When walking into a hotel you can immediately “feel” the environment. The small details always have a direct impact on how a person perceives the place. The most minute objects that you really don’t even think you acknowledge can actually create a positive experience or a negative one. If the mirrors are polished to a perfect reflection and the countertop is tidy, even if there is an absence of those ugly tourist pamphlets and business cards you generally feel like “this place is worth it”. On the other hand, if you walk into an unwelcoming, unclean environment and the employee behind the desk would rather tweet with their friends than help you out, you’ve already made up your decision about the establishment and will most likely find a different place to rest your weary head.
These facts are pretty obvious to hotel owners but one area that gets easily overlooked is the hotel bar, or even more so the banquet bar. The moment you walk up to a bar you’re being affected by its atmosphere. Some hotel bars are jammed into a corner and you feel like you’re doing something wrong by just being there or that you’re not like everyone else in the hotel and need to be quarantined for some reason. Banquet bars are sometimes placed so far out of the way or are so awkward they never see one customer. But there are bars that are done right. Here are some of the most effective makeover tips for your hotel bar or your banquet bar.
Use the space you have to create “flow”
Think of a well-made road, one that feels spacious, nicely lit and has plenty of signs. Make it easy for you guest to walk right up to the bar and feel comfortable about parking for a few hours. This requires strategic placement of your bar. Use a floor planner and map out the flow through the room. Make it spacious enough for luggage but still has a flow to it. You don’t want to have your guest feel like they’re lost but you also don’t want to add to any anxiety they might already have from their travels by cramming them in. Since floorplans aren’t always permanent I would highly suggest a bar that can be moved to fit the situation. The Portable Bar Company designs modular bars specifically for this reason. Your bar should exude class
Your bar should exude class
You don’t want to make your guest feel “dingy” or “dirty”. We have all been to a bar where when you sit down you immediately feel like you need to take a shower. You want you guests to sit down and realize they look good. You want your guests to feel like James Bond when they order there drinks. For this to happen you need two things, you need cleanliness and style. Cleanliness is of the utmost importance when creating a good bar experience and style is simply choosing the right color, texture and material to fit your surroundings. If you have the environment to use low lighting then do it, it works wonders on atmosphere and it’s harder to see any spills or stains. I have found bars made out of stainless steel or brushed steel to be exemplary. If you add wood to create contrast it gives it that timeless feel that any millennial will love. But truthfully, stainless steel is just easy to keep looking clean. And make sure to pay the little extra for nice bar stools, it’s these little additions that make all the difference. This moves us into the final piece of the puzzle.
You still want your bar to be practical.
Notice how this is number three on my list. Having a practical bar is important but don’t compromise the flow or the class when you’re thinking of how easy it is to make a drink at your bar. Remember that your guests come first and what they experience should be higher on your list than making your bartenders comfortable. I am sorry to all the bartenders reading this but if we don’t create a comfortable and welcoming environment then we all lose customers and everybody loses out. That being said “practicality” is one of the top three, a practical hotel bar should be able to carry the staples like jiggers, shakers, muddlers quality ice and plenty of garnishes. But practicality doesn’t stop there, if you’re looking to create a better banquet bar then you should definitely look for bars that have interchangeable panels. The frequency in which different companies rent space in a hotel is rivaled only by the likes of trade shows or pop venues, it is truly mind boggling and your equipment should be able to keep up.
To create a truly stunning hotel bar or banquet bar focus on the basics. You don’t have to dump your money into social networking drinking games or menu’s that nobody can even read. If you pour your energy into creating a comfortable, classy and functional space you will succeed. Remember that the best service goes unnoticed, you want the guest to remember the atmosphere.