- Updated on 25.10.21 -

Whilst many guests are eagerly anticipating getting away as lockdown measures continue to ease – will their food preferences have changed post-pandemic?



What are the best room service menu foods to offer?

Here at SuitePad, we analyzed our pre-pandemic in-room data, which has been collated from our customers' guestroom tablet devices. In-room tablet technology allows guests to place room service orders easily and remotely, but it also offers hotel businesses some insight into the most popular food choices when it comes to in-room dining.

Using data from 30,349 room service food orders spread across 670 hotels that were compiled before the pandemic began in 2019, we found that the most commonly ordered hotel room food item was ‘burgers’ – with a whopping 32.4% of in-room food orders including a burger of some description. These included signature burgers, plain burgers, vegan burgers, and so on. According to pre-pandemic data, burgers were the biggest in-room order choice – with almost one in three guests opting for a burger of some form when placing a food order from their hotel room.

The second favorite item to be ordered was a ‘club sandwich’, with 20.5% of guests opting for it, while ‘fries’ came third at 17.2%, ‘Caesar salad’ fourth at 16.2% and ‘pasta’ was fifth with 13.7% of orders consisting of some form of pasta dish.

But, will this change as we emerge from the pandemic? The Vegan Society projects that 13 million Britons will be meat-free by the end of 2021 – a trend that’s growing every year – and a statistic that suggests food preferences are set for change. Hoteliers need to be mindful of this changing trend when planning post-pandemic guestroom menus.

Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, our Co-Founder and Managing Director, said: “The findings are something that perhaps many of us can relate to. When we’re on holiday or working away, it’s always tempting to opt for familiar comfort food as an option. And often that’s a burger as it’s a nice way to treat ourselves when away from home.”

He continued: “It will be interesting to see if these room order choices change post-pandemic. Many of us have turned to comfort foods and indulged during this often stressful period. With the pandemic receding as the vaccine rollout nears completion, will guests look for alternative options? Not only that, with people becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and trends such as veganism becoming ever more popular, preferences may change.”

“Hotels are commercial enterprises, so they need to deliver what their guests want. Products such as SuitePad can give hoteliers insight into room service ordering trends, allowing them to make informed decisions around what menu choices are likely to work best for their particular guest profiles. This will help to boost both the guest experience and the bottom line”


The most popular drinks

Other data from the study revealed that ‘Orange Juice’ was the most popular drink of choice at 27%, while ‘cola’ came second at 24.5%, with ‘coffee’ third at 21.2%. 17.4% ordered ‘water’, while in fifth place was ‘beer’ at 10%.

Reflecting on the drinks data, Moritz said: “The drinks choices weren’t all that surprising. Orange Juice, as a breakfast staple, will reflect those opting for breakfast in bed. While looking at the food, with ‘indulgent’ burgers being a clear preference, it would be easy to assume that choosing a beer to relax and unwind would be a more popular choice, however, guests will save that order for the hotel bar. It just goes to show that having the tools to track these changing trends is important for hoteliers as it helps them either reinforce their view of what’s popular or gives them the opportunity to change – especially given that drinks tend to have a higher markup than foods. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what guests really want is key to a successful F&B service strategy. Furthermore, it also improves the guest experience – as they’ll encounter menu options that are more in tune with what they want, something that just enhances the benefits of taking a data-led approach.”


Track customer order trends for a better room service sales strategy

Image of SuitePad's Boost Room Service Sales at Your Hotel white paper

Knowing what, when,  and why customers order certain items from your room service menu is an important part of creating the perfect hotel F&B sales strategy. SuitePads enable you to track and view how guests are scrolling through the menu before making their orders, giving you valuable insight into what drives them to order certain items. SuitePad tablets can also offer several different menus and even include menus that change with the time of day. To give your room service sales a boost, you can schedule push notifications for evening snacks or morning drinks to remind guests just how easy it is to order their favorite items from the comfort of their hotel room.

Find out more about hotel room service ordering trends by following the link below for your free white paper: Boost Room Service Sales at Your Hotel: Using data-driven insights to optimize your hotel's in-room dining strategy.

- Published on August 11, 2021

Gregor Herz

Gregor Herz

Gregor was a content marketing manager at SuitePad between May 2019 and October 2021.

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