Destinations

New York Hilton Midtown Brings Back Room Service In Paper Bags

@denschaal

Sep 24, 2013 1:00 pm

Skift Take

The limited-service concept is designed to reduce overhead at hotels such as New York Hilton Midtown, but it will only work if Herb and other guests don’t tire of dealing with the midnight munchies, and decide to reserve rooms elsewhere on their next visit.

— Dennis Schaal

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A new Herb N’ Kitchen restaurant opened at the New York Hilton Midtown as part of a global rollout of the concept by Hilton Worldwide. Courtesy Hilton Worldwide

Herb N’ Kitchen is supposed to emphasize casual dining, but the concept doesn’t look particularly roll-up-your-sleeves casual in this photo. Courtesy Hilton Worldwide

New York Hilton Midtown, one of the largest hotels in Manhattan, caused a stir when it discontinued room service in August, but now it has brought it back, albeit with deliveries to guest rooms in paper bags, and only during breakfast and dinner hours.

It’s all part of a new restaurant concept, Herb N’ Kitchen, which Hilton Worldwide is rolling out globally. New York Hilton Midtown opened one last week.

Instead of the full-service restaurant that it replaces, Herb N’ Kitchen will emphasize “the quick-service segment [that] is moving to the forefront of the hotel experience,” Hilton says.

The meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, are “packaged to take away or [for] in-room delivery for hotel guests,” Hilton says.

A Hilton Worldwide spokesperson says that the meals can be eaten in the restaurant, taken to-go, or delivered to guest rooms in paper bags, and not on carts with tablecloths, and only from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

If guests get a craving for food at 2 a.m., they will have to nosh on pre-ordered food, find it elsewhere, or starve.

The Herbs N’ Kitchen restaurant at New York Hilton Midtown is incorporating local specialties into its menu, including Pat LaFreida Burgers with New York cheddar cheese served on cornmeal kaiser rolls, and sweet Italian sausage.

Meal deliveries to guests in their rooms will come in “white paper bags with the Herb N’ Kitchen logo on the front and they are made of recycled paper,” a Hilton spokesperson says.

In other words, “items are delivered in stylish, environmentally friendly retail bags for an inviting and convenient delivery service,” the spokesperson adds.

Still, the “environmentally friendly retail bags” are clearly a departure from traditional room service with real plates, tablecloths and portable tables for in-room dining.

New York Hilton Midtown’s move away from traditional room service coincides with the emerging popularity of the limited-service hotels trend.

Speaking of limited service, Hilton eliminated about 55 jobs, most of them union, when it shut down room service in August.

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