In-and-Out Burger has a secret menu, and it has been an impressive point of interest, scoring both marketing and customer points for the fast food chain. It’s a lesson hoteliers can learn from, especially since guest happiness is a top priority for any hotel. So what is your secret menu?

Barring crazy requests, most hoteliers try to accommodate their hotel guests’ needs and wishes. When it comes to room upgrades, though, it may seem like you are giving up potential revenue if you upgrade for free. But with many hotels offering the perk for special occasions, you may want to provide your front desk staff flexibility around these 8 circumstances.

Letting the staff know it’s their special day

Anniversaries are a common occasion for couples to book a hotel room, especially for “staycations.” These are special events in the lives of your guests, so if they mention an anniversary, it would be a great opportunity to be flexible with a room upgrade. They may just ask for one, or you may want to be proactive and offer the perk. Going above and beyond in these cases are a great way to get a repeat customer, especially since these events happen every year and going to your hotel can become their new tradition.

Award Loyalty

When business travelers find a hotel that suits their needs and enjoy their stay, they may keep booking that property time and time again. If you see a business traveler frequenting your hotel often, offer an upgrade. This can help assure that they keep you on their radar, and may even recommend your hotel to their colleagues.

Guests traveling on their birthday

Birthdays are another opportunity to really shine with a room upgrade. This one is easiest to tell, because you have their date of birth in the information you collect from the guest. Making their special day a little brighter with a room upgrade may be more cost effective than a food item or other special gift like a bottle of wine.


Speaking of wine, when booking a room or honeymoon package at your hotel, honeymooners always appreciate any extras you can give them. If available, take the opportunity to give them a nice room upgrade. You may even become known as a preferred honeymoon destination, even if you are not located on a beach.

Hotel rewards members

Depending on your hotel’s rewards program, room upgrades may already be a part of your members’ perks. Make sure you remind your loyalty rewards members that they can earn free nights the more nights they stay at your property.

Direct bookings

OTAs often take a share of your profits that you can otherwise keep if a room is booked direct. Reward your direct bookings with room upgrades if the guests request it. This assures that the next time they will remember to book directly again.

Last minute bookings

If you have a chance to sell a room at a higher rate, you are less likely to upgrade. Last minute bookings, though, mean better available rooms would otherwise go without being used. That gives you more flexibility to offer an upgrade with little cost to your bottom line.

Lastly, reward good behavior by your guests. If a guest goes out of their way to treat your staff right, do the same for them. Remember, happy guests can turn into return guests and can be your biggest advocate for new and repeat business.