Some may or may not know that the Marriott Marquis in DC is piloting a new program called "Dine Your Way".
Enter Dining Your Way: "a hipper, more practical alternative to room service. Instead of rolling tables and plate covers, the 24-hour service takes a page out of the popularity of delivery sites such as Seamless.com." Hotel guests can place orders in advance and have the option of picking up their food if they don’t want it brought to their room. “And no more signing a check,” “We’ll just have a receipt stapled to the side of the bag.” Room service is dead, says Daniel A. N., the hotel’s general manager. According to the person they've got assigned to cover reviews of the property on TripAdvisor: "Our property began this new style of room service in response to reviews we received from our guests- that room service was too expensive, took too long, and was too cumbersome. Dining Your Way is a fast, easy, and more affordable option for our guests, and is conveniently packaged for easy use and disposal. This is an affordable option as well, having no service or delivery fees."
At the time I had posted on Flyertalk my thoughts:
Or if this is just an attempt to get staffing down, aka, hey if we can get the guests to come pick up their food less staff we have to use (the grocery store equivalent of if we can get them to bag their own groceries less baggers we have to hire). Can't speak for others but I'm not interested in getting a steak, salad, pasta dish & side delivered in 'bags'. A FS hotel isn't McDonalds!
Again I'm not a fan of we'll put your steak or your seafood or your pasta dish in a plastic container & deliver it to your room in a bag w/ a receipt attached to it. I could maybe see it if it was a sandwich or pizza, but room service menus normally encompass more than that. My guess is the 'dine your way' concept is designed to do two things: 1) reduce staffing costs if they can get guests to schlep down to the pick-up spot to pick up their food, especially given the size of this particular property (the option to have the bag delivered is available); 2) increase revenue by hoping to get the guests to order from 'dine your way' vs. ordering from the outside pizza or chinese place for those that order from outside vs. ordering from room service.
Reports from TripAdvisor aren't very glowing re: the Dine Your Way concept:
"As a business traveler, however, I am not impressed with their weird version of "room service." As others have said, they have a limited menu and your food is brought to your room in a plastic bag with plastic containers and plastic utensils. After a long day with work still left to do, I don't think it's asking too much to order a decent dinner on a real plate. I don't buy their argument that people don't want the expense or intrusion of room service."
"This property is piloting a "Have it Your Way" menu which basically amounts to prepackaged food warmed in a microwave and dropped at your door in a plastic bag. it was like I paid someone to run to Starbucks and get me something from the freezer case. Have it THEIR way is more like it. Clearly it's a cost saving measure - but a deal breaker for me who puts high value on convenience and actually havings things MY way."
"Room service menus are sparse to a Spartan degree. And they bring in a take-out bag... not 5-star quality."
"The downside: room service doesn't exist. Instead you can have delivery from the hotel restaurant, and their food is terrible. I ordered an egg and spinach and cheese wrap, and it was clearly a frozen wrap reheated in a microwave. The too half was still cold when I bit into it."
"Marriott Room Service - "Your Way" ... is NOT your way... It is a sack lunch... their way.
An experience unlike any full service Marriott. A fixed limited menu that is unlike any full service Marriott. Marriott can do better and should."
If I was in DC I'd probably eat out since there are decent restaurants, but I do order room service when staying at hotels due to needing to do some work in room or just too tired to go to hotel restaurant or off-site. Because the Marquis in DC only offers Dine Your Way, it's definitely off my list of places to stay/won't get revenue from me as I'm not interested in pre-packaged food delivered in a bag with plastic utensils if I decide I want to eat in my room. I hope the "pilot" doesn't expand to other Marriott properties.
Ugh, sounds awful!
I must admit dont choose room service every time I stay, but if I'm exhausted after a long drive, or need to spend the evening preparing for the next day, room service is very convenient and a welcome sight, proper plate with proper eatin' irons!
Make no mistake I've stayed at Holiday Inn Expresses and ordered in a pizza, not as convenient as room service but when none is offered, a mans gotta eat, but a "Bagged and Tagged" microwave meal is not a 4 or 5 star service. I'd definitely avoid any FS hotel that offered this!
Totally agree brightlybob. When I was still working, I travelled a great deal. As I was alone, the restaurant didn't always appeal, and anyway there was also the fact that I worked in the evenings in my hotel room. I didn't always have room service, but I always wanted the OPTION of having a decent meal delivered to my room, all ready to eat. I think OPTION is the key for me, and I always stayed in hotels that gave me the choice of an on site restaurant and proper room service. I still do when travelling with Mrs Tommo, even though we are retired. Sometimes a nice room service light meal is all that is wanted after a full day out.
I was referring to room rate, not room service rate. If I'm stuck with paying $200+ for a hotel room & want to order room service (at inflated prices), I want freshly cooked food delivered on a real plate with real silverware. Not microwaved food in a bag w/ plastic utensils. FS hotels are not McDonald's or Motel 6's!