Breakfast is the most important meal for hoteliers looking to improve the guest experience, InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Richard Solomons said yesterday during the company’s fourth quarter and full-year earnings call.
Although Solomons touched on the specific brand attributes of of the company’s nine brands throughout the call, he highlighted elements of the evolving guest experience that impact customers at each of its brands.
Read Skift’s interview with InterContinental CEO Richard Solomons here.
One of these is food and drink options.
The hotel group is introducing new food and beverage training around breakfast, which IHG “has identified [as among] the biggest opportunities to improve the guest experience,” Solomons said.
IHG has also created specific restaurant concepts to cater to emerging markets in China and India. There are 50 restaurants under the Cai Feng Lou brand in the pipeline to serve modern Chinese dishes in China.
In India, the restaurant Chaobella, which serves Italian and Chinese dishes, is being developed. These are the two most popular foreign cuisines in India and are served in a communal fashion.
Social media and reviews are another important tenet of the changing guest experience.
“Social media has led to a huge number of experienced travelers posting online about their experiences in our hotels which help shape consumer sentiment and behavior,” Solomons says.
InterContinental collected more reviews on its hotel sites in 2013 than TripAdvisor had for all the company’s hotels.
“This highlights the greater relevance for guests and potential guests of reading reviews from experienced and brand loyal travelers,” he says.
The company’s web revenue has increased 30 percent and its mobile revenues grew 85 percent in the last three years, highlighting the need for and impact of the group’s digital initiatives.