Room Service Charges

Old Apr 2, 21, 1:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Europe
Programs: UA:1K MM, AF:FB-Gold, QR: PC Platinum, FI: Saga Gold
Posts: 2,760
Room Service Charges

I find this excessive. Or is this considered normal in the US? (Belmond Charleston)
Braniff is offline  
Old Apr 2, 21, 2:05 pm
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
That is absolutely standard for US properties. If anything the $3 is fairly low. I often see $5+. The 22% is a little high and is usually 20%. But, overall this is pretty much standard.

Given typical pricing, the delivery fee is not likely a deterrent.
Often1 is offline  
Old Apr 2, 21, 6:17 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA Premier Plat, AA Plat, Marriott Plat, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 906
I agree. I feel like I often see $5 - $7. While the 22% is probably on the high side, especially in south carolina, you should consider yourself lucky that at least they call it a gratuity. A lot of hotels in the US call it something close but different and then leave a line for gratuity as well!
uclabruin82 is offline  
Old Apr 2, 21, 6:38 pm
  #4  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 2,340
Considering pandemic times, yes, I think this is too stiff. I’m accustomed to the sevice fee which is no biggie. But a 22% tip is a reach. Keep in mind room service items already are over-priced. Plus, pretty sure the server doesn’t get much of that.

I prefer to tip in cash which does not work when the tip is included in the bill.
obscure2k, United747 and Braniff like this.

Last edited by KatW; Apr 2, 21 at 10:45 pm
KatW is offline  
Old Apr 3, 21, 11:33 am
  #5  
Four Seasons Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA
Programs: Virtuoso, FSPP, STARS, MO FAN Club, PEN Club, Bellini Club, Dorchester Diamond Club, Travel Leaders
Posts: 1,816
the best Room Service deal is Dorchester Collection — which, in the US, include the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air. The rest are in Europe.

Booking through Diamond Club, you get a complimentary breakfast for two guests daily in any venue (including in-room dining), anything on the menu (except alcohol and caviar), and tax and gratuities are included with the Diamond Club amenities.
Nizar likes this.
DavidO is offline  
Old Apr 3, 21, 11:45 am
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 92,779
IMO a lot depends on the level of the service. If the hotel's current room service means that they deliver a grab and go bag (all disposable plates and utensils) to your door, it's ridiculous. However, if the server sets up an attractive meal in your room, opens a bottle of wine or champagne, etc., I wouldn't object to $3 + 22% if the hotel hasn't already increased room service menu pricing compared to ordering the same items in the hotel restaurant.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Apr 3, 21, 12:36 pm
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
Room service is typically a high margin luxury service. Pricing is often a multiple of what the property's restaurant charges, a significant gratuity & delivery or service fee. People paying for it are price insensitive, even if they can't really afford it, so properties set their pricing accordingly.

Whether the cost is "high" or "worth it" is entirely subjective.
seawolf likes this.
Often1 is offline  
Old Apr 3, 21, 2:35 pm
  #8  
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeSPG 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 9,006
I saw 10 Ä in the past, can't remember US. I think 3 $ are not that much, perhaps 18% would be gratuity standard before pandemic. Nevertheless I agree, it's expensive. Especially as the dishes itself are most likely generously priced.
offerendum is offline  
Old Apr 3, 21, 3:09 pm
  #9  
Marriott Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: EDI, TYO, CGK
Programs: CX MPC Diamond, BAEC Gold, SK EB Gold, JX COSMILE Insighter, Flying Blue Silver
Posts: 2,067
Originally Posted by DavidO View Post
the best Room Service deal is Dorchester Collection ó which, in the US, include the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air. The rest are in Europe.

Booking through Diamond Club, you get a complimentary breakfast for two guests daily in any venue (including in-room dining), anything on the menu (except alcohol and caviar), and tax and gratuities are included with the Diamond Club amenities.
Funny, I'm under the impression that DC (well at least The Dorchester London) charges an in-room dining charge as well... I can't remember how much but it's definitely either £5 or above.
clubeurope is offline  
Old Apr 5, 21, 3:40 pm
  #10  
Four Seasons Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA
Programs: Virtuoso, FSPP, STARS, MO FAN Club, PEN Club, Bellini Club, Dorchester Diamond Club, Travel Leaders
Posts: 1,816
Originally Posted by clubeurope View Post
Funny, I'm under the impression that DC (well at least The Dorchester London) charges an in-room dining charge as well... I can't remember how much but it's definitely either £5 or above.
Here’s the breakfast amenity copied from the Dorchester Diamond Club website. I’d be happy to follow up with your question about the Dorch


