Friday, April 11, 2008

Room Service - don't mess with my french toast

Sue Pelletier blogs about room service menus, and references a post with new ideas for room service and menus. Ideas include putting the room service menu on television instead of paper, changing the food quarterly, including pictures of the food, customer ratings about room service, or menus signed by the chef for VIP guests.

My thoughts:

1. Putting it on television would work if the TV actually worked. The number of times there is some problem with the televison itself or the in-house menu system at hotels makes me believe paper room service menus are here to stay. Plus, I'd go crazy hitting all those buttons to place a room service order on TV.

2. Why would the food need to change quarterly? I can't tell you a thing about what I ate at any restaurant anywhere in the world (other than bananas foster at Brennan's in New Orleans), but I absolutely remember the room service many places. I L-O-V-E the Marriott crunchy french toast (made with corned flakes), and would grieve if I didn't find it at the next Marriott or the next quarter. If you've never tried it, trust me on this one. One of my past presidents (Gail) told me to try it long before I did. Although I believe there's a 0% chance it should be on the healthy menu as it's too good to be truly healthy.

3. Pictures of food? Imagine if what is served doesn't look identical to what's in the picture. Might create problems. I did once take a picture of the room service breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami because it was truly beautiful. And yes, that's a sign of spending too much time in hotel rooms.

4. Customer ratings for room service would be interesting. But could harm sales.

5. Anytime I see writing on a menu I just assume it's the prior guest who couldn't find other paper to write on. What would a guest do with a signed menu? Is that something for a file, a wall, a gift ... I'm not completely understanding the audience for that. Although if whoever came up with that Marriott french toast wants to send me a signed menu I'd probably like it.

6. A change I'd like: Being able to request room service while I'm standing around waiting to check in.

What would you change about room service menus or options?

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