The 2,000-room Hilton will end room service for good in August, laying off 55 workers and introducing a cafeteria-style grab-and-go restaurant as a replacement. The Hilton Hawaiian Village was the first to completely eliminate the service, and a spokesperson cited a decline in room service orders as the impetus.
"I don't think anyone makes a profit on room service because of its labor costs," John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting, explained to Crains New York Business. "I'm sure all the big hotels will be looking at what Hilton is doing."
Indeed, other hotels have flirted with the idea. The Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street has reduced room service hours, introducing a 24-hour market as an alternative. And Public, in Chicago, also scaled back, replacing traditional room service with a brown paper bag delivery that is simply left outside of guests' rooms.