High Value, Low Price: Bringing Back Room Service

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Butler Hospitality delivers incredible, accessible room service to thousands of hotel rooms.

Until recently, modern hotels were basically required to offer in-house room service. A stay in New York City wouldn’t be complete without a $22 omelet and $9 cup of coffee in the morning (plus a 22% gratuity and $4 service charge, of course). But those outlandish prices aren’t so appetizing for guests anymore, and some prominent hotels have decided to end their relationship with traditional room service. The New York Hilton Midtown, for instance, decided to end its room service program, replacing it with a self-service, cafeteria style restaurant. 


Unfortunately, most hotels don’t have the brand name and unbeatable location of the New York Hilton Midtown to fall back on. For most, room service is expected and the risks of dissatisfied customers or lower room rates are too big to take. Fortunately, hospitality technology companies like Butler fill a crucial gap and take a load off of these hotels. 


Room Service and its Pitfalls


If you’ve ever been surprised by the outlandish price of some room service items, consider this: hotels actually lose money on food and beverage services. There are just not enough people ordering food each night for a hotel to make any money. The hotel kitchen needs to stay open all night and keep an entire staff essentially on standby. While it does add value to the overall experience, many hotels are having difficulty justifying the losses. Ultimately, hotel food and beverage is not a profit center. It’s an amenity - not a business - and smaller hotels can’t always keep up with the costs.


Hotel room service began as a luxury one expected at only the top ranking hospitality locations. New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel has been a symbol of luxury since the late 1800s. The hotel was an early adopter of room service, beginning in the late 1920s. Therefore, many other hotels eventually hopped onto the room service bandwagon until it became the standard practice that it is today. In 1969, the Westin chain of hotels became the first to offer 24 hour room service, which eventually became the expectation from guests at all hotels. By the 1960s and 70s, this offering became commodified and eventually, every hotel was a room service hotel. This caused the proliferation of 2 and 3 star hotels and a downturn in quality.


Many hotels may have left the game years ago, but pressure from reviews keeps many hotel kitchens alive. An otherwise outstanding hotel property can take a big hit in perceived value if they do not offer room service. 


Looking for an Alternative


An obvious alternative is standard food delivery services like Postmates and Doordash. For many travelers, the benefits of room service just don’t justify the high costs anymore. Yet, when an UberEats burrito fills the void left by hotel room service, the quality of the stay is undeniably downgraded. Picture this: you’re tired from a long flight, you check into your beautiful hotel, and you’re deciding on dinner for yourself. Let’s say you’re new to the city, unaware of the best spots, and you order a meal from a local restaurant through a delivery app. 


See the hotel cannot quality control any aspect of the guests’ experience when said guest is ordering from an arbitrary restaurant through a democratized delivery service. Hotels relinquish control over food when they stop providing room service, and ultimately they often pay the price one way or another. A hotel will be hard pressed to earn stars and favorable reviews without room service, for instance.


There seems to be a clear need for a middleman that does not rival the almost insurmountable cost of hotel room service but nonetheless provides quality and consistency to a guest’s stay. A reliable food and beverage option on site is crucial to the success of any hospitality enterprise. Hotels that use Room Service by Butler have an amenity, allowing them to charge higher room rates and attract a discerning guest. All the while, they can feel safe in the knowledge that the quality of the food they order will be second to none.


How Room Service by Butler Can Improve Hotel Guest Experience


Hotel management shouldn’t have to worry about how to run an efficient room service kitchen; running a hotel is enough work as it is! More specifically, they shouldn’t feel required to take on the large costs and lack of profits associated with running a low volume kitchen. Room Service by Butler allows guests to receive the service they expect while allowing the hotel to focus on what it does best: improving the overall guest experience. 


Every aspect of the Butler experience is quality controlled from the carefully thought out menu design to the packaging. Even down to the ‘Butler’ that shows up at your door, the hospitality technology company has curated and signed off on every detail. Like traditional room service, you can charge your meal directly to your room and remain free to open your door in a plush bathrobe.


With a large operation also comes the opportunity to lower costs for guests; Butler Hospitality offers their room service items at “market New York prices”. That $9 coffee will only set you back around $4 now, a much more reasonable cost. They even offer convenience items that most smaller hotels do not offer, such as toothbrushes and phone chargers. 

Butler turns the room service dilemma on its head by providing hospitality businesses with high quality hotel room service. They currently service tens of thousands of hotel rooms in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Washington D.C. The combination of Butler’s unparalleled efficiency and immaculate eye for detail results in an upgrade for all. Get in touch with Butler now!