A hotel’s F&B team should be closely tied to the wedding team says Marilyn Cairo of AskMeInc, a sales and marketing company that promotes hotels to engaged couples, travel agents, and consumers. “Weddings offer an incredible opportunity for hotels to increase their revenues by offering more creative, specialty options,” says Cairo. “Even all-inclusive resorts have an opportunity to earn more by offering upgraded menu offerings.”
When working with a group, the team at AskMeWeddings always makes sure that couples know about the special options available such as upgrading the wines, adding lobster to the menu, or adding a special bon-fire beach BBQ as they do at Coconut Bay Resort & Spa on Saint Lucia. Cairo says that live food stations are popular and a great way to showcase the F&B team’s capabilities and creativity. They also give all-inclusive resorts an upsell opportunity. Made to order sushi, pasta, and carving stations are ways that a hotel can increase revenues through its F&B outlet. “Couples have been devouring the live food stations concept which really make a positive impact on their guests,” says Cairo, who reports that mixologists and signature drinks are a growing trend.
When representing a hotel, the team at AskMeWeddings keeps in touch with the F&B team to stay up to date on new offerings and experiences available to their wedding couples. “Couples want their wedding to be different, memorable,” reports Cairo, “and the F&B team can provide brilliant ideas on making concepts into reality.”
Chef Eike Lauff of Royal St. Lucia will go from simple to sensational. He is known to prepare local cocoa tea in a traditional clay pot for guests; create customized chocolate and cheese boards as a welcome amenity for groups; and even plan a special supper club with menus crafted with the wedding couple in mind. Customization of F&B options is yet another way to increase revenues.
An added benefit of working with weddings, especially when pre-coordinated with the team at AskMeWeddings, is that the F&B team will know what to order and the quantities – enabling better cost-controls and planning. “You save money and increase revenues by planning ahead,” said Cairo. Weddings provide hotels with many revenue opportunities with the F&B division able to play a significant role in the nuptials and the revenues.