Two of the most common reasons facility executives make changes to custodial operations are to either improve perception or improve the department’s bottom line. It is an added benefit when a change can actually improve both. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but this would be the case after the Best Western Plus Tempe by the Mall, in Tempe, Ariz., installed shower amenities in the form of wall-mounted dispensers in every guest room. These dispensers — three in each shower offering body wash, shampoo and conditioner — took the place of the small, unmarked amenity bottles most hotels offer.

Positioned inside the stall, these manual shower amenities are wall-mounted dispensers —  sleeker versions of traditional soap dispensers travelers are accustomed to seeing in public restrooms. They easily adhere to tile surfaces and are ready for use after 24 to 48 hours. The refills are color-coded for easy identification, but just in case, a window in the shower amenity dispenser prominently displays whether the product is shampoo, conditioner or body wash, as well as the product brand, which has been found to encourage use and improve perception among hotel guests.

“We want to lead the industry in customer care and our customers like product brands they recognize,” says Rich Schnakenberg, owner/operator. “So it is important for us to let our guests know we offer products they are familiar with and possibly use in their own home.”

That said, the decision to switch from single-use amenity bottles to the wall-mounted shower amenity dispensers was not based solely on improving guest perception. Yes, featuring a brand of products guests are familiar with adds some luxury to their away-from-home experience, but the reality was that these shower amenity dispensers add far more value to the department’s bottom line.

“According to our surveys, guests found the products to be ‘very appealing’ and considered them high-end offerings,” says Jerrold Williams, general manager. “Taking the initiative to offer these shower amenities really helped with perception. But the dispensers were also great from a cost perspective and helped us reduce waste, which also contribute to our green goals.”

For example, when the hotel offered single-use amenity bottles, guests often left bottles half used. The eco-friendly Best Western Plus Tempe did participate in a recycle/reuse program with local shelters, so the leftover product didn’t go to waste, but there was a steep cost to replacing them. With this shower amenity dispenser, every last drop of product is used, eliminating any liquid waste and reducing purchasing.

The dispenser is outfitted with a reservoir below each cartridge that holds roughly seven days worth of liquid. This allows space for the cartridges to empty completely, without depriving hotel guests of necessary shower amenities.

“This gives the housekeeper time to replace the cartridge before the guest actually runs out of liquid,” says Schnakenberg.

By shifting away from the single-use amenity bottles, Best Western Plus Tempe has also significantly decreased their plastic waste contribution to area landfills. According to product manufacturers, each refill cartridge used in the wall-mounted dispenser will keep roughly 220 of the small amenity bottles out of landfills.

To put this into perspective, by installing 565 dispensers throughout the 158 guest rooms, Schnakenberg and Williams have diverted nearly 1 million amenity bottles from the waste stream. The shift not only helped the environment, but it helped the facility earn points towards their existing green certifications and ongoing eco-friendly goals.

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Financial Savings To Wall-Mounted Amenities