No More Room Service? – Update

In today’s New York Times, Winne Hu reveled that major hotels in New York City are doing away with room service in favor of self-service grab-and-go options. According to the article, in August, the New York Hilton Midtown, will discontinue food and drink service to all 2,000 of its rooms. In its place, the hotel will promote a new self-service option called Herb n’ Kitchen stocked with grab-and-go items. Hotel operators claim that these service reductions are due to declining demand and increased labor costs.

BreakfastinBedHotel-smallPersonally, I can tell you that it has been a little while since I last ordered room service. While I love to convenience and luxury of in-room dining, I find myself instead ordering in from local restaurants or grabbing take-out and bringing it back to my room. What do you think? Should full service hotel operators reduce rates if they do away with room service?

–8/2/2013 UPDATE–

Want to eliminate room service in New York City?  It’ll cost you.


  • coylehospitality

    Room Service is like the hotel gym. Everyone wants it, few use it. It makes it very difficult to justify the losses on the P&L; plus it creates hardship on the room upkeep. At its core, I think Room Service is now less of a convenience (food brought to room, saves time), to one of safety. I certainly would not want anyone in my family or at my company wandering outside a hotel at off-hours because they arrived in the city very late or have to leave very early. Also have to admit that a coffee delivery scheduled for 7 AM was a back-up wake-up call!

  • Sarah Fry Close

    Better yet, reduce the room service rates. I’d order room service more frequently if I didn’t feel I was paying fees on things I could have other restaurants deliver for free. If a hotel has the kitchen and already makes the food, it shouldn’t cost $30 extra because someone brought it upstairs.

  • Jeff

    For those city-dwellers out there…it’ll be interesting to see what Web sites like and do to the landscape of hotel delivery.

  • Kerri Keefe

    I agree with Sarah. Keep the room rates the same, and keep room service. Reduce the room service rates and hotels won’t have to compete with local restaurants and take-out.

  • Arthur Chang

    Call me old school, but I think room service is one of the few things hotels do that actually create an ‘experience’. Part of the appeal of slapping down a day’s pay on a room is to be able to eat a juicy burger in bed. Taking away this feature is one less thing hotels can do to enhance the guest experience.

  • Existentialist1

    I have been employed in the hospitality industry for approx 15years. Our particular property averages about 13 runs a night at 65%+ avrg. occupancy. After we tried the “grab and go” concept we got more complaints that we cared to listen to. Our property is in a safe, low crime area with plenty of individually owned upscale restaurants close by. Room Service is not intended to appeal to the Mass Market. It is intended as an convenience for those who need and want it. If property management is strictly looking at the profit margin in F&B, the guest is degraded to a number and if the numbers aren’t jiving, cuts in service are implemented. As a frequent traveler I appreciate hotels with R.S. I definitely stay away from the ones who do not offer it. If I have no choice other than the ‘grab and go’ concept in a sterile Lobby/Bistro setting I have entered an upscale hospital cafeteria, so – NO THANKS!

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