Wurst Night’s Sleep at Sausage Hotel
German butcher opens bratwurst-themed sausage hotel.
In an age where local butchers are under threat from online shopping and the growing vogue for meat-free lifestyles, one butcher in Germany has come up with a novel way of bringing in customers: a sausage hotel, complete with authentic decorations.
Upon entering their rooms, guests are greeted by wallpaper featuring colourful bratwurst drawings, along with a string of sausages dangling over the bed and a large wiener pillow to lay one’s head on.
Boebel is more than aware that his place won’t be the first choice for those who prefer to go meat-free: “Polarization is my business model. Either the guests find it cool, or they say ‘Never again.'” Luckily for Boebel, it seems most guests fall into the former category. The 48-year-old says bookings are looking very healthy.
However, he still hasn’t quite been successful enough to get the hotel’s name out there without the help of online booking sites. And most of his guests are travellers looking for cheap accommodation while they’re in town for a conference at the nearby Nuremberg Convention Centre. The aim is to eventually attract guests who are more interested in discovering the secrets of the region’s bratwursts, with a multi-course bratwurst menu, a sausage seminar or a wiener tour.
The hotel, which is on the same plot of land as Boebel’s hip butcher’s shop, is in a quaint sandstone building that used to be an inn. Boebel sank about 800,000 dollars into renovating the building for guests.
It’s clear from the beginning that Boebel’s hotel is much more than a quaint country lodge. Guests are greeted with the butcher’s assortment of canned sausages as soon as they go to reception. The hotel itself is both a shrine to bratwurst and a showroom for Boebel’s products.
Inside the rooms, the walls are covered with pictures of sausages and instructions on how to make them. In room No 1, reserved for hardcore sausage fans, Boebel has hung plastic bags of raw meat and fat – the main ingredients. Even the staircase features the butcher’s top-selling meat products.
The opening of the bratwurst hotel is, however, not out of character for those who know Boebel. The master butcher and his wife have adopted a bold marketing strategy in their fight to preserve their ailing industry since at least 2007, when Boebel began marketing his products online. In 2009 he began offering “Sausage Experiences” – butchery classes, bratwurst tastings and sausage workshops.
Behind the marketing strategy is Boebel’s belief that in order to differentiate his product from sausages in supermarkets across Germany, he has to offer something more. “Our principle: Customers should experience the product, instead of just buying some sausages.”
The regional butchers association is observing what Boebel does with interest. “He is no doubt an innovative person,” says a spokesman for the association, Stefan Ulbricht.
Thanks to German news agency dpa, Georgensgmuend and tag24.de.