New York Hilton Midtown, “Hotel that Never Rests” – Unless You Want Room Service

In a press release from mid-May, the New York Hilton Midtown dubbed itself the “Hotel That Never Rests” in a “City That Never Sleeps.”  The hotel announced the commemoration of 50 years of hospitality and personalized attention to New Yorkers and visitors. “On June 26, 1963, legendary hotelier, Conrad Hilton officiated over the ribbon-cutting event when the hotel opened its doors for the first time, immediately generating awe and gathering accolades that continue to this day.”

To help mark this significant milestone in the hotel’s history, New York Hilton Midtown is planning a series of promotional activities designed around the celebration:

Amid their celebration comes news (last week) that the hotel will discontinue room service and, in the process, eliminate 55 jobs. In August the hotel will discontinue food and drink service to all 1,981 of its rooms. In its place will be a new self-service Herb n’ Kitchen concept stocked with grab-and-go items. They may call themselves the hotel that never rests, but they’ve put room service to rest.

So is this a new trend? A Hilton spokesman said the company was evaluating its other hotels on a case-by-case basis. So there may be more hotels in Hilton Family of hotels that eliminate the service.

The hotel’s room service menu is 3 pages with items like the Pat La Frieda custom burger ($28.50), macaroni and cheese made with Velveeta ($23.50). And, as with all room service menus, the fine print notes that for every order there is an additional 15% service charge and an in-room dining charge of $5.50 per person.  With prices like these, it’s not surprising that room service is on the decline. However, many people rely on room service.

No more breakfast in bed in this New York Hilton Midtown room or any other. Courtesy Hilton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide

I for one like staying at a hotel that offers room service. It’s handy when you arrive very late at night and don’t want to go out in a new area you’re unfamiliar with. I also like to order room service when I’m jet lagged and don’t want to go out. 

So, as the New York Hilton Midtown celebrates 50 years, there are 55 few employees celebrating and many guests left shaking their heads.  What do you think?  Is room service essential to hotels?

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