December 7, 2022
Lauren Platero

7 Innovative Ways to Bring Back In Room Dining At Hotels

Restaurant tech and hospitality software is finally bringing in room dining services back to hotels. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic paused the benefits that hotel guests could experience. But now, after two years later, the hospitality industry is finally beginning to bring back sought-after services.

Hospitality software companies are slowly but surely reintroducing room service options. But this time around, they’re more innovative than ever before thanks to hotel technology.

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In Room Dining: Definition

In room dining service is the practice of serving hotel guests as if they were in a restaurant. From proper dishware and glassware to floral arrangements, hotels can bring guests a formal or casual dining experience.

What Are Some Trends In Hotel Food Service?

Restaurant tech is constantly changing the way hotels serve customers. Eight popular trends in hotel food service include:

  1. In room dining services
  2. Traditional room service
  3. Hotel rewards and perks
  4. Food scheduling tools
  5. The use of an innovative restaurant POS system
  6. Food trends and local alcoholic beverages, such as different beer brands and wine
  7. Contactless payments and delivery
  8. App integrations that connect to digital menus

All of these strategies can help streamline restaurant operations within hotels. Ensure that you implement the ones that best suit your services and business model.

Advantages Of In Room Dining

There are many reasons to offer in room dining at hotels. Five major advantages of this type of food service include:

  1. The convenience it provides customers
  2. It’s not overwhelming for waiters
  3. It helps increase hotel profits
  4. It helps eliminate food waste
  5. Managers can use this service in hotel and restaurant promotions

There are many other reasons to bring back in room dining at your hotel. Continue reading to learn how to do it.

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7 Ways to Bring Back In Room Dining At Hotels

Ready to bring in room dining services back to your hotel? Read on for seven tips to help make the transition easier.

1. Room Service Delivery

If you’re going to offer in room dining services, it’s a given that you’ll provide food delivery. However, there are a handful of ways that innovative restaurant technology can help streamline operations.

To enhance the room service via delivery experience, implement the following tactics:

  • Live order monitoring so that guests can check their order status
  • Scheduling tools to order meals ahead of time
  • The option to have the food cart dropped off at the door, allowing for a contactless delivery
  • Allow customers to leave a tip on the delivery platform so that they can limit interactions with wait staff
  • The use of a restaurant inventory management app so that customers can’t order items that are out of stock

This is just a brief overview of what to be mindful of when launching food services. We’ll dive into each of them individually throughout the remainder of this article.

2. Contactless Room Service

If you plan to bring back in room dining at your hotel, also offer contactless delivery. If the pandemic and consumer data have taught us one thing, it’s that people prefer limited contact when making a purchase.

In room dining services allow hotel-based eateries to deliver food to customers with zero interactions. This means that customers can make purchases that don’t require any requests from servers. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Contactless payments have been increasingly popular within the restaurant industry, too. It’s a safe option and saves both parties time.

3. Meal Scheduling

Think about it; your guests are most likely very busy people. From vacations to business trips, they’re probably on the go all day long. How great would it be to provide them with meal scheduling tools for their convenience?

With the right hospitality software, guests can schedule food to be ready for times that are perfect for them. Perhaps some guests would like a late-night snack after arriving from a lengthy flight. Or, maybe a business person heading out to an early-morning conference wants to skip the breakfast lines.

With various schedules in mind, it’d be super beneficial for hotels to offer 24 7 food delivery to guest rooms. Not only will this provide consumers with a super convenient eatery, but you might be the only option in the area.

4. Install Guest Room Tablets

Offering in room dining via mobile apps is super convenient for guests and hotel staff. However, not every guest will download such apps.

Install tablets in each room that include any necessary online ordering apps. It’ll guarantee your staff that guests have access to your services. Plus, it will help eliminate confusion on how to receive room service.  

Hotel room tablets can also contain other resources, such as apps for local businesses or photos of nearby attractions. Though they’d be minor details, they can help answer some questions for those not from the area.  

Tablets can also include ways to contact the kitchen, front desk, and hotel concierge. Customer service channels are essential for boosting the overall experience, so make it accessible.

5. Grab and Go Food Pickup

Many hotel guests are on the go. With this in mind, allow one of your food services to be a “grab and go” pickup option.

For instance, customers can place an order to go right from their room before heading out. Upon leaving their room, they can head downstairs to an order pickup station to retrieve their food.

Or, perhaps people are out but would like to have food readily available upon coming back. Through an app, customers can place an order and schedule a time for pickup. It’s a similar concept to self ordering kiosks, except this kind of service is for multitaskers.

6. Use QR Codes In Each Room

Provide guests a subtle reminder of your food services by sharing QR codes in each room. A QR code links to digital menu types so visitors can easily view and order food.

Creating custom QR codes is easy, especially with an app like SproutQR. Plus, the number of times you can edit the menus is endless. Ever run out of an ingredient or discontinue a dish? Not a problem–just edit your digital menu.

In recent years, hotels have been striving for innovative ways to maintain cleanliness. By eliminating physical menus from the rooms, there is less opportunity for the spread of germs.

Book a demo with SproutQR to promote your in room dining menus to every guest!

7. Hotel Guest Perks

Once you add in room dining to your hotel strategy, it’s time to encourage customers to use it. Offer perks and rewards to all of your guests to boost profits.

After launching a restaurant loyalty program, eateries are likelier to attract and retain customers. The same concept applies to your guests.

Perks can include discounts and free items from on-premise restaurants. Hotel managers can also offer loyalty points to frequent visitors.  

Want to increase the number of customer reviews on your website? Prompt guests to leave a review after redeeming their points. The alert will occur right after a positive experience, leading to higher ratings. Plus, they’ll help promote your business to future travelers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About In Room Dining

Whether you offer traditional room service or in room dining, ensure that you provide guests a stellar experience. Continue reading to learn more about some of the clearest differentiators between the two styles of food service.

What Is the Difference Between Room Service and In Room Dining?

Room service is the practice of delivering quick meals, while in room dining provides a more formal dining experience. Think about it this way: in room dining includes room service, but room service doesn’t always refer to in room dining.

What Is IRD In F&B Service?

The acronym “IRD” stands for in room dining, and the abbreviation “F&B” stands for food and beverage. It allows hotel guests to enjoy food and drinks in their rooms.

What Are the Types Of Room Service?

There are three different types of room service. These include:

  1. Centralized Room Service: Hotels that use the main kitchen and team of servers to deliver food to guests.
  2. Decentralized Room Service: Some hotels have a separate pantry, kitchen, and staff dedicated to room service.
  3. Mobile Room Service: In some cases, hotels will deliver food to single properties on the grounds of the resort.

How Do You Serve Food In Room Service?

Hotels can serve room service using meal carts or delivery personnel. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels have been opting for contactless delivery and in room dining.  Hotel eateries can provide customers with the restaurant experience right within the comfort of their own room. From proper linens to fresh food, it’s a service that all hotels should offer.

What Is Included In Room Service?

When guests order room service, they should expect to receive the following:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Appropriate dishware and glassware
  • Any relevant condiments
  • Utensils
  • Napkins

For in room dining, guests should receive these items in addition to the following:

  • Tablecloth for outdoor patio or balcony furniture
  • A vase and floral arrangement
  • Candles and other types of decor depending on the hotel