The New York Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in New York City, is discontinuing room service, and industry experts say that other hotels will probably follow suit.
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.
"People don't like paying a $7 service delivery fee or waiting 45 minutes for their food or greeting a server while their [sic] half-dressed," hotelier Ian Schrager said of the new service.