The relationship between hotels and Airbnb is fraught with tension and competition, but there’s one area where the two could establish a symbiotic alliance: food-and-beverage.
In fact, Airbnb already has its sights set on F&B. This week it announced it is expanding into restaurant reservations—users now can book tables at about 650 restaurants across the U.S through its website and smartphone app.
Also this week, Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder, CEO and head of community posed the following question on Twitter: Over holidays, I asked over Twitter what you wanted from Airbnb. Dining was one of the top requests... what else should we do with dining?
The response from the Twittersphere included a few out-there suggestions (making sure host kitchens had sharp knives and creating a pizza and chicken finger filter), but many of the ideas floated have direct impact on hotel operations.
One responder, @ScottGeyman, suggested partnering with local restaurants to deliver tailored meals to guests staying at Airbnb properties. This would be particularly profitable to hotels in areas where there is a large concentration of Airbnb locations.
A number of tweets focused on partnering with local restaurants in terms of deals and discounts, as well as lists of recommendations. Everyone loves a deal, and getting your hotel restaurant, grab-and-go or bar on a list of that type increases exposure and hopefully goodwill. One way to keep profit from dropping too much based on discounts: Offer a discount at only one of your outlets. Getting the Airbnb guests in the door will increase your chances of attracting them to a different outlet later in their trip.
@stuartpowe11 suggested a filter for farm-to-table and sustainable restaurants. That’s a big push at a number of hotels around the world, and that would be a perfect opportunity to partner with Airbnb for exposure.
Incorporating local catering companies into the Airbnb app for delivery based on preorders, especially around the holidays, was suggested by @Muppetbait, but why include only catering companies? Many hotels cater parties and events, and with a little planning, preparing party food for delivery is a logical extension of that.
@DigitalCKS would like to see local chefs cooking a meal or hosting cooking classes so guests can get a unique perspective on the regional cuisine. And while hotel chefs most likely would not go to a residence for either of those options, there’s no reason why these types of events can’t be hosted at the hotel and marketed to Airbnb guests through a partnership. The best part: These events are perfect for hotel guests, too.
Several commenters also requested group tables at local restaurants for Airbnb guests who are traveling alone so they have others to enjoy a meal with. Some hotel restaurants already have tables such as this for guests who are traveling alone, and getting that information in front of Airbnb guests could be a boon for travelers and hotels.
So much of staying at an Airbnb is about living like a local, and who better to provide that kind of experience than a local hotel?
If you’re interested in reading the entire thread, click here.