FreshDirect, Denihan form room service venture

From left: 150 East 34th Streetand 42 West 58th Street
From left: 150 East 34th Streetand 42 West 58th Street

FreshDirect is teaming up with Denihan Hospitality Group to stock guest refrigerators with microwaveable gourmet meals, snacks, fruit and other items from the grocery delivery service.

The Affinia Dumont at 150 East 34th Street is the first of Denihan’s 14 properties to offer the service, which is also the hotel’s first foray into any kind of room service. Customers can select one of several packages, which range between $50 and $80. Food is brought to guests by a hotel employee and is charged to their bill.

“It’s a smart way to offer room service,” Lisa Zandee, senior vice president of brand management for Affinia Hotels, told Crain’s. “It wasn’t like we had to budget for this, because FreshDirect already had the business model.”

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The initiative is a twist on traditional room service, which Hilton New York, the city’s largest hotelier, decided to eliminate altogether starting this month. Other hotels in the city are following suit, scaling down room service and even offering food delivery in paper bags.

Because many of Affinia’s guests typically stay more than three nights in the city, Zandee said, the venture makes sense.

FreshDirect, for its part, views the venture as a pilot program, as a spokeswoman for the company told Crain’s. The food provider also has a similar arangement with luxury extended-stay AKA, whcih has four properties in Manhattan. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland