Nintendo Wii: Say Oui to Increased F&B Sales

399

The hottest electronic gaming system for 2009 continues to be the Nintendo Wii. More than 17 million units have sold to date, including 4 million in November and December of 2008. In our lodging industry, Nintendo product trials have occurred at Westin and Marriott. A simple Google search can provide information on these trials in hotels.

So how can you use this affordable technology to drive increased F&B sales in your hotel operations?

The device is easily connected in a hotel lounge or bar area. With the addition of a Wii to a bar, customers stay and play for hours longer than usual. Given the different sports that can be played on the Wii, football, baseball, or basketball could be incorporated into a theme of the sporting event of the day. In ski resort area hotels, for example, the new Wii Fit has skiing competitions for lounge patrons.

Given the different sports that can be played on the Wii, football, baseball, or basketball could be incorporated into a theme of the sporting event of the day. In ski resort area hotels, for example, the new Wii Fit has skiing competitions for lounge patrons.

For fitness addicts, an in room Wii Fit attached to the TV allows guests to do yoga and pilates in their own rooms. This may appeal to female business travelers not wanting to work out in the public workout room of the hotel. Tying a spa menu to the Wii Fit in-room could upsell to the fitness market segment.

For convention center hotels, the Wii Fit could be incorporated into the mid-morning or mid-afternoon break. Call it a fitness break, where conferees can really stretch and get a little exercise using the Wii after sitting in sessions. We have found this actually stimulates conversation and networking. The Wii break could also be sponsored by a company as a new and innovative type of sponsorship offering: “The Wii Fitness Break sponsored by…” Nutritious foods can be offered during the breaks as well.

In this day of being unique and fresh-to-market, The Wii and Wii Fit offer hotel food and beverage operations ways to increase revenue at a relatively low cost of investment. And the Wii can give your F&B operation a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace. The Wii and Wii Fit are now found in the Experimental Guest Room (The “X” Room) at the University of Delaware.

For more information, contact Dr. Fred DeMicco at fdemicco@udel.edu.