Salads ready to be delivered to guest rooms at the New York Hilton Midtown. Photo by Barb DeLollis.

Salads ready to be delivered to guest rooms at the New York Hilton Midtown. Photo by Barb DeLollis.


Finally! It seems that four-star hotels have woken up to the fact that many guests consider traditional room service too costly, too time consuming and just not relevant – and they’ll likely mix it up in the next year.

I say that based on my coverage of the experiments by Hilton Worldwide and also Marriott International, but more recently, the results of a new poll of 114 hotel asset managers. Hotel asset managers are the folks who manage hotels on behalf of real estate investment trusts, private equity funds and other ownership groups.

Nearly 87% of them surveyed recently said they believe hotels will find “alternative ways to operate room service,” according to the Hospitality Asset Managers Association, which surveyed its members on their 2015 predictions.

I for one am happy about that. I don’t like paying $13 for a small urn of lousy coffee that on the menu says it will cost “$5.”

Some hotels – including Marriott and Hilton properties – have been tinkering with old-fashioned, formal room service since summer of 2013.

Why?  Many Millennials and like-minded individuals would rather get something fast and quick, instead of waiting 30 to 45 minutes for a cart to be wheeled into their room and their plates uncovered by a waiter. They also may not like tipping, or perhaps they don’t like having to get dressed in order to get their meal. The Starbucks generation is used to near-instant gratification, and they’re also more apt to prefer to eat and work in a communal area instead of solo in their room.

The asset managers oversee management of hotels under scores of brands including Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, Radisson and Hyatt.

Results also showed that about half (49%) of members believe improvements in hotels’ revenue per available room will be due to increased room rates, although that’s less of a surprise given the industry’s filling more guest rooms.

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Previously, thanks to an exclusive, in-depth interview with Hilton New York Midtown hotel’s top executives, had reported that the property’s year-old experiment with a more casual version of room service – coupled with a trendy looking, free-Wi-Fi-equipped dining area – had been declared a financial success. Financial success in the hotel industry typically spurs copy cats.

Readers: Are you ready for a different style of room service? Why or why not?