Eat & Sleeponomics

NYC & Co, as reported in this Bloomberg Businessweek article, indicated that tourist visits for Q1-2010 in NYC were up 11% over the same period in 2009, meaning 1.3 million more visitors came to NYC than the same period a year ago.  The numbers are great for hotels with NYC & CO reporting that hotel occupancies rose and Broadway ticket sales increased as well. The good news for restaurants?  International visitor spending rose 13%.  Restaurateurs have long understood that international travelers spend more on dining and are more likely to pillage wine cellars.

What to do with all this economic data? It makes sense to pay even closer attention than ever to the ever reliable guest quality data that is likely changing with these economic swings. Are the lines at your reception desks creeping up in length?  What are your guest comment cards and mystery shopping reports telling you lately?  Are main course plates loitering under the heat lamp longer than they used to?

Economic data is unreliable and dependent on factors outside a restaurateur and hoteliers’ control. Economic data is always trailing while your quality data is always current.  Guest experience data doesn’t care if you are busy, slow, or if it is January or August, or if the Euro is up or down.  If guests are happy with you they will stay with you.

Here’s a hearty toast to better economic data!  Though I reserve my hat coming off for those hoteliers and restaurateurs that consistently pay attention to something much more reliable.

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