Whine Wednesdays: Used Room Service Trays Sitting In The Hallway For Hours – Entire Floors Reeking Of Leftover Food


Our weekly series of Whine Wednesday this time around is about used room service trays, often loaded with leftover food that sits around in front of guest rooms after they are done with their meal.

More often than not these trays sit around for hour on end because the hotel isn’t following up on picking the leftovers up and often guests don’t bother to quickly call to advise room service of the tray.

This particular issue is something I’d fault the guest one third and the hotel two third for failing to pay proper attention to rooms that they know have ordered room service in the past hours.

Dishes ordered from room service are often items that don’t smell very nice when sitting around for an extended period of time. Such things include leftover burgers, fried items, fish, pasta etc.

How does all this become an issue when it’s actually something that could be avoided so easily?

Guests order the room service items and they have them delivered to the room. At the time of delivery many if not most hotels already make a critical mistake in not mentioning anything to the guest about picking up the tray/table again.

A simple question of “Would you like to call when we should pick the tray up or do you want to leave it outside your door?” would be sufficient to indeed have the customer give the room service a quick ring that the dishes are ready to be picked up (either inside the room or outside).

Given the fact that dirty dishes are exhibiting the awful smell I’d say in 90% of all cases the trays/dishes are being dumped outside the room sometime after consumption.

Even if the guest doesn’t call the service hotline, the hotel knows exactly which room ordered food items in the last few hours. It should be routine to sweep the floors 1-2 hours later to see if there are dirty dishes and to pick them up. However: This is rarely the case!

While staying at the Westin Grand Vancouver last week I experienced again that 3 room service trays were sitting in the hall on separate occasions. The worst: In the morning housekeeping was busy making up other rooms and must have definitely seen the items on the floor. Even if it’s not their responsibility to pick them up, at least call the respective department to deal with it.


Coming back to a hotel that reeks like a fast food joint with old food in the hallways is just revolting and should never ever happen at a hotel such as the Westin Grand and others that claim to be 4-5 star properties with corresponding rates of sometimes $400 a night like last week.

I made it a habit of calling room service hotline every time I’m done with my meal in order to pick up the old tray to avoid having dirty dishes sitting around. Or to call them when I notice other rooms dishes on the floor for that matter even though it should be the hotels responsibility to monitor things like this.