The Power of Scent in the Hospitality Industry


If you work within hospitality in some way, then you will be familiar with just how important first impressions are for customers. In fact, there are many factors that are important to consider for first impressions. The way staff interact with customers is key, as well as the furnishings and facilities themselves. However, there is one element that is often overlooked but can make a huge difference in the overall experience of your guests: scent. Read on as we explain why scent is key in the hospitality industry.

Bakery counter and cafe at Etapa in Prague

It Provides A Welcoming Atmosphere

When a guest enters your establishment, the first thing they notice is the smell. If the scent is pleasant and inviting, it can set the tone for their entire visit. On the other hand, if there is an unpleasant or overwhelming odour, it can make guests feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

Using a carefully selected scent in your lobby, restaurant, or guest rooms can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. For example, the scent of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect and can help guests feel relaxed and at ease. Lavender can also help with anxiety and help you to sleep. A citrus scent, such as lemon or grapefruit, can be energising and uplifting, creating a sense of freshness and cleanliness.

brown and green pub table interior restaurant

It Pleases Guests!

In addition to creating a welcoming atmosphere, using scent in the right way can also please your guests. Many people enjoy the scent of freshly baked goods, such as bread or cookies. By having a scent diffuser in your lobby that emits the aroma of baking, you can instantly make guests feel at home and evoke positive emotions. You can even find commercial scent machines online from experts such as Aromatise. They have diffusers and fragrance machines for various hospitality businesses that can help boost your brand identity and keep your guests happy!

Scent can also be used to enhance the experience of your guests. For example, if you have a spa or wellness centre, using essential oils in your treatments can provide added benefits. Lavender oil, for example, can promote relaxation and relieve stress, while eucalyptus oil can help with respiratory issues and provide a refreshing sensation.

Brunch at Etapa in Prague

Scent Can Strengthen Brand Identity

Your brand identity should be what sets you apart from your competition and helps to create a unique and memorable experience for your guests, which will be reflected in the marketing. You may not think it, but scent can be a powerful tool in strengthening your brand identity. By selecting a signature scent that represents your brand and incorporating it throughout your establishment, you can create a cohesive and memorable experience for your guests.
For example, if you own a luxury hotel, you may choose a scent that is sophisticated and elegant, such as sandalwood or jasmine. If you run a beach resort, you may opt for a scent that evokes the ocean, such as sea salt or coconut. Whatever scent you choose, it should reflect the personality and values of your brand.

plate on a table in a restaurant

Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

It Can Actually Boost Health!

In addition to creating a pleasant atmosphere, using scent can also have health benefits for your guests. Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote healing and wellness, and many of them have been scientifically proven to have therapeutic effects.

For example, peppermint oil has been shown to help with headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues. Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help to purify the air. Eucalyptus oil can relieve congestion and improve respiratory function.

By incorporating these essential oils into your establishment, you can provide added benefits to your guests and enhance their overall experience. You should consider surveying your guests to find out what sort of scents and oils they enjoy, so that you can provide them with exactly what they want.

Finally… The Scent of Food Plays a Major Role

The impact of scent in the hospitality industry extends beyond just the overall aroma of a space. In fact, the scent of food can play a major role in a customer’s experience, too. The aroma of different dishes can evoke emotions and memories, and even stimulate appetite. A restaurant’s signature dish or the smell of freshly baked bread can be the defining factor that draws customers in and sets the tone for their entire dining experience.

Additionally, the smell of food can also influence perceptions of taste, meaning that a dish that smells delicious can be perceived as tasting better than a visually identical dish without the same aroma. Therefore, it’s important for restaurants and other hospitality businesses to consider the scent of their food and how it contributes to the overall experience of their customers.

Greek dishes at Suvlaki restaurant in Brick Lane London

The next time you decide to renovate your hospitality business, you should seriously think about how you can improve the overall odour. Even if you aren’t renovating, you should consider what products you currently use, and what could be bought to help the natural odour. Air fresheners and dehumidifiers will go a long way in this regard. Not to mention, you should be using aircon to help keep customers cool and prevent everyone from sweating!

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