The #1 Mistake in Dual-Brand Design

The #1 Mistake in Dual-Brand Design

03/27/2023 | 05:53 PM | 6 Min Read

Dual brand - even tri-brand - hotel properties are increasingly popular for a variety of shared construction and operational expense reductions. Most share a footprint, a parking lot, a common area and a team! While providing guests the option of two different brand visions.

Most also share a single retail outlet in the lobby – often opting for the more defined, most recently updated retail brand standard in the planning and construction phase.

In theory this makes sense, as it is typically the most promising format with the most recent product assortment update - but we continue to see the impact of choosing one store layout for two hotels.

The Numbers Don’t Add Up.

If the retail format chosen for the dual brand lobby is a prototypical design intended for a 95-room hotel, and the co-located hotel brings an additional 105 extended stay rooms that also utilizes the grab-and-go market, you have a real estate issue.

The result? An under-planned, overutilized lobby market that is rarely well stocked due to the design and space limitations. Couple space limitation with the enormous burden placed on the front office team to keep it replenished for 200 rooms when space planning was intended for 95 and you end up with a tired team and lack luster profits.

The dual-brand, single store planning strategy inevitably results in a Lose |  Lose | Lose:

• A loss for the guest who arrives to a half picked through store.
• A loss for the hotel team that struggles to keep smaller format appliances and shelving supplied throughout the day.
• A loss for the owner who cannot sell what is not in stock - and never achieves the ROI a well-planned grab-and-go market offers

Tips for designing a dual brand store:

Floor Plan

Increase store floor plan to accommodate additional appliances, shelving and storage space needed to meet the needs of the combined key count.


Maximize appliances to ensure beverage is front and center and always well stocked.

Minimum 50” of refrigeration for 100-150 rooms.

Minimum 75” of refrigeration over 150 total rooms

Example: 2 reach in coolers or one reach in + one closed door

Product Stations

Carefully consider the needs of both guest profiles when selecting product stations to include in design. Core product stations to prioritize depending on hotel type:

  • Beverage
  • Beer & Wine
  • Elevated Coffee
  • Shelf Stable Snacks & Meals
  • Refrigerated Meals
  • Frozen Meals
  • Ice Cream
  • Groceries 
  • Personal Care
  • Medication
  • Electronics 
  • And don't forget about those PETS!

What can you offer the guest to keep revenue on property while providing winning retail experience convenience?

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