Room Service, R.I.P.

When Pan Am converted their 747 piano lounges into “Business Class,” I said, OK, it’s a way to sell more seats. Even though I had spent many a flight upstairs, sipping scotch. The scotch was just as good in my assigned seat, but alas the ambiance left something to be desired.

I should have known it was the beginning of the end. Pan Am is long gone. Southwest Airlines reigns supreme now, and First Class is nothing like it was in the 1970s.

But a hotel without 24 hour room service? That’s uncivilized!

Is it just a matter of time before you will no longer be able to order that late-night burger and fries delivered to your hotel room, served atop crisp white linens?

This summer, New York Hilton Midtown, in the heart of Times Square, will discontinue room service, in a move that some industry experts say is just the tip of the iceberg.

The New York Times reports that the 2,000-room Hilton is laying off 55 workers and introducing a cafeteria-style grab-and-go restaurant as a replacement, citing a decline in the demand for in-room dining. This follows a similar move made by The Hilton Hawaiian Village, which was the first to completely eliminate the service.

Hilton isn’t the only chain that has seen a reduced need for room service. Crains reports that The Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street has reduced room service hours, introducing a 24-hour market as an alternative.  Ian Schrager’s Public, in Chicago, also scaled back, replacing traditional room service with a brown paper bag delivery that is simply left outside of guests’ rooms.

Good grief. What’s next? Replacing Trader Vic’s at the Beverly Hilton with Trader Joe’s?

I swear, philistines are ruining America. Enough of this lowest common denominator nonsense! Does no one appreciate service anymore?


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