Interstate Builds a Road to LTO Success

2018 VIBE Vista Award winner Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Ramping up sales isn’t the only reason operations introduce limited time beverage offerings, but it sure helps. Take the case of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which partnered in January and February 2017 with Treasury Wine Estates to create an LTO around the increasingly popular 19 Crimes Red Blend, specifically designed for all full-service hotels.

The results speak for themselves: Comparing sales of 19 Crimes in September and October of 2016 versus January and February of 2017, sales increased 152 percent.

The goal of the LTO was to boost sales of the brand, obviously, but also draw guests into the hotel bars and restaurants. January and February are typically slower months for food and beverage, especially within hotels, so appealing to guests and turning them into diners was key.

The promotion was so successful that it brought the hotel operator the 2018 VIBE Vista Award for Best Beverage Limited Time Offer.

19 Crimes, typically only offered by the bottle in Interstate’s outlets, was made available by the glass during the two months of the LTO. Pricing was set based on local costs. The 19 Crimes brand celebrates the British found guilty of one of 19 principal crimes who then became Australian colonists in the 1700s. That in mind, Interstate focused the LTO promotion around Australia Day (January 26th), while in February, they switched the focus to Valentine’s Day.

Providing partner hotels with a variety of 19 Crimes POS items, additional materials for server training, and photo contests held to boost associate interest and participation across the portfolio, drove interest. All associates were invited to participate in the 19 Crimes “Perfect Prisoner” photo contest with pictures of guests or associates promoting, selling or ordering the 19 Crimes brand.

Interstate distributed a launch announcement via email prior to the package drops and created an instructional document for the kits to communicate the LTO to all the hotels. The LTO was highlighted in multiple communications prior to the launch to generate excitement and ensure hotels were aware of all important dates.

To build awareness, a variety of 19 Crimes POS materials were distributed to each hotel in a boxed promotional kit. The materials focused on the edgy nature of the brand and included wine list inserts, branded coasters, stand-up wine bottles to place in high-traffic locations, and an associate training kit containing tasting notes, product information, and a variety of pens, tote bags, and t-shirts for service staff.

An instructional letter was included in the kits outlining the goal and purpose of the LTO, important dates, along with steps to take for ordering product, utilizing the POS materials and entering the associate photo contest. In the kits that each hotel received were several associate training materials, including educational tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, brand history and information, and product information to help associates better sell 19 Crimes.

Suggested Articles

Creative uses of augmented and virtual reality are starting to pop up at venues of all types and sizes, all across the world.

Using social media intelligently and managing your brand's online reputation are two of the best ways to lure guests to your bar or restaurant.

Jon Taffer traveled to Largo, Florida, to rescue a sports bar with feuding owners and a kitchen that produced terrible pizza.