Lack of daily housekeeping in American hotels

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and The Associated Press (AP) ran stories last week about the lack of housekeeping services at many hotels and how that affects both guests (some don’t don’t want daily service) and employees (harder work and fewer hours).

It was understandable that hotels reduced housekeeping during the pandemic when guest touch points were minimized. However, hotels still try to force guests to accept no housekeeping service during their stay or offer it entirely upon request.

Extract from the WSJ:

Many hotels now often clean rooms on demand rather than every day a guest visits. They are also placing more emphasis on cleaning the rooms more thoroughly between guest stays.

This has meant relief for guests who don’t like staff entering their rooms and frustration for those who feel aggrieved. It has created tension between hotels who have reduced daily cleaning and housekeepers who say the changes have made their jobs more difficult and, in some cases, reduced their hours.

Daily cleanings depend on guest preferences, hoteliers say. The American Hotel and Lodging Association says a recent Morning Consult survey it commissioned found that many guests don’t want this service every day.

Excerpt from AP:

Industry insiders say the move away from daily cleaning, which has gained traction during the pandemic, is being driven by customer preferences. But others say it has more to do with profit and has allowed hotels to cut the number of housekeepers at a time when many of the mostly immigrant women who do these jobs are still reeling of job loss during coronavirus shutdowns.

Many cleaners still employed say their hours have been reduced and they are being asked to do a lot more work during this time.

“It’s a big change for us,” said Espejo, a 60-year-old from the Philippines who cleaned rooms at the world’s largest Hilton for 18 years, minus about a year when she was laid off during the pandemic. . “We are so busy at work now. We can’t finish cleaning our rooms.

Before the pandemic, 670 housekeepers worked in the Espejo resort. More than two years later, 150 of them have not been rehired or are on standby, spending every day from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. waiting for a phone call telling them there is work for them. . The number of people not rehired or on call stood at 300 just a few weeks ago.

A Hilton Hawaiian Village spokesperson said no Hilton representative was available for an interview about these policies at any Hilton property.

Some hotel executives were commenting during the pandemic that this was the best that could have happened to the hospitality industry in the long run, as they could impose whatever service cuts guests had resisted:

1. Daily cleaning

What happened with the daily cleaning? Many hotels now only offer it on request OR don’t offer it at all.

2. Cover service

Remember the nightly turndown service full-service hotels used to offer?

3. Reception

Why do you think hotels try to press mobile keys, which may not even work most of the time?

4. In the hall, having dinner

Many hotels have decided that in-room dining isn’t worth it.

5. Minibars

Even in international hotels, minibars are mostly empty!

6. Free breakfast

Hotels cut free breakfast for elite members (looking at you, Hilton) in the US, saying at first it was only for the duration of the pandemic in 2021, but it has later been extended through 2022 (and likely into the foreseeable future).

7. Club Lounges

Many club lounges have been completely closed, hours reduced or services cut.

Conclusion

The pinching of a penny will continue with ever-increasing daily rates unless customers revolt and change their behavior.

I simply refuse to stay at a full service hotel (selected service is a whole other matter) that does not provide services. Period.

You should also leave appropriate ratings on post-stay surveys and write reviews on Google and TripAdvisor to notify potential guests when warranted.