Room Service / In-Room Dining

Room service or “in-room dining” is a hotel service enabling guests to choose menu items for delivery to their hotel room for consumption there. Room Service is organized as a subdivision within the Food & Beverage Department of high-end hotel and resort properties. Usually food items which require a lot of garnish are not served in rooms. Room service also extends to alcoholic drinks. However, many hotels stock such beverages in the mini-fridge.

There are two types of Room Service:

  • Centralized: Here all the food orders are processed from the main kitchen and sent to the rooms by a common team of waiters.
  •  Decentralized:  Each floor or a set of floor may have separate pantries to service them. Orders are taken at a central point by order-takers who in turn convey the order to the respective pantry.

MOBILE: This type of operation is found in resorts. In resorts there are mobile vans which go to the cottages and prepare the food in front of the guests or bring prepared food in it.

DUMB WAITER: Dumb waiter is a specialized elevator for room service. Mainly used in countries which are technically improved and have shortage of man power.

They are of three types:

  • One in which there is a waiter standing in the elevator and prepares the food inside the elevator and goes to the room and serves.
  • The second one is in which the elevator along with the prepared food opens into the floor pantry and the food is served from the floor pantry to the guests in their rooms
  • The third one is found in really technically improved countries in which the elevator along with the prepared food opens into the guest room and the food is directly served to the guests

Features IRD

  1. 24 hours room service in very good hotels.
  2. Room service is multi cuisine in nature– Except items which need a lot of garnishing, are not served at rooms because by the time it reaches the room it won’t be in the proper condition. Even noodles and pastas are not served.
  3. All meals- The various meals one have in a day are served. E.g. Bed Tea, Afternoon Tea etc.
  4. Dearly priced- It is priced more because it is served at the rooms and even lot of effort and equipments are required for the transportation of the food
  5. Low turnover- The majority of the resident guests only takes breakfast in their room which is much cheaper. They may have their lunch or dinner outside. Room service depends on the number of resident guests. And even there is no way of promoting room service in a hotel as in restaurants they do by advertising.
  6. Dispense Bar/ Mini Bar- A bar situated in the back area of a restaurant or in the pantry is known as Dispense Bar. The bar situated in the restaurant is known as American Bar or Cocktail Bar. A small refrigerator inside the room stocked with mineral water bottles, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages is known as mini bar.
  7. Ordering through phone- Order taker is one of the most important people in room service. An order taker should be attentive and listen properly to the guest and should repeat the orders

LOCATION AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR ROOM SERVICE

The room service department in a large hotel is located near the still room, main kitchen, and service elevator.

The cabin is equipped with: 

  • Sink unit
  • Hotplate
  • Refrigerator
  • Cloche
  • Salamander
  • Small still set or other coffee making machine
  • Cutting boards
  • Knives
  • Storage space shelves and cupboard for crockery
  • Silverplate, hollowware
  • Cutlery.
  • Flatware
  • Glassware
  • Cruets, Worcester sauce, sugar, etc.
  • Linen (Table cloth)
  • Gueridon trolley
  • Chafing lamps and Suzette pans
  • Wine service equipment’s
  • Room service menu cards
  • Room service kitchen order ticket
  • Status of guests staying
  • Telephone
  • Room List
  • Computer
  1. Room service menu card:  this card features the names of dishes that are available for room service. The room service order taker refers to this card if necessary when an order is received from room guests.
  2. Telephone:  Telephone calls are handled by the room service order taker when guests make calls for room service.
  3. Room service KOT:  the dishes ordered by room guests are transferred to kitchen order ticket by the room service order taker and sent to the hot plate for collection.
  4. Status list: This gives information on VIP guests which help the room service department place complimentary cookies and fruit basket according to the policy of the hotel.
  5. Integrated computer system: This displays room number, name of guest, number of persons staying, expected date and time of departure, status of the guest, etc.

ORDER TAKING FOR ROOM SERVICE

Usually, in hotels, where complimentary breakfast is offered to resident guests room service, is not extended. However, some guests due to some reasons may order breakfast dishes in their rooms.

The waiter receives the order and transmits the same to the kitchen. In the meanwhile, he prepares his tray or trolley. He then goes to the cashier to have a cheque prepared to take along with the food order for the guests’ signature or payment. Usually, clearance of soiled dishes from the room is done after half an hour or an hour. However, the guest can telephone Room Service for the clearance as and when he has finished with the meal.

Methods of collecting breakfast order:

  • Doorknob card 
  • Telephone

Door knob card: A card which can be hung on the door knob mainly for breakfast. During or at the morning most of the guests order for breakfast and there is less number of order takers so guests can order their breakfast through Breakfast Doorknob Card.

  1. Placing an order through a doorknob card: In this method, the names of all breakfast dishes are printed on the card with one small box against each dish for the guest to write the quantity required. Guests fill in the following information: 
  • Name of the guest
  • Room number
  • Time at which breakfast is required
  • Portion

Advantages

  • It is entered by the guest themselves and hence, it is a written document of their order.
  • The volume of business can be easily predicted.

