Hotels across the country are struggling to bring back all their staff and hire enough housekeepers amid a hospitality worker shortage as travel is picking back up this summer. To compensate for the labor shortage, hotels are considering reducing daily room cleanings to cut labor costs, Business Insider reports.
Others services on the cutting board include free breakfasts, with hotels eliminating this perk altogether or offering limited options.
“Hotel owners and operators are using the pandemic as an opportunity to cut costs and permanently change, or at least temporarily change, the operating model because it was already an issue,” Michael Bellisario, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., told The Washington Post.
A survey from the American Hotel and Lodging Association found that almost two-thirds of travelers said they did not want daily room cleanings. “The vast majority of our customers don’t want us cleaning their room while they are staying with us,” Robert Kline, the chief executive and co-founder of the Chartres Lodging Group, told The New York Times last year. “They want to know the room is clean when they enter, but once they occupy that room they are saying, ‘Don’t come in.’”
Jim Risoleo, Host Hotels CEO, informed investors that, going forward, the hotel industry was moving toward an “opt-in to housekeeping services model as opposed to an opt-out model.”
However, housekeepers are concerned that cutting daily room cleanings is unsafe for them as it leads to a heavier workload when hotels guests check out after numerous days in rooms that haven’t been cleaned. There is also the question of whether less frequent cleanings will affect hotels’ chances of meeting new cleanliness standards, such as the new AAA inspected clean designation.