NEW YORK—The Hilton Midtown, New York City’s largest hotel with nearly 2,000 rooms, has announced it is getting rid of room service in August.
Room service at the $300-plus-a-night hotel will be replaced by a new self-service cafeteria.
A spokesman for the hotel told the New York Times that demand for room service had declined.
Travel industry experts note, however, that room service is a losing proposition at most hotels, WNYC News reported, indicating that the move was likely a cost-cutting measure.
“Everybody’s doing what they can to engineer their properties to make more profit while still supplying the services their guests demand,” John Fox, a consultant for the hotel industry, told the New York Times.
The move will eliminate 55 jobs, including the kitchen workers who assemble the hotel’s $24.75 Cobb salads at midnight and the staff who wheel them to visitors’ rooms.
"It's sad," Jacob Tomsky, author of Heads in Beds, a memoir of the hotel industry, told WNYC News. "The first thing I think of is the employees who lost their jobs. But when I think of the business model, I find it hard to see it going any other way."
The Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue – now owned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts – introduced room service to the hotel industry in the 1930s, WNYC reported.
A Hilton spokesman told the New York Times that the company didn’t plan to end room service at the Waldorf but is considering removing the amenity at its other hotels on a case-by-case basis.
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