In what is hopefully a sign that hotels, at least the boutique variety, may start bagging traditional room service all together, Miller's Guild is using very non-traditional packaging to deliver order-in.
About two weeks ago, chef Jason Wilson and the crew at Hotel Max unveiled a nifty new room service program without using a single silver domed tray in the process.
The downtown hotel has developed a rather cool program, where room service items are delivered in custom-stamped brown paper bags made to look rustic-pretty with butcher’s twine and hand-written labels and tags, signed by the cook who prepared your meal.
"It's interesting,” says the hotel’s General Manager, Kevin Scott. “From the hotel side, room service is one of those necessary evils. It's not always profitable, but it's an amenity that is required.”
Interesting side note: The Westin was the first hotel chain to offer 24-hour room service back in 1969.
"For the demographic we're going after, they don't really care what [the food] comes on. It's not all about the presentation. We're trying to go against the grain and see how we can put our own spin on [room service] to make it different in that regard."
Not everything on the Miller’s Guild menu is offered via room service, for obvious reasons. For instance, the cooks aren’t able to do the big dry-aged steaks or the Flintstonian beef short rib.
"It's not like we're trying to invent wheels,” says chef Wilson, “we're just trying to take a different look at room service.”
Best case scenario, this is signaling a changing tide in the snoozefest known as room service. Eating in shouldn’t feel like being sequestered. A little nice personalized packaging goes a long way.