Revenue vs. Hotel Reputation: More Than a Room Service Debate
Recently, we posted a Hotel News Now article on the TrustYou twitter feed about how some hotels are trading in revenue-losing room service for less costly solutions. I keep coming back to this, because not only did I agree with the author, but I want to expand on the point.
Room service can by tied directly to hotel reputation and not just because it’s an expected amenity. Of course, the bottom line is meeting guest expectations about whether or not food will be available in the vicinity, as Sangree notes. But room service isn’t just about providing food. It’s about providing for what guests desire when they’re traveling, which is different than meeting an expectation. For some people in-room dining at any hotel feels luxurious. It’s still an experience many leisure travelers desire at least once on a trip—to sit in their pajamas with the newspaper spread out on the bed and have breakfast.
There’s something else, though. Sangree notes in his article that “fewer people actually take advantage of [room service]. And many guests like their stays to be technology-oriented with little human interaction.”
I’m one of those people who think I prefer to see as few people as possible at a hotel, but I also fundamentally believe that connection is what makes human societies what they are. It’s what makes us special. A short, pleasant interaction with someone can change the tone of my morning, which can change the tone of my day—and my stay. Those hotels who keep room service have an opportunity to connect with guests on a level that grab-and-go dining just won’t accomplish.
Even the name grab-and-go feels rushed, disconnected, running away from. Room service (with the right staff, of course) is an opportunity for connection, which is an opportunity to affect reputation positively. Just something to think about before you slash and burn.