Could This Hotel’s Room Service Move Start a Trend?
The New York Hilton Midtown is discontinuing its room service option in August. Is this the beginning of the end for a longstanding hotel amenity?
Business travelers staying at the New York Hilton Midtown will have one less option to satisfy a late-night craving come August.
The hotel announced that it will discontinue its room service and open a “grab-and-go restaurant” that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“This offering is currently unique to New York Hilton Midtown, and we have no current plans to roll out the initiative more broadly,” a hotel spokesman said in a statement to Associations Now. “Each property is unique, and any such decisions to eliminate room service would be made on a property-by-property basis if we determine that it would allow us to meet the needs of our guests more effectively.”
The plan also calls for eliminating 55 jobs, an issue Hilton officials are currently discussing with the union. “We are committed to placing qualified employees in alternate positions within the hotel, where possible, and will offer severance options to individuals who are eligible for this alternative,” the spokesman told Associations Now.
“We think the world is going in this direction, particularly in big urban markets,” Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher Nassetta told Crain’s in an article published earlier this month. “There will be a total reinvention of how room service will be delivered.”
Nassetta also said that he could count the number of guests ordering room service “on one hand” and that the 2,000-room property loses “a significant amount of money” on the service.
Mike Johnston, president of the nonprofit Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association, echoed that sentiment, telling Newsday that room service is “just not profitable” for big-box hotels.
Johnston told the newspaper that hotels lose money employing wait and kitchen staffs through the day and night to “satisfy sporadic requests.”
Newsday cited a PFK Hospitality Research study that found hotel room service makes up just 1.2 percent of a hotel’s revenue, down from 1.3 percent in 2011.