When to Give Complimentary Rooms and Items in the Hotel Industry

Of course, giving away something for nothing does not come naturally as a business-owner. We are often fiercely capitalist in our mentality and have worked to hard to get where we are just to give things away. At least this is the theory.

In practice though, there are a variety of times when giving complimentary room and items away in your hotel business, or any other field for that matter is essential. Not only that, it also make excellent business sense if you have the foresight to see envisage future situations. Here are a few key moments when it is acceptable or even recommended to give something for nothing.

VIP/Regular Customers

The number one thing you want to inspire among your customers is loyalty. Loyalty to your brand, your property and you. One of the best ways to develop this loyalty is through making your regulars feel valued and loved. Nothing says value and love like a free meal or room.

When implementing this strategy, you shouldn’t be using random choice. By using a complete booking solution to manage your property, you should be able to easily view stats on your guest so as, how often they stay and importantly, how much money they contribute to the business. Use this information to your advantage. Just look at every Las Vegas hotel from Hooters to MGM, complimentary rooms are standard.

The Disgruntled Guest

This category is one which arises more out of requirement than desire. Whilst not being too lenient, you want to make sure that your disgruntled patrons anger, regardless of how valid or not it is, does not boil over onto social media and review sites such as trip advisor. These have become vital in the running of modern day business and you just cannot afford negative feedback.

This gives the customer a huge position of strength, all the while backing the business into a corner. You just have to hope that your employee’s personal communication and charm is enough to diffuse any situation before you have to pay too deeply.


In the world of bloggers, endless peer-to-peer reviews and of course the more traditional forms of media, these are opportunities you must take advantage of. It makes perfect sense to offer an upgraded room to a known influencer or a free meal to even a minor celebrity in exchange for some highly valuable positive exposure on the likes of Instagram.

Of course, these people know their own worth and position of power, however, unlike other industries, especially in hospitality, all publicity is not necessarily good publicity. Therefore, when you have the ball in hand, it makes sense to avail of the opportunities as they present.