Top Hotel Room Service Trends in 2020

By Sharmila Chand

Just like every other element and operation in hotels, Room Service too has seen a sea change. There has been resurgence in room service as hotels are resorting to various trendy and innovative ways to serve their guests in the comfort of their rooms. Do not expect the typical hotel room service with the service carts and dishes which may not be in required temperature. Upgraded Restaurant Style Service with perfect presentation has arrived that adapts to the specific needs of its guests.

Here we talk to experts in hospitality about the new trends and essential tips to generate revenue f r o m Room Service.

Key room service trends in 2020

Ather Raza, Director of Operations, Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort and Spa

Room service along with luxury is the true hall mark of being a tourist. Having a hot meal delivered right to your hotel room gives you the feeling of having arrived in paradise. It is nourishing, comforting, and downright convenient. Today, with so many Food & Beverage options in every hotel, giving the guests elaborate and proper room service is an additional requirement. All the good hotels around the world are focussing on doing this right to give the guests a memorable experience.

The key here is to keep a simple yet appealing menu, giving the guests a Speed Lightning Service & also serving hot food “hot”& cold food “cold”.

Rajesh Khanna, F&B Head, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, New Delhi

F&B plays a very important role in business generation especially Room Service. The trend is to have the specialty dishes of the hotel’s all outlets as part of In-room Dining menu; include all possible cuisines to suit the needs of various nationalities. Combos and especially Kids special menu are again a very popular trend. Updated & upgraded tech-savvy room service equipment is the call of the day. Gone are the days of ordinary crockery and cutlery to serve. Attention to details in serving is the trend. Presentation styles, maintaining more privacy and convenience of the guest while delivering the order will be given more thought for a delightful experience.

Nishendra Kashyap, F&B Director, The Den, Whitefield, Bengaluru 

Now a days mostly the guests are looking for healthy and organic food. Keeping such items in the menu will maximise the room service revenue. 

Another trend which will be impacting the room service is personalisation. If hotels focus on the preference of their guest and serve them in the personalise way it helps in getting the bonus points. 

‘Artificial Intelligence’ is one of the major trends that will affect the room service in 2020. Now a day’s hotels have been using software such as VSERVE which automatically assigns order to servers available on shift, tracks clearance status, tracks delivery time and automatically pushes the order which is getting delay. So, chances of going wrong are negligible and impact great experience to the guest.

Niraj Kumar, IRD Manager, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

Innovative concepts: A special meal combo for a single diner who may not want to come down to the restaurant or a fabulous Beer & Kebab combo for a guest who would be glued to his TV during a FIFA World Cup match, seasonal & innovative concepts help the hotels to generate new avenues of revenue. At Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla, we execute an interesting concept called ‘Buffet in a Thali’ which is a hit amongst the single diners who wish to relish the dishes in the buffet but are not comfortable dining alone.

Personalisation is the key: Every guest has a different palate and preference, hence it is important to cater to their style of eating. Guest profiling comes handy in this case. The concept of ‘personal butler’ has gained popularity nowadays. Even for the guests who don’t take this option, the chefs in the kitchen make sure that the guest’s expectations are met by incorporating their specifications. With the advent of technology, the day is not far when guests will be able to interact with the chefs directly via a virtual concierge.

Increased importance of health & well being: Right f r o m locally grown ingredients to organic foods and f r o m gluten free dishes to sugar free substitutes on in-room dining menus, the quest for healthier cuisines amongst the guests is encouraging the Food & Beverage teams to revamp their menus. A lot of guests who stay a hotel during their medical treatment prefer healthy and homemade style food.

Sustainability to the core: Best practices are being adopted for a sustainable culture. At our hotel, we have banned the usage of single usage plastic straws and bottles.

Focus and USP of Room Service 

Nishendra Kashyap, F&B Director, The Den, Whitefield, Bengaluru 

At The Den hotel, we have been following lot of innovative ideas to keep our guests happy and at the same time to maximise the revenue. Few examples of the innovations are:

Female associates delivering the order of single lady travelers

Providing personalised and innovative arrival amenities such as Whitefield centric tabloids, good night cap etc. 

Option of homely food along with healthy and organic food options in the menu such as farm to fork salad

Keeping homemade delicacies in the menu

Making guest cocktails in their rooms

Rajesh Khanna, F&B Head, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, New Delhi

Speedy delivery of orders, good variety in the menu, comfortable dining area in the room, modern equipment and professional order takers are few USP of IRD at our hotel. While taking order, our order taker intimates specific requirements if any, related to the order or suggest guests our HOT SELLERS or MUST TRY Cuisine f r o m the menu. Suggestive Selling boost sales as well as authenticity of the Hotel and we get positive comments f r o m our guests. We follow quick and accurate Order delivery process as we don’t want our guest to feel the inconvenience in any way. This can be controlled and checked twice before the delivery of orders. 

Niraj Kumar, IRD Manager, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

Understanding the preference of the guests and giving them personalised attention is the core of the hospitality industry. At Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla, we run special promotions during Navratri and Ramzan month where we offer ‘Satvik Thali’ and ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftiar Thali’ to the guests. We understand that few of the guests may be fasting and would need to such meals to commence and break their fast for the day. Being an IRD Manager, I make sure that I take feedback f r o m all the guests about the service & food experience. Necessary service recovery is also done in the cases where the guest expectations aren’t met due to any reason.”

Right f r o m live Mocktail & Cocktail making experiences to modern style plating of dishes, the Food and Beverage teams are all set to take plating game a notch higher to enhance their In Room Dining Experience. So the next time you see a red or a green flag or sauce around a Burger, you would know the secret message attached.”

Tips to have a successful Room Service Operation 

Ather Raza, Director of Operations, Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort and Spa

Keep the menu simple & doable.

The access f r o m the kitchen and room service areas should be planned efficiently. Direct access to guest floors need to be organised in order to avoid any food delays. 
The order taking process should be efficient & the follow up process should be practiced diligently.

Assign your best team to carry out the room service operations.

Niraj Kumar, IRD Manager, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

Take down the right order, under the specifications and allergies (if any) and deliver it within the stipulated time.

Taking feedbacks is very important. If the guest doesn’t like a particular dish, service recovery is important. Understand the specifications again and replace the dish.

If it’s a long stay guest, the chefs must personally meet the guest to understand their meal preferences.

Introduce seasonal offers/innovative menus keeping guest profile/requirements/preferences in mind.     

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