Hotel Guests and Take Out: A New Revenue Stream for Restaurants

As a kid, there was something extra special about ordering room service while on a family vacation. But as more hotels rethink their room service offerings—some have cut back menus, reduced hours, or stopped unprofitable room service operations altogether—travelers are looking beyond in-room menus to get fed.

According to data from  PFK Hospitality Researchroom service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012. So where are travelers’ eating?

Travelers Feed Themselves With Takeout Food

Our GrubHub analysts examined a year’s worth of orders delivered to more than 8,000 hotels across the country and uncovered that   hotel takeout orders have jumped in popularity 125 percent in the last three years. Whether travelers are looking for more diverse, more affordable, or more accessible food options, it’s clear that takeout is becoming the natural alternative to traditional room service.

Additionally, consumers are increasingly ordering food online or via a food ordering app, such as  GrubHub, which gives travelers, unfamiliar with a city, a variety of food choices and an easy way to browse restaurant menus and read customers’ reviews. In fact, according to a  new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Viggle, 69 percent of consumers order food online using a mobile device.

Travelers’ Interesting Food Ordering Habits

Our GrubHub analysts looked further at the data to gain a snapshot of the takeout habits of traveling Americans:

On average, hotel diners spend about 11 percent more per order than non-hotel diners.

Men are about 54 percent more likely than women to order meals to hotels.

Hotel takeout orders peak early in the work week, with fewer orders from Friday through Sunday.

Dinner and late night are the most popular meal times for travelers. Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of hotel orders are placed during dinner and late-night hours.

Takeout to Hotels Most Popular in Mid-sized Cities

So where are travelers ordering the most takeout? Of course, our analysts wanted to know. They crunched more data and found that mid-sized cities such as Minneapolis, Kansas City, Mo., and Orlando have the highest share of orders delivered to hotels. The 10 leading hotel takeout order destinations, with the highest percentage of total orders coming from hotels, are:

  1. Minneapolis
  2. Kansas City
  3. Orlando, Fla.
  4. Virginia Beach, Va.
  5. Raleigh, N.C.
  6. Cleveland
  7. Portland, Ore.
  8. Jacksonville, Fla.
  9. San Jose, Calif.
  10. Miami

With the decline in hotel room service, restaurants located in mid-sized cities and popular travel destinations can benefit greatly from offering a restaurant online ordering system such as GrubHub.

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