November 3, 2023

Hotel In Room Dining Solutions | Olo Alternatives for Hotels

Hotel in room dining is one of the most lucrative revenue streams in the hospitality industry. But did you know that there are ways to maximize profits even more? That’s right–with innovative tech solutions, hotels and resorts can streamline in-room dining services. From easy menu browsing to contactless payments, you can create the ultimate customer experience

But before we outline various restaurant tech alternatives for hotel in room dining, let’s take a look at the term. Surprisingly, there’s a slight difference between in-room dining and standard hotel room service. Now, let the learning begin!

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What Is Hotel In Room Dining?

Hotel in room dining refers to the process of ordering food and drinks to be delivered to a hotel room. Though you might assume that hotel in room dining and room service are synonymous, there’s actually a slight difference. However, it's not uncommon to use the terms interchangeably. 

You see, room service is simply the process of ordering items that will show up on a cart. It’s a prime example of casual dining, and doesn’t provide guests with too much of an “experience.” Meanwhile, hotel in room dining brings a little piece of the restaurant’s atmosphere to the hotel room. Instead of just dropping off food, a staff member may set up a table, as well as provide proper glassware and silverware. When ordering from an upscale restaurant, the staff might even bring a centerpiece for the table. 

The term “hotel in room dining” stems from the idea that the entire dining experience will take place in the room or suite. It’s as simple as that. But how can hotel restaurants streamline operations that are somewhat off-premise? Well, we’ll cover some solutions in the next section.

5 Solutions for Hotel In Room Dining

When people think of luxury hospitality, they may imagine ornate architecture and culinary excellence. However, implementing an extra sense of richness doesn’t have to be difficult or cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, many hospitality software companies make these upgrades quite easy with in-room dining options. 

Read below for five SaaS companies that are elevating the hotel industry on a daily basis:

1. Revolution Ordering

We do so much more than offer products pertaining to online ordering for small restaurants. Hotels that partner with Revolution Ordering can streamline in-room dining and group ordering processes for both guests and the staff. We currently help a number of hotels simplify online ordering, which in turn, boosts guest retention over time.

A tablet-free solution is sure to increase operational efficiency in your hotel, too. Excessive amounts of hardware just lead to errors and other complexities. With a centralized dashboard, hotel staff can make the most of their time and resources.

Our POS integration features and centralized dashboard also streamline kitchen operations. As a result, room service and in-room dining orders have a quick turnaround time. Considering that long wait times are one of the most common complaints across negative customer reviews, this is essential for your hotel's reputation.

Oh, and if you ever want to review industry insights, our business intelligence dashboard can tell you all you need to know. Or, if you're just concerned about company-wide performance, you can view that, too. 

It might seem like we offer a lot--that's because we do! But you'll learn it quickly, as every client has access to a knowledge base. With this resource, you can learn every little detail about the product. But what if you run into a major issue? No worries. Our dedicated customer success team is here around the clock. Yes, you can speak to a real person and resolve any conflicts in record time.

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2. Lunchbox

Lunchbox is one of the many Olo alternatives for both restaurants and hotels. It supports in-room dining with creative online ordering features. For instance, Lunchbox clients are able to design a custom website and displays on online ordering apps. Plus, they support loyalty program integrations and other customer-centric features.

3. ChowNow

Offering hotel in room dining via digital apps can be done with ChowNow. Not only that, but the platform can let the hotel enterprise design the menus based on their branding. And when you stop and think about it, room service is pretty similar amongst hotels. So, a well-branded site layout might enhance the ordering experience a bit.

4. OpenTable

OpenTable doesn't exactly operate with hotel in room dining in mind. However, its features can be used to facilitate such orders. They primarily revolve around online ordering and restaurant reservations. But when it comes to something a bit more formal like in-room dining, both these features are handy.

5. Toast

Thanks to its online ordering features, ability to deliver food, and POS hardware, Toast is commonly found in hotels. A few of Toast's features that make it suitable for in-room dining are payment processing and simple order management. But let's say you already use Toast for your hardware. Other Toast and Olo online ordering alternatives, like Revolution Ordering, can still integrate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel In Room Dining

Hotel in room dining can lead to great financial success for brands across the hospitality space. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Why do guests even like it in the first place? Are there enough advantages that outweigh the cons? 

As a hospitality executive it’s probably a good idea to become as familiar with hotel in room dining as possible. It's also advisable to learn how Olo and Olo competitors can help you. Speaking of which, you can begin with the following FAQ section. Read on:

Why Do Hotels Have Room Service?

Hotels have room service in order to increase their bottom line and improve the guest experience. If there’s one thing that all luxury hotels have in common, it’s that they offer room service. Hotel in room dining doesn’t just give guests a comfortable and convenient experience, but it’s another revenue generator for the business. 

What Are the Three Types of Room Service?

The three types of room service are:

  1. Centralized Room Service: The kind of room service where all meals are prepared in the main kitchen. There is also a designated team to serve the orders. 
  2. Decentralized Room Service: This term refers to room service orders that are prepared in their own space. In other words, these dishes do not come from the main dining area.
  3. Mobile Room Service: While you may be envisioning mobile ordering apps, this kind of room service uses means of transportation to bring orders to individual on-premise cottages or suites. This is most common in high-end resorts.

What Are the Advantages of Hotel In Room Dining?

Several of the advantages of hotel in room dining include:

  • In-room dining is a very lucrative service for the hotel to offer. 
  • In-room dining often results in user-generated content. 
  • In-room dining can help increase the inventory turnover rate. 
  • In-room dining can serve more people than a restaurant can accommodate.
  • In-room dining is a great way to provide a more luxurious experience.

Why Do People Prefer Room Service?

People prefer room service over dining out due to the comfort and convenience that it brings. Instead of going out and possibly traveling to a busy eatery, they can have a similar experience. Meanwhile, it all takes place in the comfort of their own hotel room. In many cases, hotel in room dining can create a much more intimate dining experience than it would be in the restaurant.

Do You Tip Hotel In Room Dining?

Yes, proper dining etiquette states that customers should tip whoever delivers their hotel in room dining order. In fact, the whole concept isn’t too different from the protocols that exist in restaurants. Like with anything else, customers should tip anywhere from 15 to 20 percent when ordering room service. But of course, more is always appreciated by food service workers everywhere!

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Hotel In Room Dining: Room Service, But More Upscale

Are you ready to take your hotel room service operations to the next level? Maybe even surpass your financial goals and KPIs? Schedule a demo today to learn how Revolution Ordering can help you make the most of your hotel in room dining efforts. From some of the best online ordering tools to a centralized dashboard, let us help you scale your hotel business.