The Points Guy executive editor Scott Mayerowitz attended a breakfast with Marriott’s top executives where the shared they were considering eliminating alarm clocks from rooms. They’re also looking to ‘simplify’ and reduce the cost of breakfast at brands where that’s included in the room rate for all guests like Residence Inn; Towne Place Suites; Springhill Suites; Fairfield Inn and Suites; and Element.
Marriott s group president for the U.S. and Canada claims eliminating alarm clocks isn’t about costs, but it’s about costs.
“The key thing is we have to be able to figure out how to service our guests at the end of the day. And the vast majority of our owners would agree with us,” he said, noting that it isn’t about cuts but about practical needs, such as the alarm clock. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to look at some of those things that are historic in nature and have no application in terms of the real life we live in today.”
And, he says, providing lower-cost breakfast isn’t about costs either even though it’s about costs.
“It’s more about how do we make sure that what we’re offering is the best. So when you think about it across our free breakfast brands, how do we simplify the breakfast offering? Breakfast is king across all of our brands,” he said. “How can we do it in a more cost-effective way? And at the end of the day, perhaps even deliver a better product and a better experience?
People may be able to use their phones as alarm clocks, though try teaching some older guests to do that (they may have smart phones but that doesn’t mean they know how to use their apps).
And the last thing I want to do in the middle of the night is pick up my phone from the night stand and look at it. Far better for going back to sleep to turn and look over. Besides, how many hotels have I been in where I can’t even plug my phone in by the bedside – with whatever limited outlets there are taken by lamps and the like?
Eliminating clocks from rooms means potentially getting less rest. On the other hand without alarm clocks perhaps people will oversleep and miss the free breakfast? And that’s “a more cost-effective way” of offering free breakfast, for sure. After all guests have a ‘short-term memory’ in the words of Marriott’s CEO, and need to have more sympathy for ownership groups that want to charge more and deliver less.