6 Best Room Service Apps for Hotels (2021)

Hotels

6 Best Room Service Apps for Hotels (2021)

April 28, 2021

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Room service and in-room dining for guests have been a part of the hotel experience for decades. However, for many hotels, room service is an unprofitable and poorly managed operation. Between high costs of operating an on-site kitchen and the hospitality industry’s slow adoption of new room service ordering software – many hotels have given up on room service altogether.

That’s changing with new software and innovations, with hotels returning to their roots and offering guests new room service menus. A major reason for this hospitality trend is software and apps that allow hotels to manage guest ordering through online ordering systems.

What Is a Room Service App?

A room service app is a mobile application that allows guests to order room service directly from their smartphone. This is the basic component of room service software for hotels, but depending on the specific solution, can do much more than provide a mobile ordering menu for guests.

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Above: Example of a QR-code menu and mobile ordering portal from 2ndKitchen’s room service solution for hotels.

In-House vs Outsourced Room Service Solutions

Some room service solutions are designed for hotels with a fully operational kitchen, while others provide an outsourced F&B solution for hotels that lack on-site food service.

Both types of room service apps allow guests to browse a hotel’s room service menu – but once an order is placed, that is where the two types of solutions differ.

In-house solutions send the guest order to its own kitchen, where the food service staff prepares and delivers the order to the guest’s room. Outsourced solutions send the guest order to a nearby restaurant that outsources its kitchen to the hotel. That restaurant prepares the orders and a courier picks up and delivers the order to the guest.

Outsourced F&B for Hotels
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4 Common Features of Room Service Solutions

Here are a few common features hotels should keep in mind when looking for new room service software. While the features range for each specific app, these four are basic features of room service solutions.

1. Mobile Ordering Menu

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2. Real-Time Status Updates on Orders

Both in-house and outsourced room service apps allow guests to track their orders in real-time. This can range from tracking the courier’s location, estimated time of arrival, contacting the delivery person, and portals to submit customer issues and order updates.

3. Food & Beverage Analytics

Room service apps collect all food and beverage analytics from guest orders. With this data, hotel GMs are able to see the most popular menu items, view average fulfillment and delivery times, and monitor guest satisfaction scores. This data can be used to optimize a hotel’s room service menu, manage inventory, and organize its staff’s tasks.

4. Guest Loyalty & VIP Rewards

Chain hotel brands offer robust guest loyalty programs to entice its guests to stay loyal to its hotel properties – and many room service apps integrate this into their platform. Hotels are able to add points for room service orders, give free vouchers to VIP guests, and more.

5 Best Room Service Software Apps for Hotels in 2021

Here are five of the best room service software apps for hotels in 2021.

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1. 2ndKitchen

  • Review Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • Price: Free + hotels earn ancillary income on each guest order.
  • Type: Outsourced

2ndKitchen for Hotels powers F&B experiences such as room service, continental breakfast, event catering menus, and more for hotels without an onsite kitchen – such as Hotel 50 Bowery and Residence Inn New Orleans. It connects hotels with a virtual kitchen found in nearby popular restaurants, which outsources its kitchen to power the hotel’s F&B menus.

2ndKitchen works with hotels to create menus that offer local cuisine and send them branded QR-code menus to place in their guest rooms for contactless ordering. When a guest scans the QR code, they’re taken to a mobile ordering menu in their phone’s web browser. 2ndKitchen manages the payment, ordering fulfillment, packaging, delivery, and guest updates and issues.

Hotels are able to update and change their room service menu in the backend of 2ndKitchen’s platform, as well as see analytics on popular orders, delivery time, and guest satisfaction. Hotel GMs can also integrate 2ndKitchen into their VIP programs or guest issue resolution processes, and send guests vouchers redeemable for free room service orders.

Features:

  • Branded QR-Code Menus
  • Mobile Ordering System
  • Fully-Managed and Outsourced Room Service 
  • Payment Process
  • Text-Based Guest Support
  • Room Service Analytics
  • Guest Vouchers
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2. Bbot

  • Review Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Price: N/A – but does not have payment processing fees
  • Type: In-House

Bbot is an online ordering and payment process tool for hotels and resorts. It allows guests to access an online ordering portal from their mobile phone without downloading an app, allowing them to order from anywhere around the hotel’s property.

Hotels can customize their interaction online menu to include their hotel’s branding, print custom QR codes & signage to promote the property’s F&B services, and integrate it into their POS systems.

Features:

  • QR-Code and Menu Signage
  • Online Menu Creation
  • POS Integrations
  • Payment Processing
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3. RoomOrders

  • Review Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
  • Price: $50/mo + 1% process fee per order
  • Type: In-House and Outsourced

RoomOrders connects guests with a hotel’s on-site food services or nearby food vendors. The platform allows hotels to design and price QR codes – which can be placed in guest rooms and in common areas around the hotel.

A key difference in RoomOrders to other room service apps mentioned here is it connects guests with an online ordering portal for all on-site facilities – think restaurants, gift shops, hotel bar, spa and sauna, and more. It also can act as a hyper-local version of GoPuff, allowing hotel GMs to connect the ordering app to nearby pharmacies, convenience stores, liquor stores, and more for DTC delivery for the hotel’s guests.

Features:

  • QR-Code Custom Design & Printing
  • Mobile Ordering System
  • Contactless Payment System for All Hotel Facilities
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4. SABA F&B Ordering

  • Review Rating: X out of 5 stars
  • Price: N/A
  • Type: In-House

SABA’s F&B Ordering platform provides hotels with a way of digitizing its in-house room service experience. Guests download a mobile app and place an order from the hotel’s room service, restaurant, or bar menu – which can then be delivered to the guest anywhere on the hotel or resort property.

Hotel GMs are able to create an online order portal for their property’s food and drink menus. From there, they can design, print, and place QR-codes that take guests directly to the menu, embed the menu into their hotel’s website, integrate it with in-room tablets, and more.

Features:

  • Online Menu Creation
  • Guest Online Ordering System
  • In-Room Tablet Integration
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5. SmartUp

  • Review Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Price: N/A
  • Type: In-House

SmartUp is a digital room service menu and ordering system for hotels. Guests download the platform’s mobile app, which connects them to a contactless, digital menu for the hotel’s F&B offerings. 

Hotel GMs are given the ability to customize their menus and ordering portals to their hotel’s branding, manage pricing and inventory, promote special offers, and print receipts and orders for its kitchen staff. The platform also comes with capabilities for dynamic search, menu nutrients & ingredients filters, and can translate dozens of languages.

Features:

  • Design Custom Room Service Menus
  • Contactless Guest Ordering
  • Change & Update Pricing and Descriptions
  • Inventory Management
  • Special Item Promotions
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Room Service by 2ndKitchen
The #1 outsourced F&B provider for hotels