Decline of Hotel Room Service Offers Opportunity for Pizzerias

Ordering room service ain’t what it used to be for many hotel guests, according to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), but delivery restaurants—including pizzerias—can step in to fill the gap.

Room service is “disappearing” at many hotels after “having failed to meet the changing food preferences and lifestyles of today’s travelers,” NRN reports. Some hoteliers have found that the added woes and expenses of managing a restaurant just aren’t worth it. Instead, they’re partnering with nearby restaurant operators to deliver food to guests’ rooms, thus providing more choices and, sometimes, the ability to eat like a local.

Speaking to NRN, Glenn Haussman, host of the No Vacancy travel podcast, said hotels are undergoing a “cultural shift” that provides “an opportunity to save money at the same time.” He adds, “People don’t want that [traditional] room service food. [It’s] super-overpriced, and people are annoyed by that.”

Additional reading: How pizzerias can cope with a higher minimum wage.

Many restaurants are opening up near hotels to cash in on the trend. Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group opens restaurants adjacent to hotels around the country, such as the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market next to the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, which closed its restaurant 10 years ago, partners with five local eateries to offer delivery, including the Italian restaurant Chazz Palminteri and others ranging from Turkish to Indian cuisine. The hotel bell staff delivers the food to guests’ rooms for a $3 charge, and the cost is added to the guest’s room bill.

Additional reading: Here's how your pizzeria's servers can boost their tips and increase check averages!

Independent pizzeria operators should check into this option by surveying nearby hotels about their foodservice options for guests. To get started, here are some tips for how to market a pizzeria to hotels, tourists and travelers:

  • Meet with the hotel’s management and arrange a pizza tasting to familiarize them with your food. Try to arrange an exclusive agreement to provide pizza delivery to their guests and offer special deals just to them.
  • Provide menus for every room in the hotel and refresh the supply regularly. Menus should include mouthwatering photos of your pizzas, wings and other items to make a tired and hungry traveler want to order on the spot.
  • Promote your relationship with the hotel on your restaurant website, Facebook page, Yelp page, and other social media platforms.
  • Use Facebook advertising to target travelers who “check in” near your pizzeria’s location.