To the hotels that claim it is too risky to provide food service. How do you explain your competitors in the same city? Can you just be honest enough to admit that you’re trying to conserve cash?
Hotels Eliminate Food Service Under False Safety Guise
I spent a night at the Hyatt Rosemont just outside Chicago O’Hare International Airport earlier this week. Upon check-in I asked about breakfast and was told that breakfast was not served. In fact, I was told that the hotel was not offering food service at all “because of health concerns surrounding COVID-19.”
But then the front desk agent handed me a sheet of paper. The agent noted, “But here’s some places in the area where you can get some food.”
As you can see, there are quite a few places indeed…yes, I was fortunate to have a Taco Bell and a Giordano’s within walking distance.
So in that context, perhaps my title question is unfair. Yet I ask it because I am so sick of the double-talk coming from hotels. I know how hotels have been hammered during the pandemic. I also realize that the future is uncertain. But can you please simply admit that 1.) you don’t have enough guests to justify food service or 2.) that you think you can get away with it?
I felt like asking the front desk clerk what makes food service at the hotel so unsafe but not at the casino across the street?
Turns out the Hyatt Rosemont does at least disclose that no food service is offered:
But see how it again cloaks it under the banner of guest wellbeing.
Please…if you were concerned about my wellbeing you would not send me out walking several blocks to purchase food from restaurants filled with diners without masks inside.
But again, we get the picture.
At least the shuttle was running and the fitness center was not locked. There was even a pot of coffee in the lobby…for $2.00/cup.
Somehow, I managed not to starve.
> Read More: Are Luxury Hotels Really Just Skipping Breakfast During COVID-19?
The Courtyard Richardson, TX informed me that Courtyards don’t do breakfast. But they left rotting food from the previous guest in the fridge
Using Covid as a blanket excuse to cut back services will backfire. Take care of your customers!!!!
That tiresome thin guise of safety hides financial desperation in a significant number of instances I suspect.
My experiences driving through the Midwest to the Southwest this month ran the gamut with food services and other amenities. Most offered at least grab-and-go breakfast and appeared to be making efforts to open their other services.
But one Homewood Suites offered NO amenities, just the room (with hardly anything to buy in the “shop” either) and those irksome signs posted at every turn claiming this near total lack was for our safety following CDC and health department guidelines, though many nearby restaurants nearby offered dining in etc – but reading between the lines, I decided the place had all but gone broke, was just hanging on.
Giordano’s is awesome! But if you ever get the chance, check out Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. Had to wait 3 hours to get a table when we went, but man it was worth it!
I was heading for Chicago later this week. Now, none of the hotels, restaurants or bars in the northwest area of Ohare, including all those in and around the airport are serving food. They are all closed. I just canceled my flight.
The HR 2 min down the road does give you a $10 breakfast credit at the take-away place daily
Dang it! Guess I have to fly to Chicago again for some deep dish. Thanks Matthew. 🙂
As working crew during this entire covid time, it has been a nightmare. Most hotels are mostly empty and have furloughed kitchen help. It is the bottom line not the risk. Typical 4 day trip involves 3 hotel layovers. We are fed crap crew meals that most don’t eat. You can work a 14 hour day and then the hotel has no hot meal and possibly processed food at a canteen. A coke is $3 and a 3 day old sandwich is $12. I don’t eat GMO or processed foods. I wind up taking an extra bag of food from home and self sustaining for the duration of the trip. Including water.
Some cities like PHX don’t have all the lockdowns and restaurants are off but most are open. Some other places there is nothing available. San Juan not only no food they were confining us to our rooms. Any international destination you cannot take any food. So if the first night is international you cannot take food from home.
I try to keep a stash at base in the crew luggage room. Hit it after clearing customs. Airlines are not helpful to their crews. I have found 80% of airport vendors are closed. If you travel plan accordingly. Take high energy foods like jerkey, dried fruits and nuts.
