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Gone are the days of leisurely room service meals for fast-paced, budget-conscious business travelers. And hotels are moving beyond traditional in-room meal service and offering meals to go, the New York Times reported.
From New York's Grand Hyatt to the The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago to London's Grosvenor House, a J.W. Marriott Hotel, high-end hotels are offering pre-packaged meals. And the options cater to all tastes, from the $2 bagel at the Aloft Hotel in Lexington, Mass., to the $40 Maine lobster pita from the Trump International.
"Business travelers are packing more time into the day, using their travel time to work," Matthew Adams, vice president and managing director for the Grand Hyatt, told the Times.
Business travelers, Adams told the Times, were streaming out of the hotel and right into Starbucks.
"Travel is about productivity and using every minute wisely," Bjorn Hanson, associate professor at the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University, told the Times. "The dining room is perceived to have slow service and high prices."
Self-service is also important to the business traveler, Brian McGuinness, senior vice president for specialty select brands for Starwood Hotels, told the paper.
But don't expect to-go food to be low-brow or slow.
At the W Atlanta-Midtown, guests can buy $15 lunchboxes from Spice restaurant, run by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the Hotel Monaco Denver offers breakfast croissant sandwiches for $8.50 that are ready in as little as 15 minutes, the paper reported.
"People are less comfortable paying $25 for breakfast, plus gratuity," Hanson told the paper. "Takeaway is in tune with economic times."