Aim: This systemic review aimed to investigate the effects of various methods of point of service meal provision on patient satisfaction and energy intakes of hospital patients. Methods: 'Medline' and 'Wiley Interscience' online databases (1999–2008) were consulted using search terms such as 'food service' and 'food delivery in hospital'. Cross-referencing was also used to select studies that compared the provision of full diets to hospital patients using two different methods of food service delivery. Results: Searching yielded 268 studies, of which 18 met the inclusion criteria (hospitals, all ages, oral intake only). Patient satisfaction was measured in 12 studies, while 9 studies measured energy intake, 9 measured food wastage and 4 studies measured costs. Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that a more personalised meal service system in hospitals has the ability to improve energy intakes and patient satisfaction. Further research is necessary to evaluate the long-term implications on cost-effectiveness.