Hotel Chain Comforts Homesick Travelers via Grocery Shopping


For those who travel regularly, it's hard enough figuring out logistics, dealing with long TSA lines and flights at ungodly hours, and adjusting to a different schedule altogether. But often worse than all of these is the longing for home that can't be cured until the journey's over.

That's not to say at least a bit of normality can't be obtained – even through, of all things, grocery shopping. Wyndham Hotel Group has partnered with San Francisco-based grocery delivery service Instacart and Skokie, Ill.-based online grocer Peapod to bring groceries to guests at the company's extended-stay brand, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham. Eight hotels in and around Chicago; Philadelphia; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; Hartford, Conn.; and Orlando, Fla., are involved in the pilot.

Two-thirds of Americans, including 84 percent of Millennials, agree that being able to cook in a hotel room would make them feel more at home when traveling, a recent survey from Hawthorn Suites revealed. In response, the Parsippany, N.J.-based company offers Homemade @ Hawthorn, an in-room cooking program that lets hotel guests cook seasonal dishes via recipes from award-winning chefs, in their in-suite kitchens. The delivery initiative is the latest addition to the program.

With just a few clicks at, guests at the pilot hotels can easily find and order all of the ingredients for their favorite Homemade @ Hawthorn recipes, or their most-wanted grocery items, and have them delivered straight to their hotels.

"We know convenience is king for long-term travelers staying in new cities for weeks or months at a time," said Larry Hambro, VP, brand operations, Hawthorn Suites. "An essential part of helping our guests stick to their regular regimens when they stay with us is delivering the comforts of home, like a homemade meal or their go-to snack. Our grocery delivery pilot makes that possible by giving.”

Wyndham has tapped two famed culinary artists – Chef Hari Nayak, a New York-based chef, restaurateur and author, and Chef James Rigato, a former Top Chef competitor and current restaurateur – to create the menus. Cookout season is the latest theme, with dishes such as a pub-cheese-and-ham sandwich and a watermelon salad.

This new initiative helps tired travelers not only get back a sense of home while on the road -- not to mention with the convenience of not having to leave the suite -- but also eat healthier and better control what they're putting in their bodies, skipping the urge to get one's sustenance easily and quickly from fast-food or other restaurants. Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less.

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