Hotel Communication Network (HCN) has developed a NEW program that is turning traditional room service operations from a loss leader to a profit center. Rather than placing more stress on limited staff or requiring guests to use a mobile app delivery service such as DoorDash or Uber Eats that requires them to meet drivers in the lobby, HCN has developed an alternative service that is boosting revenues and satisfaction scores.
Called DineIN, the fully hosted and outsourced digital in-room dining service enables travelers to order food-and-beverage items via its in-room Navigator 2.0 tablets or without tablets via a QR code placed in the guestroom. What makes the program unique is that:
- DineIN features only local restaurants that are handpicked by hotel staff based on positive personal experiences.
- Orders can be paid via one of three secure methods: bill to room, bill to mobile wallet, or input credit card on the tablet.
- Upon arrival at the hotel, orders can be delivered to guests at the front desk, at a location of their choice, or to the room (successfully proven during pilot testing to meet hotel security protocols).
- ALL delivery drivers are vetted by HCN and trained by the hotel to follow brand foodservice delivery practices.
- HCN self-manages the full room service operation and shares profits with the hotel.
Proven Early Adopter and Current Deployment
DineIN was first piloted in more than 1,000 hotel rooms in San Francisco. By dropping money-losing, self-managed room service and replacing it with DineIN, more than $500,000 in newly generated foodservice revenue was achieved over a 12 month period. A new pilot is underway at 3,000 hotel rooms in Chicago showing similar results.
“Prior to launching DineIN, we put the Eat Street app on our tablets (similar to Uber Eats) and never got above 50% guest satisfaction,” said HCN President Kevin Bidner. “After taking over the service and managing it ourselves, we never achieved less than 80% guest satisfaction.
“Guests got a better meal and a better deal,” he said. “They loved having the best of local restaurants handpicked by the hotel, delivered to the room, and billed to their folio like a room service order. The fact that guests paid the same amount as if they had walked into the restaurant was the icing on the cake that made this program the industry's first viable replacement for room service. The fact that we proved this and succeeded with it at a 1,500-room flagship property shows the industry that a viable solution to the room service problem has finally arrived.”
This is just one example of the success that can be achieved through DineIN. On average, 5% of guests will order food through room service or a meal delivery service. Using a conservative 3% of guests ordering meals through DineIN, the net benefit comes in at $6 per room per month, a portion of which is shared with the hotel. It's a bottom line improvement for the hotel and a great service for guests.
Study Shows Guests Want DineIN
According to the 2022 Customer Engagement Technology Study, hotel guests “crave convenience and value more than ever. That means an unprecedented demand for innovative tools that allow customers to drive their own … dining experiences, including food delivery, mobile ordering … and more.”
The report shows when ordering food for delivery, 72% of guests said they prefer to order directly from a restaurant (via the hotel’s delivery service or restaurant’s delivery service). The study also showed that 57% of hotel guests want the ability to order room service via a hotel’s website or app, and 45% of restaurant patrons said they want the ability to place food orders via a tablet/touchscreen at the table. More than two-thirds of hoteliers said they embrace self-service mobile features to drive their hotel bookings, payments, and loyalty.
“Even though room service is a challenge to run cost effectively, hotel guests still expect it in full service properties. Therefore, someone must provide it and manage it,” said Neil Schubert, HCN Chief Product Officer. “HCN’s DineIN delivers room service without traditional hotel operating costs and makes it a net operating profit. Operators love the efficiency and profitability, and guests love that they can get a taste of the local market affordably and delivered their way – and it’s showing in hotels’ satisfaction scores.”
Unlike money-losing room service, or its alternate, leaving guest on their own to order on local delivery apps, HCN has now proven out a bespoke hotel delivery service that protects guest satisfaction and provides a rev-share back to the property to help cover the cost of the tablets. This guestroom technology breakthrough solves the room service problem once and for all.
To experience DineIN LIVE, pre-schedule a meeting with HCN in Booth 1237 at HITEC Toronto, to be held June 26 to 29. For more information on HCN, visit www.hcn-inc.com.