An article about the New York Hilton Hotel eliminating room service has been everywhere these last few days. Originally appearing on Crain’s New York Business site, we’ve seen similar articles everywhere from the Yahoo front page to the New York Times. From the Crain’s New York Business Article:
The New York Hilton Midtown is the largest hotel in the city, with nearly 2,000 rooms. In August, it will earn another distinction: It will discontinue room service. The move will eliminate 55 jobs. It could also ignite an industrywide trend. Other hotels, such as the Hudson in New York and the Public in Chicago, are already nibbling at the concept, offering meals delivered in brown paper bags.
The hotel will be adding cafeteria style dining instead. From the article:
The Hilton property on Sixth Avenue, between West 53rd and West 54th streets, will open a downmarket grab-and-go restaurant this summer called Herb n’ Kitchen, a cafeteria-style eatery that will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. The plan was announced in October as part of a larger initiative at the hotel chain, which is simplifying its food offerings at Double Tree by Hilton and Embassy Suites as well. What it didn’t mention then, however, is that Herb n’ Kitchen will replace the room-service operation at the midtown hotel. “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,” said a spokesman in a statement. The Hilton Hawaiian Village was the first Hilton to eliminate room service. In October, it put away the china and linen in favor of takeout.
I am the In Room Dining Manager of a large hotel. Our In Room Dining sales have really dropped over the last year. Our service scores are also suffering. Where do a start?
Great question! Many hotels are reporting a drastic decrease in F&B sales per occupied room. The In Room Dining sales have taken the biggest hit during these tough times. Guests are really cutting back on the more expensive amenities of the hotels and room service is usually at the top. Here are our recommendations:
1. Revisit your menu and specifically your menu prices. Many hotels dramatically increased their room service menu prices over the restaurant prices. We recommend that the prices are similar, especially if your hotel is near many other restaurants… especially if they are within walking distance. Guests typically look at the room service prices and assume they are the same as in the restaurant. If a guest feels they are too high, you have lost them as a customer in both room service and the restaurant. Guests will grab breakfast from a quick mart and eat dinner at the restaurant next door.