Generally, the system works like this: A guest uses Wi-Fi to download an Internet page that contains the hotel's online menu. Once the order is placed, the system directly bills the room or the credit card. Some hotels also allow housekeeping, valet and requests for services such as additional towels or wake-up calls to be ordered online.

Omni Hotels has been testing an online order application at Omni Mandalay in Irving, Texas, since last year. Developed by Vancouver, Wash.-based GBCblue, the system will be expanded to several other Omni properties in coming months. The company hopes to install it chain-wide by the end of the year, says Kerry Kennedy, Omni's director of e-commerce.

Starwood Hotels has approved GBCblue's technology for all of its hotels, says Joe Adkisson of GBCblue.

Get the full story at USA TODAY