How Housekeeping ‘Opt-Out’ Can Have Drawbacks
Many companies are making the movement towards sustainability, and hotel chains are no exception. Some of the biggest names in the industry like Best Western, Marriott, and the owners of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza are moving to reduce the use of amenity bottles in their properties. Now another a green trend is growing in popularity amongst hotels, but not without drawbacks, reports the Washington Post.
Hotel chains have been increasingly offering “opt-out programs” for several years — a system that rewards customers who choose to use less. This started with encouraging the re-use of bathroom towels over multiple night stays. But now, hotels are giving customers the options to opt-out of room service all together.
Paul Bagdan, a professor of hospitality at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island tells the Post that by encouraging guests to reduce their housekeeping services, hotels are simultaneously reducing water, electricity and cleaning product consumption. They're also reducing labor, which can be an issue.
Unite Here, a labor union servicing hotel, foodservice, laundry and warehouse workers in the United States and Canada, says housekeepers have been losing hours due to opt-out programs. Unite Here’s report also found that rooms that are skipped for cleaning for days take longer to clean than those that receive daily treatment.
Another issue with less daily cleaning is that housekeepers aren't in the rooms to see if there are maintenance and security issues. So if the same customer who opted out of daily service stays for several days, management might not know about an ongoing issue until it's too late.
Some programs do prevent this issue — Walt Disney World Resort lets guests know that workers can still enter their rooms even if they have opted-out of daily cleaning.
For more on the topic, read the Post’s full report here.
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