New in Travel: Room Service Gets Fresh, Flavorful, and Automated

by  Lauren Dana Ellman | Jul 11, 2019
Hotel Room
Hotel Room / noipornpan/iStock

What’s better than retreating to your hotel room after exploring New York City – whether you’re walking the High Line, wandering through Central Park, catching a Broadway show, or navigating your way through Times Square? After an action-packed day, room service is often in order. That’s where Butler Hospitality, a NYC-based start-up comes in.

The company is working with hotels like the Iberostar 70 Park Avenue to provide fast, fresh, flavorful room service meals to guests so the hotel itself doesn’t have to. We recently stayed at the Iberostar – which is best known for its resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe – to test out Butler’s offerings. Here’s our take on its room service, which you may come across in a New York City hotel on your next stay.  

About Butler and How it Works

Guests who stay at one of Butler’s hotel partners can order food, beverages, and other necessities (think phone chargers, deodorant, razors, etc.) directly from the Butler website using your computer or phone. (You’ll find ordering instructions and the web site URL inside a printed menu in your hotel room.) Your bill will be charged directly to the room, and other direct payment methods aren’t accepted. Butler also accepts phone orders.

We used Butler to order breakfast and dinner. Both meals came within a half hour and were served hot and sealed in easy-to-open packaging. The web site was user-friendly and unintimidating and the couriers were friendly. Speedy service and convenience were key to this experience. Note that you won’t be able to add a tip directly to your online order as you would on many popular online delivery services. If you’d like to tip your courier, you’ll have to do so with cash.  

What to Order

While the menu changes seasonally, staples like chicken tenders, burgers, and the “McButler,” the company’s take on a classic breakfast sandwich, remain consistent throughout the year. Some of our favorites include the hot spinach and artichoke dip – which was served with crispy bagel chips and was filling enough to be an entire meal – and the carnitas tacos (topped with pulled pork, onion, and cilantro, served with salsa). Lunch and dinner entrées start at $11 and go up to about $16. 

You can also order beer (choose from 11 kinds) and cider (we loved the Wolffer Dry Rosé Cider, a light take on traditional cider). For something sweet, order a brownie or cookie. Breakfast includes a traditional selection of omelets, egg sandwiches, and bagels, most for under $10.  

The Bottom Line

As hotels get more innovative and flexible with their food options, from grab-and-go kiosks to souped up minibar offerings, you’ll be seeing more alternatives like Butler coming to a hotel room near you in the future.     

Butler is currently available in 31 New York City hotels, and an expansion to Miami is in the works. 

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