Room service is the epitome of what vacation is all about.
Luxury, convenience, and doing absolutely nothing.
(That includes not checking your work emails.)
Sometimes the best way to end a day of exploring isn’t getting dressed up and going to a restaurant. It’s staying cozy underneath your bathrobe and curling up into bed with a plate of your favorite food.
A Brief History of Room Service
Room service has been around for quite some time.
Its origins began in 1931 at the reopening of The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. In its heyday, it was the largest hotel in the world, and its guests were the creme-de-la-creme of the elite, including celebrities and presidents.
The hotel already had a luxurious reputation offering modern innovations like a telephone in every room and restaurant reservations well before it was the norm.
And in-room dining was no exception.
Since then, other high-end hotels have followed suit, and room service has become an industry standard.
What Are The Most Popular Room Service Orders?
You’ll be surprised.
According to the Room Service Report by Hotels.com, the most popular room service order around the world is a burger.
It beats out pizza, club sandwiches, fries, and tacos.
43% of guests surveyed said they prefer eating more casual food in bed and would rather indulge in items like sushi at restaurants.
So what about the most expensive room service orders?
The same report reveals steak and champagne take the top spot, and guests are spending, on average, $100 per order.
The Weirdest Room Service Requests
As you can imagine, hotel staff have a couple of truly bizarre room service requests.
The Hotel.com report lists the top 10 most unusual requests as:
- Diet water
- Melted ice cream
- Boiled bottled water
- A cooked fish that the guest brought with them
- Cockle popcorn
- No-egg-white omelet
- Rice bowl for a dog
10. Eggless eggs in hell (shakshuka)
On the flip side, there are hotels that cater to unusual requests and are capitalizing on it.
Remember the movie Home Alone 2? If you stay at The Plaza Hotel in New York, you can order the Kevin McCallister ice cream experience for $300.
The sundae comes with 16 scoops of ice cream and plenty of toppings to make your sweet tooth happy.
How to Tip for In-Room Dining
Tipping for room service can be a bit tricky, but it’s important, and the rules can change depending on where you are.
While many hotels include a service charge in the bill, it’s still a nice gesture to leave a little extra for the server who brought your meal to your doorstep.
Remember, a service charge isn’t always synonymous with gratuity.
AHLA’s Gratuity Guide recommends a standard tip of 15-20% (of the total bill is a good rule of thumb, depending on how satisfied you are with the service.
When it comes to international travel, you’ll need to do a bit more research on tipping etiquette for your destination.
Countries like Australia, China, and Singapore don’t have a tipping culture, and your 20% might be seen as offensive.
When it comes to tipping, don’t sweat it too much. There’s no set rulebook, and we all make mistakes. Just go with what feels right for you, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from the hotel concierge if you’re unsure. your host or travel expert if you’re unsure.
How Room Service Can Enhance a Stay When Done Right
Room service is all about enhancing a guest’s entire stay.
Those little indulgences of waking up to a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee and a perfectly flaky croissant and eating a burger in bed for dinner make a hotel stay memorable.
Room service also adds an element of personalization – whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a specific dish, the menu (and your imagination) is at your fingertips.
But it’s also not just about the food.
When done right, room service can elevate your overall experience.
Well-trained staff who deliver with a smile, attention to detail in presentation, and promptness in delivery all contribute to making people feel like valued guests.
It’s the luxury of enjoying a restaurant-quality meal in your pajamas, surrounded by the comfort of your own space.
Wrapping It Up
In the world of travel and hospitality, room service stands out as a beacon of comfort and convenience.
But it’s also changing.
Marriott teamed up with Uber Eats as a special perk for guests to order food deliveries straight to their rooms, which is a sign that room service as we know it might look different in a few years.
So, the next time you find yourself in a hotel room, hungry and tired, go ahead, pick up the telephone (or open a food delivery app), and order a burger and fries straight to your bed.