As someone who has had his fare share of staying in hotel rooms for Manhattan Digest, a common thread that seems to fall on the negative is the lack of good room service within each location. As time has gone by, it seems like hotel guests are less likely to use room service, including food offerings in house, in lieu of going out and seeing what each city has to offer. While that is fair, this is a concept that shouldn’t be eliminated at all, and Butler Hospitality is planning on revitalizing room service in the upcoming 2017 calendar year.
Hilton Hotels recently sent ripples through the hospitality foodservice industry when it announced the obliteration of room service for its flagship properties — pointing to the fact that most hotels lose revenue on foodservice offerings. Further, many other chain properties are rumored to follow suit.
Thus, could 2017 mark the death knell of room service? Premtim Gjonbalic, CEO of Butler Hospitality, says no.
“Future travelers will not go to bed hungry,” noted Gjonbalic. “This actually marks a beautiful new chapter, and a sea change, for in-room dining,”
Enter Butler, a new SMS-based platform dubbed “the Uber of room service.” Co-Founder Margurite Lynn, who was one of Entrepreneur magazine’s “College Entrepreneur’s of 2014,” believes the platform fills a void for limited-service properties that lack a restaurant by offering on-demand, in-room dining.
As more hotels eliminate on-premise room service, Butler is quickly becoming a pioneer of meal delivery engineered for hotel guests. Curated to meet the needs of the modern traveler, Butler offers gourmet menu options from classic signatures to unique creations. Its multifaceted menu includes a variety of quick bites, entrees, desserts, snacks, beverages as well as convenience items. Deliveries are made to guests starting with breakfast (from 7am until Noon), with lunch and dinner available through 11pm.
The beta program for Butler already serves nearly 4,000 hotel guests in Mecca chains and boutique properties alike including Aloft, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Butler also has plans to open two standalone production kitchens in the Financial District and Midtown Manhattan by 2017, to support increasing demand for its offerings.
“This is win-win. Properties will no longer be tethered to an on-site kitchen, which has long been a losing proposition for their bottom line. Outsourcing room service to a third-party is a godsend for the hotelier,” added Premtim Gjonbalic. “For the hotel guest, there is a new and improved menu of gourmet options. Affordable, and on demand.”
Butler will preview nationally at HX: Hotel Experience at the Javits Center November 13th – 15th.