According to a recent survey of meeting professionals, 43% of guests say room service is extremely important when selecting a hotel. In-room dining is a 'must have' for guests, and traditionally a loss leader for hoteliers, yet, so few hotels find ways to bring creativity and increase revenue to this 'must have' amenity.
Below are three ways to breathe new life into this long-standing service.
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1. Share Real-Time Updates with Your Guests
There is a disconnect between the luxury hotel and the guest after a room service order is placed. The kitchen is busy preparing the meal and the guest is left wondering "do i have time to pop in the shower? and "will the order be delivered on time as estimated by the staff?"
In a world driven by technology, guests should not be left in the dark when it comes to managing their expectations for room service or any amenity request for that matter. Luxury properties such as Auberge Du Soleil, the Watch Hill Inn, and Hotel Jerome use 2-way communication technology hosted by Incentient to communicate instantly and directly to guests. Guest requests are responded to immediately and are continually kept up to date with personalized and auto-generated messages. From the moment they place their request -- "We have received your Order", "Breakfast is in preparation", " Breakfast is on its way to your room"-- 2-way communication keeps them informed with precision accuracy and personalized detail.
2. Partner with Local Restaurants to Offer 'Seamless'-Style Service
Companies like Seamless have changed the game for food delivery. Customers pull up a website or an app, find a restaurant, and pick out a few dishes to have delivered. The credit card is charged and customers never need to speak a single word into the phone. Cutting edge hotels like the Inn at Windmill Lane are catching on and bringing the same innovation and options to in-room dining.
As part of the property's recent technology upgrades, the Inn offers high-end takeout from neighborhood restaurants for guests who prefer to dine in. The staff then plates those dishes and delivers them to the guest to further enhance add the brand's personal touch.
This fresh approach to in-room dining has been an immediate success, according to GM Edward Villafane:
"Many of the restaurants are difficult to get into during the peak season. Partnering with local restaurants has allowed us to be able to offer our guests that chance to order in from their favorite hard-to-get-in restaurants. We have great relationships with the local restaurants and since we pick up the food we are not dependent on their delivery service."
3. Find Staff Efficiencies to Deliver Room Service Quicker
Nowhere is there greater demand for instant gratification than in the luxury marketplace and guests are expecting hotels to deliver goods faster than ever. Hotels are finding new ways to adapt, and several have reinvented the room service guest experience to move faster.
For example, Four Seasons developed a 'fast delivery' program (about 15-20 minute wait time) focused primarily on business travelers several years ago. Soon the program amounted to about 20% of the brand's room service business, and went beyond the business traveler to cater to all discerning guests.
Other hotels are turning to in-room technology to directly connect guests to the hotel's services 24/7. As polite as your staff is, guests staying at luxury resorts will feel frustration getting a busy signal or being placed on a long hold.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about implementing the right guest facing technology to optimize staff efficiency and enhance the guest experience at your resort.