As of recently, many hoteliers are opting to remove room service from their establishments to be replaced by a new food and beverage concept – a pantry market in the lobby.

Many media outlets have been criticizing the loss of the traditional guest service in hotels, most showcasing the data behind the change that show the revenue loss associated with the luxury of having $30 pancakes while you relax in your bed.

However, according to recent studies, hotel room service revenue as a percent of total hotel revenue in the United States has been declining since 2007. In 2012, hotels reporting room service revenue averaged contributions of 1.22 percent of total hotel revenue, compared to 1.52 percent in 2007.

In terms of room service revenue in dollars per occupied room, 2012 saw amounts around $3.25, which is down from $4.33 in 2007.

The Hilton’s The Herb N’ Kitchen concept offers grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as made-to-order items such as salads, pizzas and hot items. Hotels can choose to customize the setup, including buffets and/or carryout items.

Hotels are cutting extras such as business centers, minibars, bellhops, doormen and even traditional front desks for checking in across the U.S. For example, Yotel New York in Midtown Manhattan asks guests to check themselves in at kiosks in the hotel’s “Ground Control.” If their rooms aren’t ready, Yotel’s guests check their suitcases with a robotic baggage storage system. One main reason behind changes like these is cost control. For example, by eliminating room service, which doesn’t result in much revenue for hotels in the first place, the Hilton Midtown will cut 55 workers from its staff. In fact, room service only accounts for about 1.2 percent of the industry’s revenues. Not many people are willing to pay $30 for a hamburger that is delivered to their hotel room on a tray – instead, they would prefer to have free WiFi, free breakfast, or free parking.

The 93-room Quail Lodge, a golf resort in Carmel, California, just reopened after a three-year renovation and as introduced a reduction of low-revenue extras while instead offering those highly requested perks. Who needs room service, bellhops, and doormen when you can have free breakfast, Internet, and parking?

Do you prefer to offer the basics at your hotel or would you rather have all of the extras available? Source1 Purchasing has customized contracts with a variety of suppliers so that you can create a successful pantry market for your property. Visit our website at to learn more about the Source1 Program and how it can benefit your hotel.

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