Disadvantages

  • Guests may ask for dishes that are not available which may result in dissatisfaction.
  • Two-way communication is not possible, hence, no scope for suggestive selling

       2. Order through telephone: Guests may directly place the order to the room service department through telephone. The phone should be answered within three rings, saying ‘Good morning Room Service! How may I help you, Sir/Madam?’ the following information should be noted down: 

  • Name of the guest
  • Room number
  • Time at which breakfast is required
  • Portion

Advantages

  • Scope for suggestive selling
  • Dishes can be explained if necessary

Disadvantages

  • Room service telephone may be busy during peak hours.
  • Order takers may not be able to understand the accent of the guest.

Service in the room

  •  When approaching the door of the room you will enter make sure you know the guests name.
    1.    HOW? Check a vacant rooms report, ask the Butler on the floor, call the operator or front office to check in the system.
    2.    WHY? It is an international basic standard to use the guests name all the time.

  • Observe the signage on the door (DND/Service Room)
    1.    HOW? Look at the panel beside the door where you swipe your master key to get in.
    2.    WHY? We do not want to disturb a guest if they have placed the DND sign on.
  • Check if the room is not double locked
    1.    HOW? Swipe the key and see if the red light appears and there is no sound of the lock opening.
    2.    WHY? If it is early in the morning or late at night the guest might not want to be disturbed and did not place the DND sign. It would be then better to ask the Butler to call the guests room to see if the guest doesn’t mind that someone comes in.
  •  Ring the bell once and wait for 10 seconds. Announce the department and wait for another 5 seconds.
    1.    HOW? Press the bell picture on the panel near the door. (Do not press to hard as the panels are delicate).
    2.    WHY? We have to wait as the guest might be in the bathroom, on the balcony or getting changed. We also want the guest to know who is waiting at the door and for what reason.
  • If the guest opens the door say ‘Good Morning Mr/s. guests name I am your name from your department may I state your purpose in the room’. Proceed if the guest agrees or come back at the requested time
    1.    WHY? We want to make sure that we use the guest’s name, and they know who you are, and what you are going to do in the room. Remember to be very clear when you speak as some of the guests do not speak English very well.
  • If there is no response from the room repeat the above mentioned step.
    1.    WHY? We have to give the guest adequate time and not rush them or they might be watching T.V and did not hear the first time or in the bathroom having a shower and not hear the bell
  •  Open the door slowly, knock twice and announce your department again. Only open the door till you can see the first light switch.
  • Check the bathroom and if the door is locked then knock again and announce your department.
  • Check the bedroom and the balcony to reconfirm that there is no guest on the room. When you reach the wardrobe area, announce your department once again.
  • If there is no one in the room proceed with task.

Room Service Trolley Set Up

  • The trolley is ready with a neat and clean table cloth.
  • Set up the trolley with following things.
  • Flower vase on the middle
  • Salt &Pepper
  • Sugar bowl (white sugar, brown sugar, sugar-free like Splenda)
  • Preserves and butter before you pick up the food
  • B&B plate.
  • Cutlery folder ready with bread and butter knife Main course fork and knife and dessert spoon.
  • Hot box ready and recharged.
  • Coffee cup with underline and tea spoon
  • Milk creamer with the coffee or tea orders as per the guest requirements.
  • Juice glass.
  • All hot and cold food should be covered with the plate cover as soon as picked from the kitchen.
  • New table clothe on the top of the hot box to set up the dining table inside the room.
  •  Service napkins to be used for placing hot food or for other services

Breakfast Basic Set Up On The Tray

These are the step by step what you need to do on Breakfast Basic Set Up On The Tray preparation. Be very focused on every detail because these steps will make your routine operation very effective and efficient. Will anticipate guests’ complaints and guard your company’s standard of performance excellently. These standards could vary depends on your company situation and conditions but this guide of Breakfast Basic Set Up On The Tray is used in so many 5 stars hotels all around the globe and has been tested for many years with so many compliments earns. Focus on the details is key before you deliver anything to the guest’s room and start your service role. Teamwork will make your service PERFECT!

 

  • Tray is ready with a neat and clean tray mat.
  • Set up the tray with the following things.
  • Flower vase on the tray
  • Salt &Pepper
  • Sugar bowl (white sugar, brown sugar, sugar-free like Splenda)
  • Preserves and butter before you pick up the food
  •  B&b plate.
  • Cutlery folder ready with bread and butter knife Main course fork and knife and dessert spoon.
  • Coffee cup with underline and teaspoon
  • Milk creamer with the coffee or tea orders as per the guest’s requirements.
  •  All hot and cold food should be covered with the plate cover as soon as picked from the kitchen.
  • Service napkins to be used for placing hot food or for other services

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