Room service often receives some of the lowest scores on hotel comment cards. The poor ratings are not a surprise considering its reputation for lukewarm food and premium prices. Learn successful techniques you can employ to make your room service program more satisfying for your guests as well as improve your bottom line.
Phone operators should be well informed about the menu
In room service, a phone operator functions much in the same way a server would in a dining room setting. This person is the critical link between the guest and kitchen and perfectly situated to sell. Keeping phone operators in the know on specials and what dishes may not be available will help streamline the ordering process. Phone operators should taste menu items in order to make suggestions the guest may not have thought of.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
While it is important to improve delivery times for room service orders, you do not want to assure guests to expect their meals to arrive in an unrealistic timeframe. Guests are likely to make a complaint about a meal being served “late” and look unfavorably on your overall service because of it.
Keep a photo or diagram of how a tray should be set
Having a visual representation of what should be included on each tray makes it quick and easy for servers to check that they have everything before leaving the kitchen.
Follow up after delivery
“Is everything satisfactory with your meal?” Guests appreciate follow up after receiving room service. Checking back shortly after delivery allows for a guest to inform you of any unmet need or displeasure with their order. It also gives your server or phone operator another chance to sell an additional menu item, beverage or coffee.
Consider adding bundle options
Offering guests the choice to bundle different room amenities makes it convenient for them to place any type of order. For traveling business people, offer a bundle of WiFi and continental breakfast. If your hotel caters more toward families, consider doing a movie night package with the choice of kid-friendly films, pizza and popcorn. These bundles will take away the guesswork for customers as well as provide the chance to sell an item your guest may not have considered.
Provide samples of your menu
A great way to get guests to order from your room service menu is to offer a sample. Set up a station in the lobby with bite-size menu selections for guests to taste as they walk in. Include a sign letting people know they can find these dishes on their room service menu.
Guests are unlikely to order room service if they aren’t aware of the amenity. In addition to placing notices in traditional areas such as near the phone or television in the room, consider where you could promote this service outside of guest rooms. Hang signs in the elevator or lobby as well as train your front desk to alert arriving visitors that they have the option to order room service.
Present food to the guests
When bringing an order, have your servers name off each dish as they remove the lids. This helps to make sure the guest has everything they need and allows for any questions to be answered while the server is still in the room.
Pour beverages inside the room
It is good practice for beverages to be poured in front of guests. Train your staff to always bring a bucket filled with ice and an ice scoop when serving sodas and mixed drinks. If a guest orders wine, the corked bottle should be brought to the room for opening and serving. The server can then offer to leave the bottle and add the cost to the check later.
Clearly communicate with visitors
Train your servers to openly communicate with guests regarding gratuity and pick up protocols. If gratuity is included on the check, servers need to inform the diners when presenting the check. This helps to avoid guest frustration with inadvertent double tipping. Also, have your servers notify guests on their options for tray removal. Present a service card that includes the server’s name and tray pick up times or place a note on your room service menu.
For more tips to improve your room service program, read our Top 10 Tips for Successful Hotel Room Service blog.
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