Fast food: Hotel room service speeds up

21 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Speaking of comparing Family owned and operated B&B's to hotels... I thought this is interesting.

Have you ever considered offering room service? Wait, don't answer yet, just keep reading. I am not talking about breakfast delivered to the room, I am talking about putting a room service menu in the room, they can fill it out and put on the outside of their door (hang on doorknob) or drop in a basket before a certain time. Say 6pm.

What sort of menu? Perhaps a limited dessert menu, or treats menu.  It could be bowls of ice cream. Or it could be ding dongs or twinkies. Hot chocolates. or M&M's...or more traditional Champagne with goblets. Things of whimsy and clever, not ordinary. Not dinner.   It could be only certain nights of the week, maybe just saturday nights or something.  What is something you crave that you wish you had some nights, a bowl of popcorn? Chips and salsa? a Cold beer? a dove ice cream bar?

You don't knock and deliver, you bring on a tray or basket and knock and leave outside the door.

Fast food:  room service speeds up 

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

I am doing something similar for this year to see how it takes ie tent cards in each room of extra services we offer and how much ie faxing so much per sheet, our own brand chocolate bars £x and so on as well as a list of things we do as compliamentary. Its all about making people aware of things we do already and can sell them ie colour copy on my printer is £x easy to do and so on.

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Doesn't anyone else beside me have to worry about their county health dept? Before we got our restaurant license, our inspector would show up for their surprise inspection with our website printed up, asking about any food add-on packages.

Now that we've been doing our dinners for a year I have a more realistic perspective of how last minute add ons can interfere with your personal time than I did before. I know we're not talking about doing a whole dinner, but you'll want to be realistic about how it can impact your personal time. More than likely, they won't know they want that yummy dessert until 7 or 8 pm when they get the munchies. Are you ready to put that movie you're watching on pause or stay home because someone ordered a $10 goodie? Sure, it may only take a few minutes to put that stuff together, but if you're using plates and silverware, you'll be chomping at the bit for them to get their dirty dishes out of their room so you can clean up. And you don't want to be rude when the guest now takes another opportunity to talk your ear off when you fix them and deliver that yummy goodie!

Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea, just think it through. Try to figure out something that the guest can purchase from you without you having to interact. We have an 'honor area/gift pantry' where people can purchase wine, beer, other pantry items. For us, I would package up a small basket of goodies like individually wrapped candy/chips/crackers and offer it in our honor area. There are purchase slips they fill out with the item they took and their room. Rarely has anything gone missing.

 

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

What I think JB was doing was having us think out of the box.  Having something else to offer - not always maybe but something unique that is not something commonly thought of.   We all can think of 100 reasons why this (or anything else for that matter) would not work but she is just tossing out ideas.

This does not have to be something on your website it can be a last minute 'oh, and by the way we are offering something special tonight ...'   People will think they have a rare opportunity, they may feel special. 

Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

Thinking out of the box to meet guests' needs/wants is great! 

I can't tell you how many times I've been a solo traveler, arrived at a B&B at the tail end of check-in time, and then had to go out and find a grocery store to get a little "picnic" dinner to bring back to my room.  Because I either:  1)  Didn't want to eat alone in a strange town, 2)  Didn't want to eat a regular sized dinner at a restaurant by myself, 3)  Had driven a long distance and just wanted something light.  Some innkeepers don't even have a stale complimentary cookie to tide you over until morning.  And, on occasion I had to head back out some dark, country or mountain road.  This would be a great service to offer for some B&Bs.

Those are dollars that a savvy innkeeper could have put in their pocket. 

__________________

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

copperhead wrote:

What I think JB was doing was having us think out of the box.  Having something else to offer - not always maybe but something unique that is not something commonly thought of.   We all can think of 100 reasons why this (or anything else for that matter) would not work but she is just tossing out ideas.

This does not have to be something on your website it can be a last minute 'oh, and by the way we are offering something special tonight ...'   People will think they have a rare opportunity, they may feel special. 

You got it. 

Some of us really do like to look to other options, changes, improvements, trying new things for 2012, and this is a good place to share these things, or was.

I kind of thought that would be a neat feature, I know PT has ice creams in the guest fridges already, I had thought about that. 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

From what I could tell majoroty of innkeepers do not go out and leave the inn unattended. Maybe that has changed now?

Also, I mentioned DOVE bars specifically, meaning prepackaged, not something you serve as a food item with cutlery. BD I was thinking of room service/delivery, not honor system. Most of us have snack areas and all of that already. This is not about the food, it is about the delivery. 

Rehashing it for everyone, just an idea, for what it is worth. You may have a kid who wants to earn a few extra dollars taking this one (I know you don't but there are hundreds on this forum and a few do have kids at the inn).  We thought about this via car washing in the past. While you have breakfast your car is being washed.  A local hair salon does this, while the ladies get their hair styled their cars are washed.  Don't go into the liabilities, please, we should just shut the inn if we have to go there every time.

