Three quarters of guests unhappy with hotel coffee

By Melodie Michel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coffee Coffee preparation

Hotels should improve their coffee offering to drive repeat business
Hotels should improve their coffee offering to drive repeat business
Three quarters (75 per cent) of hotel guests rate the quality of in-room coffee as poor or average, a UCC Coffee survey has shown.

Additionally, 30 per cent of the survey’s 1,000 respondents said the quality of coffee on offer would deter them from staying again at the same hotel.

“In the UK the café culture has been phenomenal over the last few years and people are more discerning in terms of coffee quality, and we’re seeing a notable difference between the quality of coffee served in hotels and what’s available on the high street, especially in more upmarket coffee shops.

“It’s become slightly disproportional, and as the survey shows, the majority of people are dissatisfied with the quality of hotels’ coffee, especially in-room coffee is deemed poor,” Phil Smith, category manager at UCC Coffee, told BigHospitality.

Boutique hotels ranked the lowest for coffee service with 40 per cent of respondents calling it very poor, while bed & breakfast guests were the most satisfied, with over 40 per cent rating the coffee at breakfast, at the restaurant and in-room as good.

Long way to go

“Hotels are prioritising other areas before coffee. The high street was guilty many years ago of doing the same thing, but now it’s realised the importance of coffee in terms of driving business. Hotels are finally coming around to it but there’s still a long way to go.

“Additionally, in the business model of hotels, coffee tends to be a by-product included in the price of the night, so there’s been very little incentive until now to make it high quality. But our research shows that poor quality coffee acts as a deterrent rather than a selling point,” Smith added.

Coffee tips

Although not every hotel can justify investing in a full barista offering, following some basic principles can help hotels improve the filtered coffee they serve at breakfast:

  • Get a right machine for the job, depending on the quantity you need.
  • Clean machines on a daily basis.
  • Train staff on how to use the machine and ensure the coffee’s fresh.
  • Keep the coffee fresh: Don’t pre-portion your coffee to save time at service, as coffee becomes stale as soon as it’s exposed to oxygen.
  • Ensure your machine has water filters and they are changed often: 99 per cent of coffee is water, so water quality is very important.
  • Buy quality coffee: The difference between a quality single origin coffee and a cheap one is a matter of pennies per cup - that sort of money will give your customers a much better experience.

And while many hotels have traditionally offered instant coffee in bedroom, Smith explained there are now many better options out there.

“Instant coffee in rooms is no longer feasible. It is almost equivalent to putting a black and white TV in bedrooms nowadays.

“For ease of use, coffee bags (ground coffee in tea bags) are a great option. There’s also the capsule option but that requires investing into the machinery for the rooms. You also have the pour over filter option.”

Watch BigHospitality's video onhow to improve your coffee offering​.

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