A rising trend in the hotel industry is the revival of room service. Up until a few years ago, it was believed that room service was going to die out. In fact, there are still many who hold the opinion that room service is a redundant concept altogether. But I strongly believe that it remains integral to the hospitality experience, especially when you consider the massive changes it has undergone to keep up with the new trends and consumer demands.
Here are a few trends we’ve seen in room service and how they’re changing the experience of travellers altogether.
Menu, New Menu
A big part of the hotel room service, menus are brought back to life with more additions to it. There was a time when room service was limited to a few basic items that were meant to appease your rumbling stomach. So, you’d get a simple breakfast fare in the morning, some light snacks throughout the day (nothing fancy, mind you) and your dal, roti, paneer, and chicken for dinner. Or if you preferred International cuisine, you could order salad, lasagna or pasta. For anything more extensive, you’d have to go down to the hotel restaurant.
Now, however, the room service menu has expanded to include a variety of mouth-watering options. Apart from crowd favourites like burgers and brownies and everything in between, it also includes appetizers, main course, the chef’s signature dishes, and dessert. That’s right! The whole fanfare in the comfort of your hotel room!
Comfort food has also found a way into the already expanding menus. They offer a variety of dishes that give you memories of your childhood or your home to help feel you better on those not-so-good-days while you’re on a trip. And what’s better is that most of these dishes are available round the clock for whenever your spirit and your stomach needs it!
It’s not just appetisers and main courses that have been taken up a notch, desserts too have got a sweet makeover in the room service menu! With the rise of desserts as a culinary art form in itself, hotels now offer a wide-ranging dessert menu from the cheesecake to caramel pudding to crème brûlée while still offering simple ‘desserts’ like milk and cookies or chocolate milk.
With increasing awareness and a sense of ecological responsibility, the traveling crowd is demanding organic fare and meals prepared from locally sourced produce. And hotels are changing their priorities in line with this new development. From procuring the freshest and the most organic ingredients to serve their guests to partnering with small, native farmers, they’re doing everything they can to serve up food that’s not just Eco-friendly and pesticide free, but also an epicurean delight.
And if you thought that’s all, another eco-friendly trend in the hotel room service is doing away with anything plastic—from plates to straws, cutlery and room service trays altogether. It’s a huge initiative taken by many hotels in their attempt to be ecologically thoughtful and attract guests. Instead, keeping in line with the eco-friendly trend, they deliver food in brown paper bags and recyclable bags and packaging. This is also better for the hotel as it saves on cost and convenient for guests who want to take their food and get going.
Endless Mini Meals
If you’re on a long, exhausting trip, it’s likely that you wouldn’t have the energy to eat full meals every day. Hotels take that into consideration and offer a variety of appetisers and drinks. You can also order late night snacks for those hunger pangs in the middle of the night or just have wine and cheese if you feel like it. Hotels now offer an extensive room service menu and extended service hours so you can enjoy on your own or with your guests with drinks and appetisers without having to leave your room.
Grab ‘n’ Go carts are also becoming popular due to the fact that you can simply grab the food and be on the go. Although not exactly room service, hotels understand the way the Millenials work and hence, the birth of this brilliant solution. Those who don’t have the time to enjoy a leisurely meal can enjoy this service as it saves them time while also enjoying a quality meal. It has gained a lot of popularity due to its no-fuss and quick service, and quality food.
Leveling Up In Service
It’s not just the service and the food that is changing. Room service delivery is also evolving. Now, you don’t see a tray full of the whole meal in one go.instead, many hotels deliver the meals in parts to ensure that guests enjoy a warm meal. In some select hotels, you can also have a mixologist mix cocktails for you in your room! The presentation has also changed and been taken up a notch, so expect beautiful colours, quality linen and shiny silverware when you have your food delivered to your room.
Another trend that is gaining momentum in hotel room service is the use of online apps. There are apps for practically everything, so it only makes sense that there is an app for room service as well. You no longer have to grab a phone and talk to a person to order your meal when you can click and pay easily on an in-house hotel app.
With so many changes in the traditional notion of room service, it can be challenging to keep up—as a hotelier or a guest. But as with any dynamic industry, room service in hotels too will go through changes that will be dictated by the needs of the current generation. So the next time you put up in a hotel, try ordering room service. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Ram Gupta, the author is a hotel management graduate from India and Germany; He is a certified Hotel Administrator from U.S. and MIH from U.K. He has over 40 years of sound experience in the Hospitality, real estate industry in India, Dubai, U.K, Europe and Japan and is well versed with all areas of business including acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, diversification, strategic planning, development and operations. He has been associated with over two dozen luxury and boutique hotel projects and has launched two hotel chains in India. He is currently an independent hotel consultant and could be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.bcgglobal.com