Monday, June 3, 2013

Is Obamacare About to Kill Hotel Room Service?

NYT reports:

In August, the New York Hilton Midtown, in the heart of Manhattan, will discontinue food and drink service to all 2,000 of its rooms. In its place will be a new self-service Herb n’ Kitchen stocked with grab-and-go items. A spokesman for the hotel, which is part of the chain that also operates the Waldorf, cited declining demand for room service as the reason; some hotel industry experts see the elimination of the labor-intensive amenity as a way for the chain to save money
Note well: It is a "labor-intensive amenity."

Crain's reports:
Room service is a big money loser for hotels, said John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting. "I don't think anyone makes a profit on room service because of its labor costs," he said, adding, "I'm sure all the big hotels will be looking at what Hilton is doing."

Given the union wages at the hotel, coupled with the uncertainty of the cost of Obamacare, it is not difficult to understand why the Hilton is cutting back on labor intensive sectors. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in NYC is near 8.0%.

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