The Hilton Hotel in Midtown will end room service in August, replacing it with a cafeteria-style eatery.
The move will affect more than a customer's need for eggs at 1 a.m.: 55 jobs will be eliminated, from kitchen workers to staff who deliver meals.
Jacob Tomsky, author of Heads in Beds, a behind-the-scenes memoir of the hotel industry, worried that the cuts could spread to other hotels. "It's sad," he said. "The first thing I think of is the employees who lost their jobs. But when I think of the business model, I find it hard to see it going any other way."
Providing room service is a typically staff-intensive, money-losing proposition, he said — but customers expect it at a certain class of hotel.
The Midtown Hilton is the city's largest hotel with nearly 2,000 rooms. Hilton Hotels & Resorts owns the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue, where room service was introduced in the 1930s.