Last edited by DavidO; Apr 6, 21 at 7:23 am
DavidO is offline  
Old Apr 6, 21, 1:06 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,157
Originally Posted by clubeurope View Post
Funny, I'm under the impression that DC (well at least The Dorchester London) charges an in-room dining charge as well... I can't remember how much but it's definitely either £5 or above.
They don't. I've never been charged to take breakfast through in-room dining at 45PL, Coworth Park or The Dorchester even when utilising the DDC included breakfast.
jp-mco is offline  
Old Apr 7, 21, 7:01 am
  #12  
jbb
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 853
I'm a big believer in consumer price transparency and so really dislike mandatory add-on charges be they in the form of a "service charge", "delivery fee", "resort fee" or whatever.

In the case of room service, I don't mind whatever the prices ultimately are, I just wish they'd be transparent about it. Under the Belmond scenario listed by the original poster, let's say you order a dish for $25 + $3 delivery charge + 22% service fee + 5% sales tax = $35.87. I'd much rather they just list that dish for $35 (instead of $25 plus all the fees) on the menu.

This is why I like the transparent pricing laws that exist in a lot of countries that mandate that prices listed to the consumer include all mandatory charges and taxes. These add-on fees and charges are just a misleading and deceptive way for businesses to advertise a lower price that is substantially below what the consumer actually pays.
offerendum likes this.
jbb is online now  
Old Apr 7, 21, 7:33 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
Originally Posted by jbb View Post
I'm a big believer in consumer price transparency and so really dislike mandatory add-on charges be they in the form of a "service charge", "delivery fee", "resort fee" or whatever.

In the case of room service, I don't mind whatever the prices ultimately are, I just wish they'd be transparent about it. Under the Belmond scenario listed by the original poster, let's say you order a dish for $25 + $3 delivery charge + 22% service fee + 5% sales tax = $35.87. I'd much rather they just list that dish for $35 (instead of $25 plus all the fees) on the menu.

This is why I like the transparent pricing laws that exist in a lot of countries that mandate that prices listed to the consumer include all mandatory charges and taxes. These add-on fees and charges are just a misleading and deceptive way for businesses to advertise a lower price that is substantially below what the consumer actually pays.
The key to transperency is disclosure. I don't really care how it is done.

The practice in the US for ages has been to total the order, display the tax, the delivery fee & tip and then a "grand total" so it is what consumers expect.
Often1 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 21, 8:06 am
  #14  
jbb
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 853
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The key to transperency is disclosure. I don't really care how it is done.

The practice in the US for ages has been to total the order, display the tax, the delivery fee & tip and then a "grand total" so it is what consumers expect.
Yeah but then we need to define what we mean by "disclosure". Having fees disclosed but not included in the final price is certainly a form of transparency, but I don't think it is ideal as it forces a consumer to pull out a calculator or do up sums in their head to determine what they actually have to pay and ultimately I doubt that most consumers do that. They just see the $25 and that figure gets locked in their head and then they sigh when they see the final bill which is more than 33%+ higher than the advertised price. The end-result is that the business gets away with a misleading price and many consumers feel misled, distrustful of the business or sector and frustrated (as the original poster was). To me, a better form of disclosure that prioritizes the consumer's interests is for the business to list the dish at "$35" and then put in fine print at the bottom ("this price includes a $3 service charge, 22% service fee and 5% sales tax"). That is just as much disclosure as the existing deceptive system but doesn't put the onus on the consumer to tot it all up. Obviously, this is not in the interest of the business. Businesses want to advertise as low prices as possible while getting consumers to pay more. Ultimately it's a choice between business and consumer interests.
offerendum likes this.
jbb is online now  
Old Apr 7, 21, 8:26 am
  #15  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: NYC
Programs: AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTT
Posts: 12,787
Surprised this thread is still ongoing. If the pricing seems excessive, vote with your wallet.

Itís downtown Charleston. Iím sure there are other places servicing breakfast and offering takeout these days.
Often1 likes this.
seawolf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: