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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Hotel Bars – success and failure – from basement to rooftop bar- is there a recipe?

Baccard Bar NY

From bottom to top

Many classical hotel bars were located in the basement. Bars were underground business. Now we see rooftop bars because someone finally figured out that the best view is from the top. Nice. It definitely enriches the bar scene even in cities like Moscow where you don’t consider to sit in an outside bar for more then 6 month of the year. Beijing has also cold winter but adds some fine pollution to the rooftop experience. Everywhere else in the world its fine I guess.

The hotel bar in the basement faces the same problem like the roof top bar. How to get people in? How to make people go to the basement without knowing what to expect or jump in the elevator to go to the top? A cosy looking bar on the street that attracts you while passing by has an advantage there.

Park Hyatt Bangok

Get them in

It needs sales from sales department but from every employee in the hotel to start with. The best way to keep the bar always full is great bar staff. I have been in hotel bars that were poorly designed but were the staff was the big difference and made me come back whenever I was in town. Locals and repeat guest are the key to success even if your architect got the whole thing wrong. If the architect got it right – and there are great bars in the world – it is heart-breaking to see them empty.

Garnd Hyatt Erawan

Let them be host

But you need to let them be hosts. Bar staff is a tough job like most in hotels. Trust them, give them power to be generous hosts and make them stay. A bar with the majority of guest frequently changing can be a great success. A bar with the majority of staff frequently changing can’t succeed.

Spassos Bar Grand Hyatt - one of the best concepts

Give them power trust them?

I know many managers will doubt that this is a good idea. But only because they don’t know how to deal and control while at the same time trust is growing and staff becomes better, more knowledgeable and more confident. More valuable for the hotel. Many managers just don’t know how much training they themselves still need.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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