Latest trend: hotels ending room service

By June 4, 2013Articles

Hilton Midtown, New York City’s largest hotel, will discontinue room service in August 2013. The hotel will lay off 55 workers and introduce a grab-and-go restaurant as a replacement.

A spokesperson cited the decline in room service orders as the main reason behind this decision. The 2,000-room Hilton Midtown NYC is not the first property in the Group’s chain to do this, The Hilton Hawaiian Village being the first to completely eliminate room service. According to industry experts other hotels will probably do the same. Here’s what John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting, had to say about this: “I don’t think anyone makes a profit on room service because of its labor costs. I’m sure all the big hotels will be looking at what Hilton is doing.”

Ian Schrager, the renowned American entrepreneur, hotelier and real estate developer, seems to agree with Fox: “People don’t like paying a $7 service delivery fee, waiting 45 minutes for their food or greeting a server while they are half-dressed.” Besides Hilton, other hotels have flirted with the idea, too. New York’s Grand Hyatt hotel (42nd Street) has reduced room service hours and introduced a 24-hour market as an alternative. And there’s the Public in Chicago (an Ian Schrager hotel), which replaced traditional room service with a brown paper bag delivery that is left outside of guests’ rooms.

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