I have stayed twice at the New York Hilton Midtown. The largest hotel in the city, it occupies almost an entire city block on Sixth Avenue, between West 53rd and West 54th streets. It has almost 2,000 rooms.
From August, 2013 there will be no room service. Instead it will open a cafeteria-style restaurant called Herb n’ Kitchen which will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. This follows other Hiltons that have done the same thing. Not that I would notice, having never ordered room service at any NYC hotel! With a whole city of amazing late night food options, why stay cooped up in a hotel room eating there?
In a statement by the hotel group: “Like most full-service hotels, New York Hilton Midtown has continued to see a decline in traditional room-service requests over the last several years”. Today’s Hilton guests are looking for something that is faster, cheaper and more convenient.
Of course, one big driver is costs. Crain’s New York Business publication were told by John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting “I don’t think anyone makes a profit on room service because of its labour costs”. And indeed 55 people will lose their jobs.
I have never been a big user of room service. I either bring snacks or grab my own meals to the room from a nearby take away or force myself to acclimatize by walking to a restaurant close by. I think I may fit the demographic of today’s consumer: “modern visitors, who have active, casual lifestyles”. We want speed, we want value and we don’t want to have to deal with delivery staff while in our pajamas!
What about you? Where do you fit? How do you feel?