Hotel dining: not just for residents


Hotel dining: not just for residents


When deciding where to dine guests are spoilt for choice, from cafe's and pubs to casual and fine dining restaurants. But what about hotels? Guests don't generally consider going to lunch or dinner at their local hotel. When you think of a hotel restaurant, buffet breakfasts come to mind, with some residents opting for dinner after a work meeting or a tiring day of sightseeing.

Our research backs this up, we asked our panel of over 1600 guests whether they think hotels are good at promoting themselves to non-residents and 87% said no.

So other than more footfall to your restaurant, why encourage locals? 57% of guests revealed they would actually consider booking an overnight stay after a positive experience at a hotel restaurant or bar.

So, what are our top tips for attracting the locals?

Increase online reviews

Encourage your guests to leave positive reviews about their dining experience with you. Our survey revealed that a staggered 83% of guests check online reviews before visiting a venue, with 28% revealing they would not consider eating at a restaurant that had a poor review. So, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to shout about you. It is also essential to monitor your online reviews and respond to negative reviews so that potential guests can see that you care. If possible, also offer a way to rectify their negative experience in your response. This could be the difference between someone deciding to give you the benefit of the doubt or not.

Add value

Whilst you’re trying to drum up interest to non-residents, setting yourself apart from your competitors is essential. One way to do this is by starting with an unbeatable offer. Perhaps you could offer a pre-dinner cocktail? This way guests also get to check out your bar experience and may decide to visit with friends on another occasion.

Provide luxury

What do hotels have over pubs and restaurants? Often, a bar, a variety of lounges and sometimes a roof top bar. Shout about these extras and offer table service to guests whether they have popped in for a glass of wine or a cup of tea.


Allow locals to book exclusive areas in your hotel, whether for meetings or social occasions. Perhaps after a family Sunday lunch, guests will want to relax in your drawing room whilst their children play outside in the safety of your grounds. This is something exclusive to you, other types of operators cannot offer this service. You may even want to open a VIP area at your roof top bar.

Seasonal menus

63% of guests would choose a venue who actively promote sustainability over a venue that doesn’t. So, showing that you also care about the environment by incorporating local produce into your menu could be a lucrative move.


It’s important to make the most of the space you have available at your hotel. We’ve mentioned hotel lounges and gardens, and these can be great social spaces for hosting wine tasting nights, summer BBQ’s and supper clubs for local residents. Also make the most of themed events throughout the year – by pre-planning which holidays and events you want to jump on, from Mother’s Day to St Patricks Day, you can incorporate each theme into your menus and promotions.


None of the above will be effective without promoting that you are open to non-residents. Investing time into your social media channels is key. Follow local groups, see what people are talking about and get tagging and hash tagging. A great way to promote your offering could be to host a locals launch night - invite local business, offer free drinks and a cosy place to chat and get them talking. When we asked our guests where they most expect to find out about your offering, 30% said word of mouth, followed by 21% who said social media. Other places were your website, TripAdvisor and a voucher website.

To measure the success of your offering, from your events to your menus to your social reviews, get in touch with our team today on 01225 470999 or email

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