Extended stay hotels experiment with on-demand food services

Extended stay hotel Arguably, one of the biggest perks of staying in an extended stay hotel is the use of a kitchen, and enterprising brands within the space are looking for innovative ways to help guests take advantage of this unique amenity.

One of those brands includes Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham. Last year, the brand launched a ÒHomemade @ HawthornÓÊprogram that features a collection of chef-designed recipes for guests to use during their stay.

And at the end of April, the company has made it that much easier for guests to cook those recipes by partnering with Peapod and Instacart to facilitate on-demand grocery delivery services for guests. Currently, the program is in pilot at eight hotels throughout the US, in locations that include Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina.

Larry Hambro, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham’s vice president of brand operations, said the company decided to pilot this program primarily because more and more American households are choosing to have their groceries delivered out of convenience.

ÒIf I know that one in four households is currently ordering groceries online in some fashion, and one in 10 Gen Xers or Millennial folks is ordering online, and there’s an uptick of 160 per cent in online ordering of groceries since 2014, I have to get out in front of that curve,Ó said Mr Hambro. ÒIf I know my traveling public is ordering groceries online at home, it only makes sense that I provide that same service when I’m traveling for work or for an extended period of time.Ó He noted that in 2016, Americans spent an estimated $42 billion in online grocery delivery.

He added that another reason why Hawthorn decided to launch this program was motivated by the fact that ÒForty-five per cent of all business travelers choose extended stay properties because they want access to a kitchen, and 66 per cent of Americans, and 84 per cent of Millennials, say cooking for themselves in their hotel room would make them more comfortable in a long-term stay hotel. It’s just a natural fit to have recipes and to have the ingredients made available through a delivery mechanism.Ó

Offering on-demand grocery delivery is also something Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky noted as a possible additional service to be added to the Airbnb stay experience.

Mr Hambro also said Wyndham wanted to partner with Peapod and Instacart because Òthey’re tops as far as online grocery delivery services and they give guests easy access to the ingredients.Ó

At the hotels where the grocery delivery service is being tested out, guests can simply log onto the hotel’s websiteÊand from there they can easily order from either Peapod or Instacart (the provider depends on the specific location). Clicking on a link from the hotel homepage takes them to an external page for the grocery delivery service where they can find the specific ingredients needed to prepare the Homemade @ Hawthorn recipes, or just order whatever else they want to order.

ÒIt gives them access to everything Ñ not just recipes from Homemade @ Hawthorn and anything they want to enjoy from their standard routine at home,Ó said Mr Hambro.

By Deanna Ting from Skift

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