In a simple, yet sort of terrifying video, YouTuber and locksmith “MM Developer” demonstrates how easy it is to break into a hotel room door with just a paper restaurant menu—no social engineering or lock-picking skills required.
“Using only the paper pizza menus that were pushed under our door during the day, I can shim open our hotel room door defeating both the striker and the top swing arm latch in under 30 seconds,” they write in the video description. “Faster times can be achieved if you aren't trying to video.”
It’s not lock picking—the lock stays locked—so much as bypassing the mechanism altogether. As long as there isn’t a deadbolt or a newer electronic scanning key system, you can shimmy a credit card, thick piece of paper or slice of a plastic soda bottle in between the strike plate and the door and get it open. The door in MM Developer’s video has a deadbolt, but it’s not in use.
In older hotels, a simple latch is supposed to work as another line of defence against people picking their way in, but as this video demonstrates, the latch is a joke, and easily busted by the paper menu, too.
It’s not just hotel rooms that can be pwned in this way: I have seen this method work firsthand on NYC apartment doors (cops don’t read this). Get a deadbolt or GTFO.