Survey: Almost half of all housekeepers have stolen something from a guest

Lodging establishments live and die by word of mouth and the redoubtable five-star rating system-very few people that have the luxury to be fastidious, are willing to roll the dice with any resort below a three. Eighty-percent of hotels in the US were infested with bedbugs back in 2018 — 45% of which faced legal action as a result.

Independent rating services like AAA, define a one-star hotel as the following:  “Property has no-frills and only offers basic accommodations. ” Conversely a five-star hotel is one that “provides flawless guest services in a state-of-the-art facility. As a five-star property, such as premium dining options and personalized services to its guests. With no detail being overlooked, these hotels commonly even provide high-end, luxury toiletries for guests.”

These metrics have been in place for decades, though a new report suggests they might be delusory. Ultimately humans are inconsistent and unpredictable.  Having said that, a new Zoro study comprised of nearly 200 professional cleaners in the hospitality industry motions that, from stolen items to disregarded duties, cleaning staff employed at five-star hotels are actually the more likely to “disappoint” compared to those hired at three and four-star ones.

Of the 197 housekeepers queried, 36.5% were men, and 63.5% were women. Eleven percent of the participants had cleaned guest rooms on a cruise ship at some point, 87.3% in hotels, 57.9% in motels, and 42.1% in resorts.

Coming clean

Stars aren’t the only determinant for a venture’s quality or lack thereof. For whatever reason, men were less likely to do certain tasks compared to women. For instance, 10% of women confessed to skipping changing bed sheets, wiping down toilets, and changing the toiletries whereas 20% of men admitted to forgoing the same tasks.

Albeit, some responsibilities were skipped uniformly by everyone. One in three housekeepers were okay leaving a “made up bed” with obvious strands of hair on the sheets, and two and five respondents said that they left rooms with mysterious stains still visible. One in five participants of both genders admitted to completely ignoring do not disturb signs on a guest’s room door.

House ‘keeping’

Forty-three percent of all the professionals surveyed disclosed having stolen personal items from guests at least once in their career. Of course, some items are more tempting than others.

As you might have guessed, cash and technology are the most frequently looted item across the board. In fact, unlike most of the belongings on the list of 10, money was just as likely to be stolen while the guests are still booked as it is after they leave. With things like booze, jewelry, and toiletries,  people are more likely to rationalize stealing them if they feel like it’s a victimless crime, i.e the owners are likely long gone so finder keepers. Strangely jewelry was the least likely item to be stolen irrespective of when it’s found.

From the report: “Nearly 1 in 3 confessed to seeing a co-worker steal cash on the job. Similarly, while 16% said they were guilty of taking the jewelry out of a guest’s room during or after their stay, more than 27% witnessed a co-worker pick up jewelry they “found while cleaning.”


You ‘guest’ wrong

“The bathroom had been destroyed. Snot rockets clumped on the mirror, the toilet was clogged, the garbage was overflowing, and the tub was full of hair” -Testimonial from a woman in the study that has been cleaning hotels and motels for over a decade.,

it’s easy to turn your nose up at stealing booze, and leaving love stains and displaced follicles on beds when you’re not subject to a  rotating door of sketchy ghouls,  adulterers bachelor parties, and rickety stool buyers. Sixty-two percent of all of the housekeepers surveyed agreed, that children, teens, and young couples were by far the most unruly guests. Pet peeves were attributed to a wide range of archetypes.

A sizeable portion of housekeepers hated businessman that insisted on smoking in their room, others occasioned young love birds that completely destroyed the bed covers, but lion’s share was vexed by how many fully capable “adults” managed to trash a room despite the number of garbage cans around.

The Zoro team wrote, “Just because staying at a hotel or resort means someone will make your bed during the day or replenish products in your bathroom doesn’t mean you should take advantage of their hospitality.  At Zoro, we want to help ensure your guests get everything they want and more when they’re staying at your location. No matter what supplies you need to run your business – from hospitality and food services to manufacturing and contracting – we’ll help you get the tools you want when you need them.”