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Musings from a frequent traveller, Episode 1: Feed me Seymore! Why mobile room service is a must for hotels

Business travel has its upsides: you get to go to some interesting locations and more often than not, have interesting conversations. Despite what many people think however, travelling is exhausting, not glamorous (with my hair piled on my head, matted from my travel pillow), and leaves me desperate for caffeine and calories to keep me going in whatever time zone I am in.

And here leads to one of the biggest frustrations with travelling: the need to converse with wait staff whilst in a hurry. I am sure they are really nice people and only doing their jobs, but I am in a hurry!

My gate is being called and I am struggling to keep my eyes open, but I know that I need to eat as plane food and I have a mutual resentment for one another. I sit down and want something quick, hopefully nutritious and definitely tasty.

The first 7 minutes are spent trying to flag down the wait staff…then my diet coke is ordered followed with “I’ll come back to take your food order”. NO!!!!! I want to order everything now and also can you bring me my check. I am in a hurry don’t you know.

Biased I may be, but at these times all I can think is: I wish you hadQikserve.

Last week I travelled from Edinburgh to Washington for Oracle’s Sales conference.  There were several times during this long 15 hour journey I thought to myself, how much easier life would be if a) being ‘hangry’ wasn’t a thing; b) I was more organised and just packed some proper food next time I go traveling, or; c) if only airport cafes and restaurants could let me pre-order and pay for food and drinks on my mobile while I’m in a taxi or waiting to check-in and then quickly pick it up on my way to the gate.

Come to think about it, how great would it be if you could order food with your phone when you’re on your way to the hotel? Imagine,  you’ve just got off a long-haul flight and a piping hot meal is just waiting there when you finally manage to drag yourself into your room along with your luggage?

Also during many business trips to hotels in other countries, I find trying to work out what’s on the menu when it’s not in English pretty difficult.  But, if I were able to check-in on an app where language preferences are always set to English, this would never be an issue and I could order away to my heart’s (or stomach’s) content.  

The tech for ordering and paying for food and drinks using your mobile is here (again, little plug for QikServe) and there are many restaurants that are trailblazing this service for the industry such as Het Paleis at Schiphol Airport.  Hotels, however, may be missing a trick.  Few, if any, have implemented mobile food ordering for room service which, if done properly, would not only give travel-weary people like myself the wonderful convenience of a decent meal waiting for me with zero human interaction, but could also increase ancillary sales, make the whole room service process more efficient and help hotels with guest loyalty by giving them a competitive edge. Trust me, I am a marketer’s dream and will always say yes when prompted with “would you like a side with that?”

So until Hotels and more airport eateries jump onboard with mobile pre-order and pay opportunities, I’ll make a public announcement now to avoid ‘hangry’ confrontations and I’ll stick ‘pack a lunch’ in the diary next time a business trip calls to avoid an in-flight diet in the future.

Gillian Jones, Sales Manager :

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