Do you like getting extra free stuff like a complimentary dessert at a restaurant or a discounted entrance fee to an attraction? This is the science behind Customer Giveaways.

Welcome to another addition of hospitality property school.

Today, we are going to talk about customer giveaways.



When a business goes over and above to give its customer, its guest, you, more than you expected, this can leave you with a positive memory that can be recalled when it is time to re-book. You have heard that you never forget how to ride a bike, but it doesn’t just apply to motor skills, it also applies to memory and recall.


So why are customer giveaways important?

In the competitive hospitality property industry, setting yourself apart from your competitors is vital to establishing a firm customer base. This is true for every independent hotel, resort, inn and bed & breakfast, so your goal is to brand your property every day.

The reason you want to brand is so that your customers will remember you, return again and hopefully recommend you to others.


So what are some ways you can brand to your individual guests?

You can give them useful items or gifts with your properties information strategically placed. It’s important to remember, choose a hospitality property branding strategy that fits into your properties budget. Luckily, clever branding choices don’t have to cost a lot. All they have to do is to enhance your customer’s perception of value. These items or ideas could be used upon arrival, during your guests stay or given to them as they depart. Luxury properties could choose high-end options, while small bed and breakfasts could pick home-style items that reflect their charm.


Today, I will take a look at items that I have seen or heard that other hospitality properties have used.


  • An orange salad, with toast and spiced pecans.


  • Homemade chocolate dessert, featuring an artwork.


  • A property in Mexico, offered freshly prepared guacamole and salsas, accompanied by a margarita made with fresh juices followed by a 15-minute, head-and-neck massage.


  • In London, Scottish butter shortbread, made with natural ingredients and a flower tea called Wellington Tea


  • Properties own cookies, pralines, small cakes from the pastry chef


  • Local beer or wine


  • In Australia, in one property you will find a designer lemon juicer, swizzle stick and high-end glassware in the room; when you’re ready you call room service for lemons and ice, and use the kit to make freshly squeezed lemonade


  • Freshly popped, Spanish-style, buttered popcorn seasoned with Spanish paprika, smoked cheddar powder, and cumin.


  • Packets of herbs and spices grown in the properties garden. This property also offers the free half our cooking lesson once a day.


  • Signature Cocktails


  • A small bottle of extra virgin olive oil, produced in the region.


  • The small jar of honey from local hives


  • Local delicacies.


  • A coffee table book of a hotel’s art collection


  • Handmade wood puzzles of local scenes. They vary by season and so have become collectable


  • Straw hats and totes to be used on the beach and then taken home


  • In a Hawaiian hotel, employees gather in the lobby, recite an original lei chant, and hand out coconut leis.


  • A handwritten note on a stationary pad with a pen


  • Limousine airport transfer for returning guests


  • Rubber ducky’s and at one location a rubber bath toy of an endangered sea turtle


  • A whistle in each room of Peruvian hotel


  • Candles and holders


  • Take home ear plugs, eye mask, slippers


  • Bathrobes


  • Biodegradable water bottles


  • A travel first aid kit


  • Leather bookmarks


  • T-Shirts or golf shirts


  • Tea bags and tea canisters


  • An e-book of the history of the property and local region on a USB drive.


  • Tasteful travel case


All the items mentioned were branded with the properties name and/or information. 


“Now it’s your turn to brainstorming unique ideas.”


I had mentioned at the beginning of this podcast that clever branding with giveaways does not have to cost you a lot. One way to keep your costs down is co-branding. Co-branding is when two separate companies form a partnership to enhance both of their brand images.

One property I am aware of co-branded with a wellness and bath company. The bath company created a small package of products branded for the hotel, at cost, and included a small online catalogue with a discount e-email offer.

The Bath Company was able to boost its profile in profits while collecting email addresses for future promotions, and the hotel was able to give away a luxurious gift that guests talked about for years.



Always be aware of ways you can brand your property to your guests. Going the extra step can turn a one-time visitor into a lifelong return customer.


If you have any customer giveaways that have been successful for you and would like to share, I would love to hear about them. You can leave them in the comment section of the show notes at:


That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.


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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.




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