The rollout of a new in-room dining concept at Marriott Hotels, the Fresh Bites program, began in 2014 and is now in place at the majority of the chain’s full service properties. The program was designed to speed up food delivery, eliminate the need to wash tableware and create an option for food pick-up rather than delivery.

Food service website Cambro spoke to Adrian Hernandez, Executive Chef of the Irvine Marriott, about the program. He said, “With this new room service model, we not only are able to speed up delivery time but it now eliminates washing of any plates, bowls and flatware entirely.”

Food packaged in recyclable containers, pictured next to a bag with the Fresh Bites logo.
Marriott Fresh Bites food packaging. | Image courtesy Marriott Hotels.

Meals ordered from hotels participating in the Fresh Bites program are packaged in recyclable containers and a to-go bag, making it easy to carry for both the customer and hotel delivery staff.

“We’ve sourced for all of these 100% recyclable containers, whether it’s for burgers, soup, sauces or entrees. Even if someone orders wine with their dinner, we have these nice reusable carafes and glasses that the guest can take with them,” said Chef Adrian. While some may look at the paper and plastic packaging with some suspicion, Marriott says that they “are all recyclable, and made of pre-consumer recycled material.”

Salads, wraps, fruit and a burger laid out on a bed in Fresh Bites containers.
Selection of foods included in the Fresh Bites program. | Image courtesy Marriott Hotels.

The Fresh Bites menu includes the same delicious meals that customers are used to, prepared on demand. These include local favorites and mainstays like the Marriott Burger, which is one of the best in the world (in my opinion).

Although Marriott designed this program as a sustainability initiative, it appears well designed for the era of COVID-19. With customers demanding greater food safety, cleanliness and the ability to maintain social distance, meals packaged in a portable Fresh Bites bag seem preferable to those served on a tray.

Guests ordering a Fresh Bites meal can pick it up for themselves or have it delivered for a $5 service fee. Staff delivering a meal no longer have to enter the guest room, as the to-go bag is easily passed off to the guest.

While in-room dining through Fresh Bites may not be as high-class or Instagram-worthy as we are used to, it’s an interesting solution that is good for the environment, our water supply and now, it seems, public health.

What do you think of Marriott’s Fresh Bites program? Are you more likely to trust a room service meal delivered in Fresh Bites packaging than one delivered on a traditional tray? Let me know in the comments below!

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