Thistle Hotels has formed a joint venture with the London-based home delivery firm Room Service to use a kitchen at its Thistle Kings Cross hotel to produce meals that are biked round to people's homes

Orders come in through a call-centre run by Room service and the food is then delivered hot by motorbike.

Thistle's food and beverage director, Stefan Breg, said the home delivery market in central London was set to grow enormously in the next few years.

He said: "Apart from Domino's Pizza, what else is there in delivered hot food? It's not just working couples who want to eat at home but don't want to cook, it's also offices in the city where staff are working American hours.

"This is a wonderful way of utilising underused kitchens."

The new venture, called Eat It In has a menu with more than 300 items, including Italian and Asian dishes, which cook quickly and keep well during delivery. All food is cooked to order and the service runs from 11am to 11pm.

Homes and offices in central and west London have been leafleted in the past week explaining what is on offer, and there is also a web site promoting the service.

Thistle's partner in the joint venture, Room Service, already has a wide range of restaurants in central London supplying food to telephone orders from its callers. Room service arranges to pick up the food and deliver it to customers.

Guests requesting room service food at the Kings Cross Thistle are now ordering through Eat It In and not through the hotel's internal room service system.

Breg said the initial response had been very strong, and if the Kings Cross operation meets expectations, Thistle will expand home delivery to 10 more hotels across the country, which would mean a forecast annual turnover for the operation of £3m.