I am looking at ways to up the revenue, not everyone here has high occupancy. This could be something offered only in the hot months, or hot soup in the cold months.  etc etc.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Also, I mentioned DOVE bars specifically, meaning prepackaged, not something you serve as a food item with cutlery. BD I was thinking of room service/delivery, not honor system. Most of us have snack areas and all of that already. This is not about the food, it is about the delivery.

Banana Splits, sundaes, dove bars, cornettos, etc. if you can't sell food that is NOT prepackaged.

This doesn't look like a Dove Bar to me!

JB, must you always pick apart all of my posts? You're the one who's feelings get hurt because folks pick apart your posts and say negative things. How about the same respect? I rarely post anymore because of it.

I am looking at ways to up the revenue, not everyone here has high occupancy

I mentioned the honor area because it's a means to generate revenue.

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think it's a good idea, just think about the time restraints on your personal time.

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Also, I mentioned DOVE bars specifically, meaning prepackaged, not something you serve as a food item with cutlery. BD I was thinking of room service/delivery, not honor system. Most of us have snack areas and all of that already. This is not about the food, it is about the delivery.

Banana Splits, sundaes, dove bars, cornettos, etc. if you can't sell food that is NOT prepackaged.

This doesn't look like a Dove Bar to me!

JB, must you always pick apart all of my posts? You're the one who's feelings get hurt because folks pick apart your posts and say negative things. How about the same respect? I rarely post anymore because of it.

I am looking at ways to up the revenue, not everyone here has high occupancy

I mentioned the honor area because it's a means to generate revenue.

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think it's a good idea, just think about the time restraints on your personal time.

 

I was just responding, not picking apart. The banana split was for a visual. LISTEN you cannot post ONE THING ON HERE THAT APPLIES TO EVERY INN.  That is the point. Dove for those who cannot serve food, banana split for those who can serve food. Not sure how clearer I can make it., but as usual every thing I POST ON HERE is driven into the ground.  Point taken.

THE TOPIC IS ROOM SERVICE.

If you are too busy, don't think about this

if you can't do it, don't think about this

if you think it sucks, then don't think about this

This is about a service, not an honor bar.

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

 The only problem I can see with this is people won't think "I'll order an ice cream for 8pm tonight" and put it out by 6pm. They'll call me at 8pm and ask for it.

RIi

__________________

Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
www.arcadyvineyard.com
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!

 

EmptyNest's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 Oh and do you see what hotels charge for this room service?  We did cheese trays, special occasion cakes but that was about all I could handle along with providing lots of freebie desserts and cookies and snacks where they could just help themselves. But if you are "on" anyway, it might be something to consider and try.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

catlady wrote:

 Oh and do you see what hotels charge for this room service?  We did cheese trays, special occasion cakes but that was about all I could handle along with providing lots of freebie desserts and cookies and snacks where they could just help themselves. But if you are "on" anyway, it might be something to consider and try.

CL, I was thinking about this as an added amenity and CHARGE. B&B's give away too much! Guests think they can get everything for free now. If you were an ice cream person and you could order a Dove Ice Cream to your room at 8pm, I think that would be pretty neat.  And you can do it when you want to, if you don't want to this weekend, don't leave the info in the room.

Please DO NOT OFFER THIS AS A FREE AMENITY. 

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 I have heard of some B&Bs doing this - the Inn at Meander Plantation used to offer room service baskets of dinners on nights when the dining room wasn't open.  They might still do that; the innkeeper thought it worked well for them and she had a pretty good system for putting the baskets together - soup in a thermos, simple but good quality food.

This would be especially good for a B&B without many dining options or in the off season.

__________________

Jeanne

There are no rules, just follow your heart. ~ Robin Williams

 

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

muirford wrote:

 I have heard of some B&Bs doing this - the Inn at Meander Plantation used to offer room service baskets of dinners on nights when the dining room wasn't open.  They might still do that; the innkeeper thought it worked well for them and she had a pretty good system for putting the baskets together - soup in a thermos, simple but good quality food.

This would be especially good for a B&B without many dining options or in the off season.

Wow you just took me back. Ten years ago when we were checking out Charlottesville to move here, we stayed at Inn at Meander and ordered this dinner. It was wonderful. We sat on the floor in front of the fireplace picnic style. The basket had a full hot dinner. It was packed in the practical white restauarnt china - soup was in a teapot for easy pouring. Very, very nice. I can't recall if their restaurant was open yet at that time - I think not or we would have eaten there.

RIki

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

egoodell wrote:
We sat on the floor in front of the fireplace picnic style. The basket had a full hot dinner. It was packed in the practical white restauarnt china - soup was in a teapot for easy pouring. Very, very nice.

Suzie talked about that service at the MidAtlantic Innkeepers Conference in one of the workshops.  She said the food was simple, rustic but good quality local stuff.  I thought the soup in a thermos was brilliant.  Or a nice ploughman's lunch in a basket - good bread, meat, cheese, pickles, apples or grapes.  

