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Marriott trials axing classic room service

Marriott Room Service

By James Wilkinson at the NYU Conference in New York

Marriott International is set to be be the latest chain to dump traditional room service in the United States, joining Hilton in a move designed to cut costs and provide a more efficient food offering for guests.

Speaking at a Marriott briefing during the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York City yesterday [June 2 local time], Marriott International’s President and CEO, Arne Sorenson, said trials had been undertaken at several of the company’s Marriott-branded properties in the United States and the feedback has been positive.

“There has been some broad experimentation in San Diego and it’s had a great customer reaction and [a better] financial performance,” he said.

“We still offer room service, but it’s a stepped-up bistro-style, take-out approach that guests can take to their room or we can send someone up.”

Sorenson said the company was still looking at options to ensure the right product was rolled-out.

As for which hotels offer the new take-out style of room service, he said it would “depend on the brand, market and location”.

Arne Sorenson EDITED

Sorenson said he couldn’t see a time when a food delivery service wouldn’t be available in Marriott hotels, but the move in San Diego was removing the “formality” of room service.

Off the cards in San Diego is a restaurant room service menu and in its place is a menu that still features entrees, mains and desserts and as expected, it’s full of American classics.

At the 2013 NYU Conference, Hilton revealed it was axing room service at the company’s New York flagship hotel, a move that drew criticism from unions.

“On any given night we could count on one hand how many people would order room service,” Hilton Worldwide’s CEO and President, Christopher J. Nassetta, told HM at the time.

It was at that 2013 conference Sorenson said would not go down the path of Hilton and it proves a lot can happen in the hotel world in 12 months.

HM understands Marriott International does not have any plans at this stage to make changes to its room service offering at any of its hotels in Asia-Pacific.

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