Hotels Scale Back Room Service to Save Money

It's no surprise that everyone in the meetings and events industry is struggling to find ways to cut back, and hotels are no exception. One area to scale back on? Room service, according to The New York Times.

This time-honored business trip perk has never been a big revenue generator for hotels, but it does pump up a hotel's image. Upscale locations are expected to have a fancy menu awaiting guests in their room, regardless of whether visitors plan to use it.

So in a down economy, what's a hotel to do with this not-too-profitable business operation? Using cheaper cuts of meat, smaller portions and local fare certainly helps (and it sounds familiar—remember the budget-friendly tips from top chefs?).

Jonathan Gelman, executive chef at the Driskill in Austin, Texas, said, "Where we were offering a New York strip or a filet, it’s now a skirt steak, or a steak salad with flank steak. It tastes great, so we all win." He has also cut portion sizes and prices.

The article also quotes a few business travelers who say they prefer a room service meal over going out to a restaurant. Wanting to relax or work in quiet and needing something quick before a meeting are a few of the advantages room service has.

Though I don't do a lot of overnight business travel, I think I'd still prefer to go out for a meal. However, for frequent, busy travelers I can see the perks. Do you think most of your attendees prefer to order room service? Do you make sure your meeting hotels offer it?
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