One of the service areas that has gone unchanged for decades is room service. There's a great tradition to the experience, but many discomforts still exist, like having a stranger come into your room while you're in a bathrobe.
I'd love to hear thoughts about new ways for room service design. I'm curious to explore a design that could reduce or eliminate those moments of discomfort and 'intrusion'.
Anyone interested in this aspect of the hotel experience?
couple of thoughts on this.
I think that there is a lot of opportunity in this area if you start to look more closely at room service. Firstly, if you look at the people who use room service. For example, I spent 15 years traveling 3 out of every 4 weeks per month and stayed in hotels all over the world. In all those years I probably used room service 10 or 15 times, and that was usually when I had my family with me. Now my wife travels regularly and uses room service all of the time. So, as usual, a starting point is to look at the customers who use room service. This creates opportunities to identify how to better serve them and also helps you understand if there are opportunities to get "non-users" to start "using".
Your comment about moments of discomfort and intrusion are very relevant. It's those awkward moments while the room service guy is setting up the table in your room and you are hoping he hurrys up and gets out of there. I think that by digging into this a bot deeper you will find plenty of opportunities to improve this service.
By the way, the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh has old-fashioned room service "hatches" that the tray is loaded into and then they ring a bell to tell you it is there. You can then retrieve it from your side of the hatch. It's old fashioned but a nice way around the intrusion aspect of the service.
What if you would turn it around. Isn't a Hotel all about room service? Room service in different shapes and forms.
The Hotel, the room and everything in it and around are all interconnected and provide the service.
The service being: having a suitable place to stay and sleep, while not home fitting within the needs/ context and expectations of the visitor.
I would love to start looking at the whole system of the value network to see where things can be improved, innovated.
And it starts by looking at all the values being exchanged between all stakeholders. Room service as described above is only a part of it.