Sunday, December 28, 2008

Amenity Cutbacks Can Have Green Upside

Given the current economic situation, with occupancies down and rates taking a beating in many cases, where are you making up that lost revenue? Where are you cutting back? According to an article on, some hotels are cutting back on the number of amenities they provide to guests. The Residence Inn Melbourne and Courtyard Melbourne West in Florida recently stopped stocking guestrooms with lotion and shower caps. They are still available by request. The hotels have also stopped serving coffee 24 hours a day; instead it is offered only in the morning and late afternoon. At the Holiday Inn in Cocoa Beach, as of September, guests stopped receiving complimentary newspapers at their doors each morning.

These types of steps not only make financial sense; they make environmental sense as well. What portion of your guests actually use the shower cap and lotion? What percentage use sewing kits? What percentage of your guests don't pick up the newspaper each morning? Isn't it better to leave a note card in the guestroom to let guests know these are available upon request? Many hotels already have newspapers available at the front desk or at a central location on each floor (by the elevators, for example).

Simple steps like those mentioned above can reduce costs and the volume of waste needing to be hauled away or recycled. They can also save time and labor without significantly impacting the guest experience. What small steps like these are you taking to reduce costs?

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