New York’s Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in the city with almost 2,000 rooms, will in August cease to provide room service and will lay off 55 room-service staffers, according to a recent report in Crain’s New York Business. A spokesman for the hotel says it’s “committed to placing qualified employees in alternate positions within the hotel, where possible.” Catering to the whims of 2,000-plus guests is expensive and time-consuming, says Andrew Young, editorial director of Travelzoo. In October, the Hilton Hawaiian Village also dropped room service. “Much like airlines, hotels are looking for ways to maximize ancillary revenue and reduce costs,” Young says. Hotel companies are also expanding their “value-price” brands — that is, their hotels without room service. Case in point: Intercontinental Hotels Group is adding 454 more hotels (about 52,000 rooms) to its Holiday Inn Express line — the company’s only limited-service brand. Nowadays, “guests tend to be in and out of their rooms more,” says Kirk Kinsell, president for the Americas at IHG. As a result, he says, they order-in less often. And when they do order in, they don’t spend much: Room service revenue at U.S. hotels averaged just $3.33 per occupied room last year, broadly unchanged from 2011, according to PKF Hospitality Research. “Full-service hotels have restaurants,” says Jan Freitag, senior vice president with Smith Travel Research, “but it’s very, very hard to make money in those.” The number of limited-service hotel rooms rose 16% to 2.7 million over the past decade, while full-service rooms increased by 6% to 2.2 million rooms, he says. In fact, business centers, minibars and spas are the three least popular amenities in hotels, according to a recent survey by TripAdvisor.com, while free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and free parking are the most desired. Get the full story at MarketWatch Read also "Hotels without room service? Whatever next?" at the Telegraph