The hotel industry is not happy with Airbnb, and that's an understatement. People renting out rooms and even complete houses on Airbnb, head to head competition for professional hotels. Did I just write 'professional' hotels?? Well... that's exactly where the problem is.
Services such as Airbnb and Uber are a succes for a very simple reason: they bring back to the consumer what hotels and taxi's did in the past. A complex statement? Not at all. I have experienced cities all around the world where taxi drivers feel they can be rude to people, overcharge and make unnecessary detours. They just got away with it. And a lot of industries are like that. But then there is a player who changes the game, who changes the landscape.
All of a sudden, there is a friendly host that goes out of his way to make sure your stay is a good one. An Airbnb host that drives to the pharmacy when you are feeling ill. Not the indifferent hotel receptionist that doesn't even make the effort (or isn't allowed to) to show you your room. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it comes down to the basics of hospitality: making it personal.
I plead for bringing back a bit of romance to the hotel industry. What is with opening your hotelroom with an Apple watch? How indifferent can you be?
Don't get me wrong, this is not a manifest against hotels, far from it. There are amazing hotels out there. Buildings with an amazing infrastructure in the most beautiful parts of the world. If only we can now put in a bit of that making-it-personal and just a bit of romance...
You can't go and make your menu yourself. Trust me. People will notice immediately and on top of that, it will sell more. You can get great templates for your menu for a reasonable price. You buy a template, download it and adapt it to your own style.
Where to put what
People tend to look to certain places when they get a menu handed from a waiter. About 90% of guests will look to the top left first. So make sure you have something to draw their attention, something to up-sell or maybe a more costly item.
Don't underestimate the power of footnotes.
Writing a menu is story telling. Tell your guests about the dish, about the ingredient. Tell them something they don't know yet.
Do you know for example how the pigs for Pata Negra ham in Spain are fed? On acorns! Isn't that a great detail to impress your guests.
There are even chefs that use poems to describe their menu.
Pricing should be clear. We speak from experience. If you are offering a dish at a price for two people, make sure it says so.
Pricing is also the best when you go from low to higher price. People tend to take something better gradually.
Update your menu often enough, especially for guests coming every week or every month. People want to discover new things. Go with the seasons. Don't serve tomatoes in the middle of winter. Your customers will respect your professionalism.