10 Truths Hotel Employees Wish Guests Knew
For guests on the receiving end of hotel services, it’s all comfort and calm and perhaps even a little glitz and glamour. But hotel staff knows what really goes on behind the scenes. And while they’re not always in a position to tell guests about the nitty-gritty of the hotel business, it doesn’t mean that they don’t sometimes year to unburden themselves of their insider knowledge – if not with guests, than with their newest coworkers. So get ahead of the game and check out these 10 truths of the hotel business that you may otherwise learn on the job.
- TripAdvisor reviews really matter to us. We all want positive reviews –of the hotel and its services—because this can directly drive more business to the hotel. Glowing reviews of specific staff members or staff in specific departments also reflects well on us, to both future guests and our managers. At some hotels, it can even earn us bonuses or incentive rewards.
- Daily housekeeping is not just provided for the benefit of the guest. We’re also ensuring that the room remains undamaged for the duration of a guest’s stay.
- Contrary to popular belief, there is not a secret inventory of available rooms to accommodate last-minute walk-ins or anyone else. Intentionally keeping rooms unoccupied is simply bad business in the hotel industry as it means lost revenue.
- Conversely, there are times when we may be oversold. Just like airlines, we do this in anticipation of cancellations. But sometimes, we hedge our bets wrong and have to leverage the relationships we have with other area hotels (if we’re part of a brand, they’ll usually be part of the same brand) in order to “walk” guests who booked with us and who we can no longer accommodate. The good news: it doesn’t happen that often.
- Housekeeping is the secret lifeblood of every good hotel. Housekeepers may not have the authority to upgrade guests to higher room categories or even to assist them with guests about hotel restaurant reservations. But without them, every guest’s stay would be downgraded to say the least. So please show your appreciation and leave a tip.
- Major hotel companies spend big money to market their loyalty programs. But these brands aren’t waxing poetic when they promote the many benefits of premium membership. If you stay often enough to be a top-tier loyalty member, you will have a next level experience during your stays with the brand.
- If you’re dining in a specialty or fine dining hotel restaurant and you ask your server for recommendations, they are likely trained to offer you two or three options. Guaranteed at least one will be a menu special or one of the pricier menu items.
- We’re trained to deal with guests who think they’re going to scam their way into a complimentary room upgrade or other freebies. Yes, it is every hotel employee’s job to ensure guest satisfaction, but unscrupulous guests who try to blackmail the hotel with bad online reviews will be reported directly to the review site.
- The hotel industry loves to talk about all of the eco-friendly practices it puts into place like buying locally sourced ingredients to stock its restaurants and reducing water use by providing fresh towels and sheets upon guests requests rather than changing them daily. But few hotels tell you that if you return your room’s key card to the front desk upon check-out, we’ll likely recycle it.
- Personally, most of us agree with guests: operating certain in-room TV systems requires an advanced degree in Information Technology.