Boost Room Service Sales at Your Hotel

14th September 2020

Room service has been a key feature of high-end hotel service since New York’s Waldorf Astoria first opened its doors in 1931. This simple extension of food service into the hotel room opened up a world of opportunity for hotel businesses, changing the in-room experience for hotel guests forever. Since then, room service has been an established industry standard for high-end hotels all over the world, embodying the quintessence of luxury, affluence, and convenience.

In its heyday, room service was epitomised as the ultimate extravagance, as captured in 1980s and 90s Hollywood movies such as Home Alone 2 and Pretty Woman. But times have changed, and the calibre of room service as a definition of prestige has been on somewhat of a downward trend since the early 2000s. The rise of app-based delivery services and travellers’ demands for authentic cuisine has normalised the luxury of eating what you want, where you want, when you want. When you factor in the typically high prices and limited menu offerings attached to in-room dining, it’s hardly surprising that modern guests are looking elsewhere to fill their bellies.

Local restaurants have now entered the frame, expanding their service outside the confines of their establishment using apps such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and DoorDash to order food at hotels. Hotels now have a multitude of new competitors to contend with who already specialise in food orders. Luxury resorts in remote locations may be more immune than city hotels as there is less choice for eating out, but as more and more highend restaurants enter the delivery market, this will also change.

The hotel industry has been blindsided by these developments and is struggling to keep pace with the rise of digital technology and the modernisation of in-room dining. For some, things have got so bad that they are throwing in the towel, the iconic New York Hilton Midtown hotel, for example, decided to stop offering room service in any capacity in 2013.

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