Mark Southern reels off the exact date when Hilton launched Keurig® into Hilton Garden Inn hotels. On September 30, 2013, Hilton, in one day, rolled out Keurig coffee systems in each of its 73,000 rooms, at every hotel in the system at the time in the US and Canada.
“It’s worked well for that brand,” says Southern, director of product innovation, F&B, at Hilton Worldwide. “It’s something our customers truly appreciate, having the ability to brew a premium cup of coffee. In my opinion, it’s the only really great cup of coffee in a guest room. It works for a number of reasons. It’s simple. It’s something guests know, and they perceive it to be premium. That’s an important differentiator in the competitive landscape. It’s certainly easier for hotel team members to work with. It saves us labor against the predecessor brewer in rooms. Guests perceive it as much more clean and simple.”
Emboldened by the success of Keurig® in Hiltons, Southern says they’ve tested the systems in other brands such as Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites. “Keurig® is part of a premium room package that we do in those brands,” Southern says. “Hilton Garden Inn went all-in; the other brands use it in more of a premium room setting.”
Hilton has responded to guest demand for retail coffee, but Southern says quality in-room coffee is still a must-have. “We’ve implemented a premium, specialty coffee system in the lobby space in our new
Garden Market retail concept,” he explains, “but it’s not meant to supplant in-room coffee. We hope the people looking for a latte or cappuccino will come spend that money with us, but there’s still a general expectation of in-room coffee. You need the ability to give them what they’re looking for right off the bat, first thing in the morning—when and how they want it.”
“With Keurig Green Mountain beverage selections, hotels can meet the preferences of well-traveled and globally educated hotel guests by providing high quality,
specialty coffee selections, notes Charlie Wood, director, marketing foodservice at Keurig. “These guests are often attracted to authenticity and sustainability.”
Keurig Green Mountain is making significant investments in both At and Away From Home to support the Green Mountain Coffee® brand. “Good quality coffee just isn’t good enough,” Wood says.
“Green Mountain Coffee® provides specialty coffee with a story that has real meaning for guests. Great tasting, sustainability-focused and ethically sourced, Green Mountain Coffee® offers Fair Trade and Organic premium-quality Arabica selections for feel-good choices worth staying for.”
Consumers are seeking greater beverage variety, Wood says, and Keurig® brewing systems offer more than just high quality coffee with teas and cocoas, allowing guests to customize their cup with beverages that fit their taste.
Southern says Keurig® provides the best in-room coffee amenity in the market. “Keurig has allowed us to do that in a much better way than messy four-cup brewers or washing glass carafes or not having a premium product,” he says.