If I were to do it here - I would go for it on Friday nights (it would especially appeal to late arrivals) and off-season or nights when many restaurants are closed.

Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

A tapas menu would be great, too...along the lines of the ploughman's lunch, but trendy now.  Olives, cheese, crostinis, prosciutto ham/salami, tapenade, etc. 

I think this is a great idea, especially if you have guests arriving later (like we did due to the location of the large metro airport) and if restaurants are closed. 

Our fruit and cheese trays were popular and actually this would be easier...less slicing! 

This "snack" menu idea is a good one...it could be tailored to your locale & type of B&B.  I would use it as a guest!

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

My thought was if you want it have the note on the door or in the basket by 6pm. You could have one delivery time or a choice of two times (later on like 8pm or 9pm) once back from dinner, obv. Yes charge for it. Absolutely.

It's not a 24 thing, just a unique service on a weekend or something. You know you will be there with a full house, at 7-9 pm. Especially for ice cream service, I mean if you wanted you could limit it to ice cream service.  Banana Splits, sundaes, dove bars, cornettos, etc. if you can't sell food that is NOT prepackaged.

Spoke to my business partner and he convinced me it is just one more thing to interfere with our evenings after working all day. I don't think he heard "Saturdays only" but I agree. I still think it is a clever idea. I think it is doable and the guests would like it, esp the ice cream only idea. 

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

My thought was if you want it have the note on the door or in the basket by 6pm. You could have one delivery time or a choice of two times (later on like 8pm or 9pm) once back from dinner, obv. Yes charge for it. Absolutely.

It's not a 24 thing, just a unique service on a weekend or something. You know you will be there with a full house, at 7-9 pm. Especially for ice cream service, I mean if you wanted you could limit it to ice cream service.  Banana Splits, sundaes, dove bars, cornettos, etc. if you can't sell food that is NOT prepackaged.

Spoke to my business partner and he convinced me it is just one more thing to interfere with our evenings after working all day. I don't think he heard "Saturdays only" but I agree. I still think it is a clever idea. I think it is doable and the guests would like it, esp the ice cream only idea. 

I think it could be something that we may consider in the busy season when we are "on" all the time anyway...on weekends only maybe. Have to figure it out... we already do port and chocolate in the evening and have cookies, fruit and popcorn to pop in the tasting room.

RIki

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Spoke to my business partner and he convinced me it is just one more thing to interfere with our evenings after working all day. I don't think he heard "Saturdays only" but I agree. I still think it is a clever idea. I think it is doable and the guests would like it, esp the ice cream only idea. 

egoodell wrote:

I think it could be something that we may consider in the busy season when we are "on" all the time anyway...on weekends only maybe. Have to figure it out... we already do port and chocolate in the evening and have cookies, fruit and popcorn to pop in the tasting room.

RIki

JB, that was my thinking too, after running the special with the fruit trays I felt I never had a moment out of the kitchen.   But as an imprompt to special, for one night a week or only during our slower period (see I think differently than you Riki).  But this would be for $ not an extra amenity!   It is worth a try what is there to loose - nothing but you could gain lots from it.  - A satisfied smile, a repeat customer, some extra gr$$n.  OR if it doesn't work, you gain a few pounds induldging. lol

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

copperhead wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Spoke to my business partner and he convinced me it is just one more thing to interfere with our evenings after working all day. I don't think he heard "Saturdays only" but I agree. I still think it is a clever idea. I think it is doable and the guests would like it, esp the ice cream only idea. 

egoodell wrote:

I think it could be something that we may consider in the busy season when we are "on" all the time anyway...on weekends only maybe. Have to figure it out... we already do port and chocolate in the evening and have cookies, fruit and popcorn to pop in the tasting room.

RIki

JB, that was my thinking too, after running the special with the fruit trays I felt I never had a moment out of the kitchen.   But as an imprompt to special, for one night a week or only during our slower period (see I think differently than you Riki).  But this would be for $ not an extra amenity!   It is worth a try what is there to loose - nothing but you could gain lots from it.  - A satisfied smile, a repeat customer, some extra gr$$n.  OR if it doesn't work, you gain a few pounds induldging. lol

We do think differently! When it's slow I'm out of the inn going to dinner at my favorite restauant or wine tasting so I would not want to be stuck in the inn for a in room order!

RIki

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Interesting indeed! I like the snack or desert idea but I would have to limit it to just 1-2 nights a week otherwise I would be dead on my feet + the fact I need some me or us time.   I also would have to purchase those choices the day of as DH loves sweets and I love the popcorn, chips etc.  One reason we only offer fruit & cheese trays - its healthy.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

OK, that's interesting. How would you charge for this? I'm thinking this is above and beyond so should have a price. No delivery fee, but what's the price of the items? Candy bar? $1.50? (Yes, I know that's outrageous, but I paid a lot more for one that I had to go to the lobby and get myself at the hotel.)

How would you work out delivery times? I ask because we have people coming and going until way after midnight. Popcorn would go stale by then, oh maybe not, it could be wrapped up in paper sacks.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.