Oh no! Can it really be?
I read that the end is nigh for room service.
This news comes from the United States where it seems that a number of hotel chains have decided to call time on that most appealing of luxuries: having food brought up to your room in a hotel.
New York's biggest hotel, the downtown Hilton, has announced that as of August it will no longer offer room service. Instead guests will have access to what the hotel calls a “grab and go service”. This is essentially a self-service cafeteria from which guests can take food up to their room, presumably in disposable packaging rather than on a silver tray with china and cutlery.
This is a hotel I will certainly not be staying in, but is this really a sign of things to come?
To my surprise I learn that room service has long been a loss-making venture for hotels, despite the fact that in most hotels it has become prohibitively expensive. It's the labor costs; it takes a lot of people to keep room service running I am told, from the kitchen staff to the waiters who take food up to your room, to the telephone operators who take your order. It requires more staff than having a restaurant on site. It costs too much, takes too much time, and is just not profitable.
I suppose it all depends on what you want to pay. Many people are content with an electric kettle, mugs and a sufficient supply of tea bags, coffee and biscuits.