Room service delivers food from the onsite restaurant to a guest’s room. Unlike other delivery services, the staff provides all dishes, cutlery and trays. This allows guests to enjoy their meals in bed or at the table. Room service also extends to alcoholic drinks. However, many hotels stock such beverages in the mini-fridge.
Why Do Guests Enjoy Room Service?
Room service is a convenience. It allows guests to eat in privacy or outside of regular restaurant hours. Most hotels take food orders throughout the day, accommodating late comers and early risers.
In many respects, room service also saves time. Guests can get ready in the morning while their food is prepared. This avoids restaurant waits and reduces the time between eating and starting the day.
Interestingly, despite its advantages, research posits that room service is nowadays less popular. PKF Hospitality Research reports that room-service related revenue fell 20% between 2007 and 2012. Consequently, many hotels have reduced room service resources and/or hours of operation. That said, some technology allows hotels to automate much of the service.
In the early 2000s, hotels used doorknob menus to fulfill orders. Such a system relied on an active staff member scanning floors for filled-out menus. Today, technology is smarter. Guests can submit food tickets from their personal devices or through the Smart TV. This is one example how hotels offset the cost of running room service programs.
Another way hotels have scaled back is through simplified menus. Most hotels serve both breakfast and all-day menus. They see no need to maintain lunch and dinner menus separately. Doing so lets the restaurant provide more variety on each menu, too.
Not every hotel offers room service. In particular, motels and inns typically do not find such programs feasible. Often, if the hotel includes a restaurant, there will be a dine-in menu of some sort available.