Best Chain Adult Alcohol-Free Program
Red Lion Hotels Corp. wanted to offer guest something more exciting in the non-alcoholic beverage category than the usual coffee, tea, and soda. The hotel chain also wanted to enhance the overall Red Lion guest experience, maximize profitability and find a creative way to increase traffic to the Red Lion website through the use of QR codes. The Roaring Refreshers program managed to achieve all three of those goals.
“We wanted to create a drink for the spring and summer months that appeals to families and works as easily by the pool as it does in our restaurants,” said Kenneth Shore, senior vice president of food and beverage with Red Lion. “We created handcrafted beverages with strawberries, mango, and pomegranate that would be received by all age groups and refresh some traditional drinks.”
Roaring Refreshers gives Red Lion guests the opportunity to enjoy specialty tea and lemonade-based non-alcoholic drinks made with fresh fruit and Finest Call mixers. The initial program features three specialty drinks: Mango Orange Iced Tea, Strawberry Pomegranate Lemonade, and Peach Arnold Palmer. Drinks are priced at $2.99; guests also have the option of purchasing their beverage in a special 20-oz., double-walled collectible tumbler featuring the Roaring Refreshers logo for $5.99.
Each drink is showcased prominently in appealing point of sale materials placed in menu inserts, as well as in hotel lobbies and bars. The drink advertisements also feature a QR code that guests can scan with their smartphones to download the Roaring Refreshers drink recipes directly from the Red Lion website.
FRESH, FRUITY AND FUN
The Roaring Refreshers program has been a big hit with guests for two key reasons, Shore says. “First, the beverages are made to order and include quality fruit puree products, rather than fountain drinks.” What’s more, the Roaring Refreshers tumbler for an additional $3 is a great value when compared with nearly $10 each for comparable tumblers sold at coffee houses, he says.
Overall, the Roaring Refreshers program is simple in nature, easy to implement, and succeeds in engaging hotel guests with the Red Lion brand. (The title is an homage to the Red Lion name.) Downloadable recipes offer guests additional value at no extra cost, and the souvenir mug allows guests to relive their Red Lion experience after they leave the hotel.
Even the point-of-sale materials, which feature inviting images of the drinks, provide guests with a graphic visual depiction of the specialty beverages and encourage higher sales by deviating from the traditional written menu format.
The Roaring Refreshers program, offered at all Red Lion locations with restaurants and/or food and beverage service, is slated to run through the end of 2013. Red Lion will then evaluate its overall success to determine if the program will continue.
The drinks appear to be a hit: The company originally ordered 3,000 signature tumblers, and among 25 locations, 1,300 Roaring Refreshers tumblers were sold over a three-month time period. That’s impressive, “considering not all drinks are served or purchased with the tumbler,” Shore says.
Red Lion Hotels Corp.
Based: Spokane, WA
Number of units: 48 hotels