Hotels Offer Supermarkets a New Customer

The Lempert Report
November 19, 2013

It's no surprise that Supermarkets' end-game for food and non-food delivery is to homes. Yet  an opportunity is presenting itself for supermarkets nationwide to fill a vacuum: delivery to hotels. 

This opportunity exists for several reasons:  First, room service and minibar prices are sky-high, and menu choices dwindle after the main dinner hour.  Second, hotels like this partnership because they typically lose money on food-and-beverage operations, so this provides a convenient solution.

The Lempert Report sees many kinds of hotel guests who could use supermarket delivery of fresh, hot, prepared foods or assembled meal components. For example, business travelers who are tired at the end of their long travel. Such a delivery service is especially suitable to hotel rooms with kitchenettes, including extended-stay facilities.  This could broaden the appeal to vacationing families staying at one destination for multiple nights, such as Orlando.  In this case, meal planning would become part of the trip—and eating in the room could help kids wind down sooner after a day at the park.

It's convenient, a good option for nutritious food and perhaps even more importantly to travelers, its great for a limited budget.  Many supermarkets are already making the most of this opportunity.  Grocery delivery service is available, for instance, at more than 600 Marriott Residence Inn properties across the United States. Also, the five boutique Affinia Hotels in New York City have many rooms with kitchens or kitchenettes, plus separate dining areas and patios.  The chain allows FreshDirect to deliver ready-to-make meals.   We think all retailers should look into pursuing this new and largely untapped customer base.