Hilton plans to scrap room service

Room service has been synonymous with full service hotels for the longest time. However, it seems the paradigm will change soon, at least that is the Hilton’s plan for the summers.

As per a Reuters report, Hilton CEO stated at a hospitality conference today, that the 2000-key full-service Hilton New York Midtown will scrap away room service this summer, and instead open an onsite eatery which will offer gourmet take-out.

I expect this to be a pilot for such an effort, because Hilton is not planning to roll out the change at its other properties just yet. Other hotels, such as the Marriott chain also have no intentions of eliminating room service for the time being.

I guess this move is a win, however, there are questions that remain unresolved. Over my years of travel domestically and abroad, I remember a handful of occasions I’ve ordered room service. Almost all the times this was usually the case when I would arrive at my hotel late in the night and there would not be other options to eat other than calling the room service kitchen.

By the looks of it, I am not clear if the Hilton Midtown would offer this take-away service 24×7, because if they don’t I wonder how does someone who is hungry at 1 AM get something to eat. I also foresee that people would have to make the effort to dress up and step out again, so you can say bye bye to eating in your jammies if room service was your thing.

We’ll see how this strategy pans out, but it does look to me that I wouldn’t miss room service too much if it was gone. What do you think about this move? Revolutionary or you’re just like me?

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Dont be disgusting and eat food in your room. Do you want to wake up smelling like greasy french fries?

  2. if i arrived at 1 am, 2 am and famished, i would just want to look at the menu in my room. i dont care if it is NYC or elsewhere where i can get food 24/7, better food, faster food, cheaper food, whatever. i would be so tired and lazy at 2 am i will take the easy route: room service.

  3. @Live From A Lounge
    Even the McDonalds in Beijing (or at least some of them) will do delivery within the neighborhood. In all the countries I have been (50+), there has never been any issue getting delivery if I need to.

    However, I agree with Carl P, if they don’t allow delivery to come up to your room for security reason, then a hotel staff (e.g. bellman) should be able to make the last leg delivery. I really like how Club Quarters does this. If you didn’t pay through CC in advance they’ll even pay for you and charge it your room.

  4. I agree with Lindsay that other delivery is usually avaiable (almost anywhere – not just NY). I just hate it when hotels only allow them to come as far as the lobby and you have to go down and get it.

    I don’t know if that’s a security issue or the hotels just want to discourage it. Others push you towards the delivery service they’re proably getting the kickback on (ad on key etc.).

  5. This is probably a good thing. While RS has always been convenient for late arrivals and early mornings, when was the last time anyone had a GOOD, even WARM meal from the RS folks? I cannot remember one. Even that ‘hot steaming coffee’ is usually tepid upon arrival, costs at least $10 and the guy that apparently iced it on the way still wants a hefty tip. Hotels are not what they used to be, most often providing a bed, toilet, shower and, if lucky – a desk. Don’t eat in hotels, period.d

  6. Room service is known to be a cash drain no matter how costly it seems to be to the guest. It entails staff 24/7 even if the volume of orders is not expected to be sufficient.
    Based on my understanding, you could still eat in your jammies. You will just have to drag yourself to pick it up at a special counter.
    There are occasions when I availed my self of room service, I feel this is a step down for Hilton and blurs the line between a Hotel and a lower category. You pay a premium in a Hotel to just know that room service is available 24/7

  7. Bummer. I travel internationally quite a bit and often order room service because I don’t want to sit in a restaurant myself or I am craving “familiar” food, which I often find on a room service menu or I am suffering from jet lag and want something to quick. Guess that means I will I will focus my stays on SPG & Hyatt.

  8. How does someone get food in Midtown at 1am? This is a joke, right? It’s NEW YORK CITY, there are 50 places that will deliver to your hotel room at 1am, and they’ll probably get there faster than room service would.

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