Hospitality – Perfection Is In The Details

They say it’s all in the details- and when it comes to the hospitality industry, they’re not wrong. When it comes to hotels and the industry as a whole, there are certain things that happen behind the scenes to make sure no detail is overlooked.

Most of what happens is very behind-the-scenes, and would most likely be overlooked by the average traveler, but without these specific methods in place, the consumer would be left wondering if a trip back would even be an option.

Let’s start with the beginning of a hotel booking- usually done online with the various websites and apps that cater to finding the best deal in the location you’re heading to- the staff is trained to use names when arriving at the hotel to check-in with a prearranged reservation. Studies have shown that using customer names when a guest arrives proved more likely for that guest to return, having created a feeling that the customer is known and wanted at that specific hotel. Some places take this tip a little further by adding names on the room-key pamphlets, and adding in WiFi codes to the customers that are members of the specific hotel chain.

Once you’re in the room, there are so many fine-tuned details that are present, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are the 3 most common details hotels use to guarantee a satisfactory stay:

  • Flat sheets. Take the linens on the bed- there’s something so wonderfully relaxing about sinking into the plush white bedding of a hotel- and that’s no accident. All hotels nationwide use flat sheets- this ensures only one size sheet is needed, no matter the side of the bed- and the room service staff is taught to do the “hospital corners ”, where the edges of the sheets are pulled taught and tucked under the corners of the bed to ensure the sheets don’t get pulled out after sleeping in the bed. They’re also made in a way that the new hotel guest is sure the bed was recently made, and that even at a glance, the sheets are pristinely white and clean.

  • Bright white linens. There are 2 reasons why the sheets and towels are so brightly white at every hotel you visit- mass loads of laundry being done with a huge turnover of sheets and towels needing to be washed and sanitized daily means bleach is the optimal cleaner, and the automatic washing and folding becomes much more efficient when the entire load can be bleached and sanitized while being washed. In fact, hotels do so much laundry, the federal Environmental Protection Agency believes they account for 15 percent of commercial water usage in the USA. The other reason is simple- because psychologically, we associate white with being clean , when we see a tightly made bed in a room we’ve just entered, we are more likely to assume the room as a whole is just as clean as the pure white sheets in front of us. Some hotels even use a laundry agent which deposits fragments of light-reflective particles into their sheets, which is why they’re always so white.
  • Blanket corners tucked under the mattress. While it’s easy to assume they tuck the top sheets and comforters under the mattress to match the “hospital corners” they’ve created with the sheets, this is actually to stop the spread of bugs climbing up the corners of the blanket, which would otherwise be hanging down and, after time, fraying after rubbing against the carpet. Bed bugs are a hotel’s worst nightmare, being the fastest and most intrusive insect that causes damage and even feed on humans. Hotels will do anything to avoid an infestation.

Moving on into the bathroom, there are a couple more detailed tricks hotels use to make sure customer satisfaction is reached- the last thing any hotel chain needs is someone blasting them on social media for having a hair left in the tub or a toilet paper roll that’s almost on empty- that’s why the end of the roll is usually turned into some sort of triangle, or in fancier resorts, sometimes flowers or hearts. This little act of folding in the paper is a subconscious reminder to the staff to actually check the bathroom to make sure it’s not lacking anything- by fiddling with the roll, they’re checking to make sure there is a roll to fiddle with- to make sure nothing goes unnoticed by accident. The same tactic is used when setting up the toiletries- it doesn’t actually matter if the shampoo goes in front of the lotion, but putting the items in a specific order actually ensures that all of the items are there, and that if something was taken by the previous guest, it can be replaced for the new one.

This brings us to items throughout the room which, like the toiletries, have the brand name on them. This is a detail seen in every hospitality brand all over the world, from notepads to pens to garment bags, and it’s done intentionally. The items that have their names on them are usually the items that are taken most by guests, whether by accident or on purpose, and it allows their branding to be seen by the guests for years to come, whether when they pull out that pen or go for the garment bag, it’s subtle marketing we as consumers end up taking home with us without even knowing it. Hyatt even put out a video, telling their customers to take the items from their room.

We see from everything here that it’s all about the details- and the more focused you are on them, the more likely you’ll get your desired outcome when your focused on the right ones.

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