How To Improve Your Hotel Room Service To Increase Guest Satisfaction

Your hotel room service is one of the first things that guests will experience during their stay. You want to make sure that your room service is up to par in order to increase guest satisfaction. There are a few things that you can do in order to improve your hotel room service and make it more enjoyable for your guests.

Why is hotel room service important?

Room service has traditionally always been a sort of luxury for guests. Guests always look forward to room service as a privilege of their stay.  The comfort, convenience and the luxury of in-room dining is why guests opt for room service, despite the increased cost.

The trend these days is however, changing. With the influx of new technologies and the rise of the sharing economy, people are now more comfortable with embracing new experiences and enjoying increased convenience. This means that the expectations of hotel guests are also changing.

After their stay, guests either love or hate room service. And guess what, either way, room service is the most mentioned aspect of stay in reviews. This means that room service can really make or break a guests’ experience. As a result, this also means that room service has a direct impact on your hotel’s online reputation. And we all know how important online reputation is for hotels.

As a hotelier, you need to keep reviews positive for your business. Providing high quality hotel room service to your guests is a surefire way of making a memorable stay.

What are the pros and cons of providing room service?


  • Offer the comfort, convenience and luxury of in-room dining
  • Guests feel pampered and valued
  • Can be used as a marketing tool to differentiate your hotel from others
  • Improve customer’s overall experience
  • Required to be recognised as a full-service hotel
  • Offers less contact (especially since the pandemic)


  • High operational costs
  • Requires more staff
  • May not be profitable during off-seasons due to low demand
  • Operating constraints during manpower shortage
  • Risk of reputation damage due to unsatisfactory service
  • Dishes and cutlery need to be cleaned

What types of room service are there?

There are generally two types of room service – full service and limited service.

Full service room service is when your hotel provides guests with a comprehensive in-room dining experience. This includes anything from preparing the food to setting up the table and providing waitstaff. Full service room service is usually only offered by luxury hotels as it is quite costly to maintain.

Limited service room service is when your hotel provides guests with a more simplified in-room dining experience. This usually includes providing food that is ready to be eaten and doesn’t require any additional preparation. Limited service room service is more common as it is less costly to maintain.

While there are two main types of room service, you may also hear about these other sub-groups:

Centralised room service

A centralised room service is when all orders are taken in the kitchen and then delivered to the guest rooms. This type of room service requires a lot of coordination between the front desk, kitchen and housekeeping. It is mainly found in large hotels with a high number of rooms.


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In-house room service

This type of room service is where each hotel floor has its own dedicated kitchen and team of waiters to cater to guests on that floor. In-house room service is mostly found in mid-sized hotels.

Decentralised room service

This type of room service is where each guest room has its own mini-bar and kitchenette. The food and drinks are prepared by the guests themselves using the provided amenities. The food order taken by a centralised system, but they are conveyed to the pantries available in each floor. They are then served by the waiter. Though some food is serviced by the nearest pantry, the main food may still be serviced from the central kitchen. Decentralised room service is mostly found in small boutique hotels.

Mobile room service

A new type of room service that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in larger hotels, is mobile room service. In mobile room service, guests can order their food via a mobile app and the food will be delivered directly to their room by a waiter on a trolley. Such room service is faster due to its easy accessibility.  This system is mostly used in large hotels with a high number of rooms.

What can you do to improve hotel room service?

As a hotelier, are you always wondering how to improve the room service at your hotel? 

You number one rule should always be to ever ignore the basics. Most guest satisfaction is still attributed to clean surroundings, prompt and efficient house-keeping, good food quality and a comfortable dining experience. 

Beyond that, here are some actionable tips that you can use to improve room service in your hotel:

Hire the right staff

Your staff are the face of your hotel and play a big role in shaping guests’ perceptions of your room service. Make sure to hire staff that are friendly, efficient and have good problem-solving skills. They should also be able to upsell different menu items to guests. Proper training should be given to your staff so that they are able to provide quality service.

Improve food and dining service

Most guests often complain about the quality of the food. You can use the following tips to improve dining-at-room experience. 

  • Use an easy-to-order menu that adheres to common dietary requirements.
  • Deliver your promise by sticking to the schedule. Inform the guests beforehand of any changes in meal time or menu. 
  • Strive for providing your guests with maximum comfort while dining. Arrange for a special setting of table inside the room upon request from your guest. 
  • Be consistent in your service— food quality, presentation, meal times
  • Streamline breakfast service with the room service by taking orders the night before. 
  • Partner with local restaurants to widen your menu and also reduce the burden on your kitchen. 
  • Offer a a wide variety of food and drink items so that guests can find something to their liking.

Invest in good quality room service equipment

If you want to improve the efficiency of your room service, you need to invest in good quality room service equipment. This includes items such as trolleys, tablecloths, napkins, china and cutlery. Good quality equipment will make your staff’s job easier and will also make the food look more appealing to guests.