All food is processed. All food you eat today has been genetically modified.
no restaurants open at the San Fran airport Grand Hyatt..there was take-away snack bar only..vey disappointing.. in SFO Delta Sky club no alcohol was served till 2 weeks ago///
Marriott’s Arne Sorenson summed it up best: Hygiene Theater
As we get deeper into this pandemic, the evidence is mounting that fomite transmission isn’t really a viable disease vector for this virus and these eliminations of food service serve no genuine safety benefit. What they serve is decreasing hotel operating costs at a time when occupancy is very low. Hotels need to own that, communicate it, and suffer the consequences.
Sadly this whole Covid thing will conveniently and comfortably (only for the sake of hotels/ airlines/ etc) dumb everything down to cheap replacements and services…… and the hotels/ airlines/ etc. will get so comfortable with saving tons of money that it will be a very long time (or never) when quality of life and decent services will return.
Much as I miss traveling and want to do so, I am not traveling anytime soon for these very reasons. As well, the idea of wearing a mask everywhere including long flights is just so uncomfortable and then to arrive at a destination with Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut, fast food, vending machines as my only option instead of a sit-down hotel restaurant is most of the turn-off for me. I do feel for all the service industries but at least have the service even if you only have 12 guests in the hotel.
I’m with you 100%. Traveling was our hobby in retirement but it’ll have to wait. Eating out, sitting at the bar, going to museums and shows was what we liked to do, what’s the point? Sitting at the pool? I have my own pool. Not worth the risk unless you’re an essential worker. All non essential travel should be canceled anyway to try and slow this thing down in my opinion.
I didn’t know that Chicago had casinos. I may look at staying at the Hyatt Rosemont if I’m feeling like gambling.
It’s 5 min from ORD, and a pretty solid casino (aka real table games, unlike the metro NYC “casinos”)
Thanks for the information. Is it easy to access from the blue line or is it shuttle territory?
Probably a $10 min uber trip from ORD. Suppose you can take the Blue line one stop to Cumberland and walk the ~10 minutes from there, but more trouble than that’s worth IMO.
At least the bar was open. Count your blessings!
One can imagine that those hotels offering a partial in-room kitchen, including microwave, might be doing well. I know that Element properties offer it , at least one I stayed at in Amsterdam. Never, ever seen in Asia though..
I’m sure hoteliers would love to ditch food service permanently. And you’re correct, they’ll couch it in terms of “protecting guests”. Complete BS.
At the Hilton at SEA back in early August, the restaurant downstairs was open. Dining in was open at limited capacity, or you could call in an order and go down and pick it up. But they had suspended room service. Yes, in the name of “safety”, they couldn’t have someone bring a plate of food up, leave it at your door, and send you a text message or something. But apparently it was “safe” to use the elevators to go downstairs, go through the lobby amongst several people, sit and eat in the restaurant, and go back through the lobby and elevators back to your room. Makes perfect sense to me.
Every Hyatt Place (about 6 so far) I’ve been to in the past few months has continued to serve free breakfast. The food is mostly pre-packaged items like plastic-wrapped muffins and microwavable egg-muffin sandwiches, fruit and yogurt cups, foil-sealed cereal bowls, coffee/milk/juice, etc. More than enough food items to stuff yourself if you want to. So if Category 1 and 2 Hyatt Place properties are still making the effort, then so can mainstream Hyatts (or at least offer you a credit for your trouble).
Pretty routine at low and mid tier properties. Only some luxury seem to offer options…like room service etc.
Honestly, Door Dash is my existence now. It’s the 2020 version of room service. Sure, It ain’t sexy having dinner in plastic containers and using plastic forks.. but it works and I pretty much exist on it now. My go to is Japanese usually, or Thai, or Poke bowls as they tend to taste good in any form with delivery. Forget steaks etc..never tastes right 20 minutes after cooking and much too hard to eat with plastic.
What kind of pizza has a single slice of sausage on it?
Sure it is cost cutting. Although most hotels have crappy food and with so many delivery services it should be easy to get food delivered.