7. September 2023

Bridging the Gap: A Green Choice for Modern Hospitality Guests and Staff


Bridging the Gap: A Green Choice for Modern Hospitality Guests and Staff

The concept of offering opt-in or opt-out housekeeping services has been making waves in the hospitality industry. Once largely associated with limited-service hotels, this innovative approach has gained remarkable traction in recent years, reshaping guest experiences and addressing contemporary concerns. Notably, we are hearing more initiatives around sustainability, for example, the Foundation Hotels for Trees, which is actively supporting the transition towards a more sustainable hotel industry.


A Closer Look: Analyzing Opt-Out Housekeeping with Sweeply

Sweeply has dived headfirst into this, offering guests an optional housekeeping feature that aligns seamlessly with the green choice in hospitality. This feature allows guests to decide the frequency of housekeeping during their stay, a nod to the growing demand for sustainable and personalized experiences.

Intriguingly, Sweeply's innovative approach isn't just environmentally friendly; it's also economically savvy. By analyzing the impact of their opt-out housekeeping deals, the service uncovered impressive cost savings for customers. 


Unravel  the Distinction: Opt-Out vs. Opt-In Housekeeping Models

Traditionally, hotels offered daily housekeeping as a standard service, often included in the room rate. The pandemic, however, prompted a reevaluation of this approach as guests grew more cautious about staff entering their rooms. The result was the proliferation of both opt-out and opt-in housekeeping models.

In the opt-out model, rooms are cleaned daily unless guests actively decline the service. Some hotels even sweeten the deal by offering bonuses like complimentary drinks at the bar for guests who opt out.

Conversely, the opt-in model shifts the paradigm by making daily cleaning an optional service. Guests who want their rooms serviced must deliberately request it. These decisions can be made prior to arrival or during the check-in process.

Pros and Cons: Navigating Opt-Out and Opt-In Housekeeping Models

As with any innovation, there are advantages and potential drawbacks to both the opt-out and opt-in housekeeping models. On the upside:

    Reduced Cleaning Costs: With the average cost of room cleaning on the rise, flexible housekeeping models offer a tangible solution. Skipping a portion of stayover cleans can result in substantial cost savings for hotels.

    Addressing Labor Shortages: In a post-pandemic world, labor shortages have become challenging. Opt-in housekeeping reduces the daily cleaning workload, mitigating overworking risks and promoting staff retention.

    Enhanced Flexibility: The shift towards flexible housekeeping schedules frees up time for operational optimization, quick response to requests, training, and adaptable staffing.

    Environmental Impact: By allowing guests to opt out of daily housekeeping, hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, engaging guests in sustainability efforts.

    Increased Guest Satisfaction: Both eco-conscious and privacy-seeking guests appreciate the ability to tailor their stay. This translates to higher levels of satisfaction.

On the downside, transitioning away from traditional daily housekeeping may cause concerns among some guests about value for money and service quality. Hotels need to communicate the benefits and availability of cleaning services effectively but, more importantly, find the right balance between their staff.

Finding a Path Forward: The Balance Between Guests and Staff

As the green choice model gains traction, challenges can emerge. Some housekeeping team members found their hours and pay affected due to the decrease in daily housekeeping requests. In certain cases, properties reported having to cut hours for housekeeping staff due to reduced demand for daily cleanings. This issue is not unique to a single establishment; it's a concern that the industry at large needs to address.

Another acknowledgment is that rooms that had not received daily cleaning become notably more challenging to clean when guests check out. This additional workload and time required need to be factored into housekeepers' schedules to avoid creating frustration and additional pressure. 

These concerns are crucial, but it's also vital to recognize that the hospitality industry is at a crossroads. The well-being of housekeeping staff is of utmost importance, and any measure that affects their hours and livelihoods must be addressed responsibly.

One way forward is for hotels to devise strategies that ensure fair compensation and consistent hours for their housekeeping teams. By implementing a holistic approach to staffing, hotels can balance guest preferences for flexible housekeeping with the needs and well-being of their staff.

Embracing the Future of Hospitality

The introduction of opt-in and opt-out housekeeping models marks an evolution in the way hotels cater to diverse guest preferences. Beyond cost reduction, these models enhance sustainability efforts, guest satisfaction, and flexibility. The need for more personalized experiences suggests that guests are increasingly receptive to choices that empower them.

By emphasizing transparency, benefits, team happiness, and the availability of cleaning services, hotels can integrate these models. As the hospitality industry navigates this transformative period, the green choice in hospitality continues to shape the future, with innovative approaches like Sweeply's optional housekeeping paving the way for a more sustainable and guest-centric future.

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