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Food and room service is at the heart of hospitality industry. It is something that delights guests and is key to their experience. And although the world around us has changed, this is one thing that doesn’t have to.

So how can the industry make sure that our guests can easily enjoy safe, delicious meals? The obvious and first step is to make it as easy and as safe as possible for diners to get food and beverages delivered straight to their room.

Let’s look at ways to overhaul in-room dining (AKA Room Service) with a contactless experience:

The Hygienic (And Popular) Solution

When it comes to food in hospitality, guests enjoy many ways to get served from restaurants. But prior to the pandemic, industry experts were reporting a decline in profits from room service. Fast forward to a post-pandemic world – in-room dining looks set to be a more popular option for guests, but there are new hygiene and safety implications to consider. So is there a solution that’s safe, offers maximum convenience for guests and can help hoteliers make some incremental revenue?

We think so, and it involves these steps:

  • Eliminating printed menus.
  • Replacing them with a digital menu guests can easily access.
  • Single-use alternatives.

Printed Menus May Be History

Creating a safe dining experience is all about reducing the number of hands that encounter the experience, in any way. Printed menus present a problem where hygiene is concerned. They can be costly to produce, time-consuming to clean, and look messy quickly, even if they are made of wipe-clean material. This will not appeal to guests who need reassurance around hygiene.

Consider replacing your printed menus with menus that are accessible from your guests’ own devices. Using their own smartphones means no investment for you, and you don’t have to worry about the risk of germ transmission from guest to guest. Plus, you have the flexibility to make menu changes whenever you need to, and if you want to add a special, no problem! You also have better scope for promos and guest engagement.

Going Digital

Two very simple ways to give guests access to your menu on their device, include downloading an app to their device, or providing a link, NFC tag, or QR code that takes them to a ‘Progressive Web App’. This is a website that looks and feels like an app, but doesn’t have to be downloaded. The latter gives the best experience to guests as they’d probably rather not download an app for a short stay.

QR codes and NFC tags are easily displayed, and cleaned, within guest rooms. You could also provide a link to your menu from your WiFi landing page.

Single-Use Alternatives

Guests want to know you and your establishment are doing everything to put their safety first. One easy way to do it is with single use products like Joko Black Tea and 100% Pure Rooibos.

What we love about products like Joko Black Tea and 100% Pure Rooibos is they are individually enveloped and hygienically sealed.

Offer Takeaway

Guests are looking for more options when it comes to room service, they want both traditional room service as well as the option to order via delivery platforms.

Let your guest personalise and be in control of how they receive their food – give them the option to request:

  • Knock, drop and go food delivery.
  • Wait until your guest answers the door.
  • Collect their grab-and-go meal at the lobby or restaurant.
  • A specific time to get their meal delivered to their door.

Make it Unique

Room service can become a selling point if you make it unique and entertaining. Here are a just a few ways to get creative:

  • As guests enjoy comforts of dining at home more frequently, it will be key for operators to tap into this market by making room service hygienic yet homely. Try offering picnic-type-baskets for a home away from home experience.
  • Offer grab-and-go meals that can be served both as room service but on your buffet as well.
  • The opportunity to include packaged liquor sales like a bottle of wine, beer, or cocktail components with ‘to go’ orders are an easy revenue enhancement.
  • Make your occasions that are normally experienced in your restaurant into a packaged kit.
  • Make your simpler menu pre-packed and digital and get creative with it; offer signature cocktails from the hotel bar as a DIY kit.

Room service might be evolving, but it’s here to stay. Adapting your offering using the latest technology is more straightforward than it seems, and could be a win/win for both your guests and your business.