There was a time a few years ago that it looked like hotel room service was going the way of the dodo bird. Big hotels were cutting back or getting rid of room service completely because of all the added cost and the lack of interest in it. But recently there has been a resurgence in room service as hotels find new ways to serve their guests. Going away is the typical hotel room service with the room service carts and dishes and bland fare that may or may not be still warm when you get it, and in its place is coming a room service that adapts to the needs of its guests.
Here are the top hotel room service trends in 2017:
Upgraded Restaurant Style Service
Usually room service is a water downed version of the fare options at the hotel restaurant and not the type of meal people rave about. Utilitarian in nature the menu is just a few simple options that will appease your hunger when you are too tired to leave your room for food. However with many well-known chefs establishing restaurants on hotel property they are upgrading room service to better match the full restaurant experience.
Besides simple fare like burgers and salads, some hotels are offering a more expanded menu that includes the chef’s signature dishes like Thai coconut green curry or lobster roll. Now you can have a complete culinary experience in the comfort of your hotel room.
More Focus on Organic and Home Grown Produce
While farm to table and organic restaurants are certainly not new, not many hotel room service menus reflected this trend until now. Hotels across the country are now committing to only buying their produce, dairy and meats from local organic farms. With more and more people looking for healthier and more environmentally sound food options, it is a no brainer that hotels should also adopt these practices as well to attract more room service orders.
Food Shopping Service
At many hotels today, room service isn’t just about serving breakfast, lunch or dinner in your room. They realize that if you have a suite with a full kitchen or even just a mini fridge and a microwave that you might want to have food you can prepare on your own in your room. So at these hotels, they will also send up groceries for you to use to cook for yourself. Want some pre-packages snacks and a six pack of your favorite craft beer? You can get that too. Hotels are even partnering with grocery delivery companies like Peapod to make food shopping easier especially for guests staying for longer visits and those with larger families.
More Comfort Food on the Menu
Many of these upgraded menus are also offering a lot more comfort foods like shepherd’s pie or homemade mac ‘n cheese for those guests looking for a taste of their childhood or a carbohydrate-loaded treat to help them weather stressful times. Some hotels offer these dishes around the clock for whenever the mood strikes you.
Caters more to your sweet tooth
Usually room service menus might only offer you one or two simple dessert options, but that is no longer the case. Desserts have become a culinary art form in itself and many hotels are showcasing more variety everything from homemade ice cream to cupcakes to cheesecake. Other hotel room service focus on comfort desserts like milk and cookies.
Changes in level of service
How room service is being delivered is also changing. In some hotels trying to give a more upscale restaurant-style experience, staff delivers the dishes in multiple stages to keep everything warm instead of putting everything on a cart and taking it up to the room all at once. Presentation of the mean has also been taken up a notch and now more attention is being made to colors and quality of linen and table centerpieces. Guests are getting a level of service they have never experienced before.
On the flip side, other hotels even upscale ones are totally getting rid of the china and the room service trays in favor of brown paper recyclable bags and packaging. This saves on cost, is better for the environment and caters to guests who want to take their food and run. Hotel guests who are at a business meeting or a conference and don’t have time for a leisurely breakfast will especially love this. They can just simply take it with them.
24 hour drinks and snacks
Hotels are starting to understand that sometime guests don’t want a full meal in their room, but maybe want to entertain with drinks and appetizers so some are keeping mixologists on hand who will come to your room to mix cocktails for you, and you can also order wine and cheese or other pairings as a late night snack. Room service menus are offering a wider range of options and longer service hours than they did before. So now you can hold meetings or entertain guests in the comfort of your hotel room or suite and still have access to top shelf drinks and delicious appetizers.
Grab ‘n’ Go Carts
As an extension of room service, many hotels now offer a grab ‘n’ go carts for the breakfast and lunch rushes so their guests can grab a quick coffee and yogurt or a burrito on the way out the door.
Room Service App
There is an app for pretty much everything so why not room service? Calling in your order from your hotel room phone is so yesterday. Some hotels are trying to reach more millennials by having an app for room service so that you no longer have to wait to talk to a real person on the food to take your order.
The hotel industry is a very competitive business and to be successful hotel owners have to be constantly innovating and adapting to the changing needs of their guests. While the face of room service is changing, it is far from extinct. Would any of these trends work well in your hotel?