POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 7, 2012
Question: Room service is nice but so expensive. My niece, who owns her own business and is trying to keep expenses down, recently told me she always picks up takeout Chinese food or sends out for pizza when she's staying in a hotel on business. As she puts it, she has to eat, but she doesn't have to eat expensively. I have to admit, I never thought of that. Is it tacky to order from a restaurant or pizza shop if your hotel has room service? And if you do, will they bring the food right to your room, or do you have to meet the delivery guy in the lobby or something?
Answer: Having food delivered is a great way to save money on your travels. If your room has a refrigerator and microwave, you can even heat up the leftovers the next day. And no, it's not tacky at all. I would, however, ask you not to put your trash out in the hallway without calling the front desk to let them know they should pick it up. The people in the room across from you won't care for the scent of a carton of uneaten General Tso's chicken.
As for how the food will be delivered, that depends. If your room is on an exterior corridor, the delivery driver will probably be able to bring it right to you. If your hotel has a traditional lobby, though, security issues might require that you come pick up your food. Make sure you provide your cellphone number so the driver can contact you directly.
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.