Create a room service guide

Another way to improve room service is to create a room service guide for your staff. This guide should include information on how to take orders, what items are available on the menu and how to upsell different items to guests. The guide should also include information on how to deal with complaints. By having a guide, your staff will be better equipped to deal with room service requests and will be able to provide a higher level of service.

Invest in good quality tableware

Your hotel’s tableware says a lot about your brand. Investing in good quality tableware will make a big difference in the overall dining experience for your guests. Make sure that your plates, cups and cutlery are all clean and in good condition.

Focus on the little things

Small touches can make a big difference when it comes to room service. For example, you can provide a voucher for a complimentary drink with every room service order. You can also offer a choice of newspapers or magazines for guests to read while they enjoy their meal. By paying attention to the little things, you can make your room service stand out from the competition.

Keep your menu fresh

Your hotel room service menu should be updated regularly to reflect the seasons and trends. Offering guests a variety of choices will ensure that they are satisfied with their dining experience. You can also offer speciality items that are specific to your hotel.

Open feedback channels

Errors are bound to happen, and it is highly possible that one of your guests will not be satisfied with the room service. In case this happens, it’s important to have an open feedback channel so that guests can voice their concerns. You can use feedback forms, comment cards or even social media to get guest feedback. You can also make it easy for guests to provide feedback by setting up an online feedback form on your hotel website.

Taking action on guest feedback is also important so that you can improve your room service. Addressing complaints in a timely and efficient manner will show your guests that you value their feedback and are constantly working to improve your services.

Monitor room service performance

You should regularly monitor room service performance to ensure that standards are being met. You can do this by conducting mystery shopper visits or using guest satisfaction surveys. Regular monitoring will help you identify any areas that need improvement.

Hotel room service extras to consider

Grab and go food

A new trend in hotel management is to set up grab and go markets or stalls in the hotel filled with pre-packaged food or meals. In addition to the mini-bar, a tiny grab and go counter with fruits or salads will surely turn heads. This is a healthy and hygienic option for those who are always on the go and do not want to spend time waiting for room service.

In-room dining

Another great way to improve your hotel room service is by investing in in-room dining. This is a great option for those guests who want to enjoy a meal in the comfort of their room. In-room dining also gives guests the opportunity to customise their meal according to their preferences. You can offer a variety of in-room dining options such as room service, breakfast in bed or even a private chef.


Technology can also be used to improve hotel room service. You can use tablets or smartphones to take orders, and you can also use apps to track room service requests. You can also use technology to provide guests with information about the hotel’s room service offerings.

In-room snacks

Give your guests an option to order snacks outside meal time. Guests who come to the room to freshen up or for an evening siesta, may not prefer to eat meals at their room.  Nevertheless, they might still feel peckish and would want to order snacks. You could arrange for an in-room snack menu that they could order through room service.

Support local – add toiletries & food options to the room

Travellers love to experience the local food, cuisine and culture. Prepare a list of local souvenirs, food options that might pique the interest of the guest. Giving guests the option of ordering toiletries is sure to keep them comfortable. They would not have to step out every time they need more shampoo or conditioner.

Be sure to restock the room with these items on a regular basis. You could also offer a discount on these items if the guests order them through room service.

Dietary requirements

With the rise in food allergies and dietary restrictions, it is important to cater to the needs of all guests. Make sure that you have a list of all the dietary requirements that you can accommodate. You should also train your room service staff on how to deal with these requests.

Welcome drinks

First impressions are important in the hospitality sector. You can surprise and impress your guests with complimentary free welcome drinks. This is a great way to make your guests feel special and appreciated.

Top tips to perfect guest services in your hotel

  • Room service is one aspect of your overall guest services. Ensuring the smooth, efficient and coordinated guest services is sure to make stay memorable for your guests. 
  • Pay attention to extra requests of the guest and try to accommodate these requests. 
  • Offer guests the opportunity to customise their stay.
  • Adopt new technology and best practices from the industry to remain relevant.
  • Establish personal communication with your guests to make them feel “heard”
  • Approach services from an individual basis i.e. tailor-made to the guest
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment, evolve and innovate. 
  • Surprise your guests! Offer freebies or hotel souvenirs.
  • Keep up-to-date inventory of food, facilities and personnel to ensure seamless functioning. 

Hotel room service is a great way to provide your guests with a memorable experience. However, it is important to remember that quality is key when it comes to providing room service. With a bit of planning and effort, you can improve the room service in your hotel and provide your guests with an unforgettable experience.

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About the author

Kendra, the Marketing Content Manager at Preno, brings her expertise in Marketing and Communications to help hoteliers stay ahead of the curve. With a deep passion for the industry, she is committed to providing valuable insights and strategies for success.

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