Have you ever considered how much you pay to cover other people’s dishonesty? Luxury hotels worldwide are now finding it is financially worthwhile to add miniature high-tech tags to their fluffy towels, plush bathrobes and high-thread-count sheets.
Apparently up to 20 per cent of hotel stock goes home with guests, who clearly feel that the room price includes a couple of souvenirs. Somewhere down the line the cost of that missing stock has to be paid for – by all travelers.
More and more hotels are now using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to implant a tiny chip inside duvet covers, bed sheets, bathmats and pool towels. The cost of tagging is around a dollar per tag and the items can then be monitored using inventory tracking technology. The tags are well able to stand the rigors of the washing machine, being both flexible and washable. The ultimate systems can track each item from its removal from a housekeeping closet, making both staff and guests accountable.
What was most surprising to me was that following the press release, the idea of tagging hotel items was roundly condemned by the general public, who cited that “the price [luxury hotels] charge, we deserve the towels” or one wag who joked “I never stay in a newly opened hotel. The towels are too fluffy and I can never close my suitcase!”
Hopefully the threat of micro-tags may be a sufficient deterrent to light-fingered guests so that towels and sheets stay behind when guests check out and losses are minimized.
Can you believe that it takes an Engineering Degree to hang toilet paper? Apparently highly educated folks have been paid to study the best way to hang the roll – either with the loose end hanging under or over the main roll.
The in-depth look into the advantages and disadvantages of toilet paper orientation was created as part of a viral marketing campaign for Engineering Degree, a resource for would-be engineers, but the interesting results can say a lot about the staff in any luxury hotel. Try putting it to the test.
Apparently hanging the toilet roll with the loose end hanging over the roll away from the wall is the preferred method of 70% of us. Not only does this method avoid scraping your knuckles on the wall, it also makes the paper easier to grab and tear off. For the technically minded this method results in kinetic friction with coefficient µ>0 which may be sufficient for accidental tearing.
This option apparently indicates the person hanging the roll is an over-achiever, stays organized and likes to be in charge. Isn’t this the sort of person you expect to be cleaning your room and making your hotel bed?
Meanwhile those hanging the roll under, so the loose edge hangs down next to the wall, are laid-back, artistic and dependable types who know that this method has less chance of unraveling during an earthquake and less chance of the cat or small child unraveling it. Above all, it looks tidier.
But beware of tampering with the said roll. Apparently 50% of us notice the way the roll is hung and 20% of us get annoyed if it is facing the wrong way and proceed to turn it around to suit our own preference. In fact the average American wastes half an hour per year looking for the end of the roll.
Next time you are staying in a luxury hotel, chances are you’ll never look at the toilet roll (or your room maid) in the same way again!
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels