What’s your unique value proposition? Be known for something. You can still have a menu that dabbles in enough items to satisfy most guests, but choose one area to excel. Achieving this can be as simple as changing your menu copy to focus on your “World Famous Burgers”, training your staff to consistently recommend your specialty and adding a web page answering the question, “What makes our burgers so special?”
  3. Channel your inner child: Foodies and non-foodies alike love adult versions of kids’ meals. They’re fun. They’re easy to share on social media. (And if done right, they have high profit margins.) However, you want to make sure you are not simply enlarging your kids portions. Adults need more flavor. Consider a dress-your-own hot dog section or offering three types of mac and cheese.
  4. Hold an online photo contest: Once you know exactly what items you want to promote, you’ll need your first few nibbles. Hold a month long online photo contest for locals. Focus the contest on your specialty items. Then, invite diners to post pictures of the specialty on social media. Get it started by posting your own tasty pictures of your food. Offer levels of prizes from a drink at the bar to a dinner for two.

Now that you have some ideas to chew on, get started. What will you be doing to market your restaurant? What’s worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below.

 About Tambourine
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:

Hotel Marketing This Summer: 5 Ways to Heat Things Up

June 2, 2014

Tambourine: Hotel MarketingYou have three months. Three short months to capture the frenzy that is summer travel. The kids are out of school. The polar vortex has receded. Families everywhere hover over their computers deciding on where to go and what to do. Meanwhile, you’ve just spent nine months booking romantic getaways, social events, and business travelers. Now you must convince mom and dad that your hotel is the best place for their family’s summer vacation.

89% of Americans plan to take a summer trip this year.

The good news is summer travel forecasts look better than last year. According to TripAdvisor’s annual summer travel survey, 89% of Americans plan to take a summer trip this year. That is a 6% increase over last year. In other words, you have the opportunity to make this the best summer in years. Here are some tips on making it happen:

Promote your location:

While your winter travelers may be more interested in staying inside, summer travelers want to get out. Focus your social media posts on local historical sites, things to do outdoors, and shopping areas. Don’t forget to include a little something for everyone in the family. Mom and Dad might decide on the hotel, but Junior is the catalyst for that choice.

Make everything sunny:

If you haven’t done it already, replace any winter and spring website pictures with summer photos. Update the main photos on your social media pages to reflect summer on your property or in your city. People are looking for daylight and sunshine. Give it to them!

Summer-ize your menus:

While fine dining restaurants change their menu every season, your casual restaurants and pubs tend to serve similar food year-round. The easiest (and least expensive) way to make your menu ready for summer is to simply change your menu wording. Your appetizers can become School’s Out Snacks and your salads can become Summer Salads. However, if your menu is full of heavier fare, you will need to add some lighter options. Every summer menu should have at least three salad choices.

Get wet:

Summer means watersports. Spruce up your pool and post pictures on social media. Throw a few rafts and swim noodles in. Offer beach towels for pool users.  Make it look more fun than every other pool in town. Then, go outside the hotel. Write a blog post describing all of the local swim locations and water activities your guests can enjoy.

Be flexible:

Be ready to offer last minute packages and incentives for any slow periods. A recent study by the National Association of Convenience Stores found that 84% of vacationers will travel by car this summer. Create a Jump in the Car and Go package that you can pop online on a Wednesday to bulk up a slow weekend.

Now it’s time to make 2014 your best summer yet!

Are you ready to amp up your marketing this summer? What will you do differently? Let us know what summer changes you’re making in the comments below.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit

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