Will deliver GrubHub to a hotel room

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Reinventing room service

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Ordering online and having a basket of groceries or a meal delivered straight to your room from the restaurant could revolutionize room service in hotels. Utopia or Reality?

This article was edited in full by our Quebec colleagues at the Montreal Tourism Observatory, Chaire de tourisme Transat de l’ESEG-UQAM (Montreal).

For a number of years now, room service income has not met hoteliers' expectations. According to PFK Hospitality Research, they actually fell by 10% between 2007 and 2012. The take-out deliveries to hotels, on the other hand, increased by 125% from January 2011 to July 2014 - according to the data from 8000 hotels worldwide - as the web platform GrunHub, which has a network of 29,000 restaurants in 700 cities, determined. This study also shows that hotel guests spend 11% more than other consumers.

Straight from the market

More and more often, boutique hotels and large hotel chains are adopting the market concept, which follows on from the tradition of the gift boutique or even replaces it. These little "dépanneurs" (small supermarkets in Canada) sell drinks, freshly made sandwiches, salads and snacks that can be taken to your room. Customers can shop at the same conditions as in the local grocery store. The “Société Irvine”, for example, has successfully added such markets to its three companies. This includes, with a size of 3,000 square meters, that of the Hôtel Irvine in California.

In 2013, the Midtown Hilton in New York stopped offering room service to replace it with a concept similar to the Hotel Irvine: Herb N ‘Kitchen. Since then, four hotels in the group have been offering local and seasonal products - homemade sandwiches, salads, patisserie, healthy snacks, etc. - as well as “stations” that allow customers to personalize their meals and add extras such as vegetables or sauces. All Herb’N Kitchen dishes are packaged to take away or for delivery to your room.

The Hyatt chain has also introduced the market concept in several of its hotels in downtown Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta, offering somoothies, patisserie, sandwiches and soups for customers on the go. The Moxy Hotels of the Mariott Group have a 24-hour café with take-out products. In Montreal, the Reine-Élisabeth has a marché urbain, a unique concept in Montreal that offers local products. Open to everyone, both customers and locals, this market is about to become a meeting place between foodies (gourmets) and producers.

The Affina Hotels chain's boutique hotels, with offices in New York, have partnered with FreshDirect, a grocery delivery service that aims to deliver meals to its customers with fresh products that can be prepared in the room's kitchenette. Walt Disney World Resort uses the service of GardenGrocer.com for its establishments in Orlando.

Marriott's Residence Inn hotels propose free grocer delivery to their customers, while all Hilton Howewood Suites offer free grocery delivery. Customers can give their lists to hotel employees in the morning and find a well-stocked refrigerator in the evening. Hotels.com customers benefit from a partnership with Delivery.com, which includes 12,000 merchants in 38 American cities, for their online meal, specialty, and wine or liquor orders.

Delivery to the room ...

Meal deliveries from external suppliers provide an alternative to traditional room service. Hyatt Centric boutique hotels, which have partnered with GrubHub, are currently piloting three of their seven hotels. To compile the list of participating restaurants, Hyatt Centric has required employees who work at the hotels to personally recommend at least 8 different restaurants that deliver through GrubHub. The chosen menus are available in each of the hotel rooms and customers can order directly from the restaurants using the GrubHub application or an internet address listed on the menu. Customers can also call reception, who will then add the price of the GrubHub order to the hotel bill. The pilot project ended in mid-July and it ultimately proved ripe for it to be introduced in other Hyatt Centric hotels or in other chains under the Hyatt flag. The Hyatt mobile application could even enable ordering via GrubHub.

To make ordering through GrubHub easier, the Pilot Hotels offer a take-out menu from their own restaurants. The meals are delivered to the customer's room in environmentally friendly packaging.

Andres homepages and mobile applications allow online orders that can be delivered to your room. Among the most important are Caviar and Postmate (États-Unis), DoorDash (United States and Toronto) and JustEat (15 countries, Canada among others).

The giants also appear

Amazon has rolled out a meal delivery service in a dozen American cities. Amazon's restaurant services, which were initiated in Seattle in September 2015, are offered to PrimeNow customers who have already paid their annual subscription of $ 99. The latter can order meals from a pool of around 100,000 restaurants. Meals are delivered to your place of residence or your hotel room free of charge within an hour.

UberEats, another “global player”, uses its chauffeurs in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and in Europe (in Barcelona and, on a trial basis, in three Parisian arrondissements) in order to be able to offer a meal delivery service.

The meal delivery services allow like-minded hoteliers to improve their room service by offering a wide range of products at low cost. What could be easier than offering delivery services available in the region and notifying guests of this when they arrive. This little extra service is sure to be appreciated by travelers who are in a hurry, under pressure or too tired from daily activities.

We would like to thank the entire team of the tourist observatory. You can find this article as well as other topics at veilletourisme.ca.


Castillo, Marielle. “Hotel Brings Local Foods Directly To Your Room”, psfk.com, 29 avril 2016.

Confolant, Anne. “Livraison de repas: le grand boom du click & eat”, itespresso.fr, December 17, 2015.

Frommer, Pauline. “New Ways You Can Get Great Food to Your Hotel Room — Without Room Service”, frommers.com, page consulted on June 20, 2016.

Harmant, Olivier. “Amazon veut sa part du gâteau dans la livraison de repas”, frenchweb.fr, 7 September 2015.

Magaud, Christelle. “La livraison à domicile booste l'activité des restaurants”, e-marketing.fr, 2 may 2016.

Mettler, Lynn. “5 Ways Hotels Are Courting Food Lovers”, travel.usnews.com, January 8, 2016.

Shaal, Dennis. "Room Service Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Evolving Says Hilton CEO", skift.com, 2 June 2015

Ting, Deanna. “Hyatt Centric Turns to GrubHub to Help Reinvent Room Service”, skift.com, 20 April 2016.

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