Room service disappears from some hotels

Claudine Zap

The next time you stay in a hotel, room service may be off the menu.

At the New York Hilton Midtown, starting in August, those fancy covered meals set on china and wheeled into your room will soon be a luxe service left to the past.

Even though room service is always a pricey option for a hotel guest, it's an even more expensive proposition for the hotel, as John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting, told Crain's New York Business.

"I don't think anyone makes a profit on room service, because of its labor costs," Fox said. "I'm sure all the big hotels will be looking at what Hilton is doing." The hotel chain will cut or reassign 55 jobs at that location.

Some other hotels have already moved in that direction. Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu dropped its room service last year. Guests can order restaurant food to be delivered to their room, says a Hilton spokesperson.

Paring down its room service, the Public Chicago still delivers food to hungry guests but leaves it inside a brown paper bag and hangs it on the room's doorknob. And instead of standard room service, the Hudson Hotel in New York offers a limited range of items with its Hudson Common Express.

Of course, guests at the New York Hilton Midtown won't be left to starve: In place of room service will be a café style restaurant, Herb 'n Kitchen (say it out loud) for grab-and-go food.

“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 as customer preferences and expectations continue to evolve,” New York Hilton Midtown spokesperson noted to Yahoo Travel in a statement.

Another option for those really attached to breakfast in bed: Stay at a Marriott. "[Room service] is not a huge profit center, but if you are a hotel of a certain brand or category, it's something you provide," a Marriott Marquis Times Square spokesperson told Crain's New York Business.