Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Toilet paper in hotels

Every time we travel, whether we're staying in an ultra-fancy upscale full apartment, a cozy but run-down B&B, a motel that's seen better days, or a low-cost clean Super 8, no matter how good or bad the service is, no matter what the facilities are like, one thing always holds true: they're always inexplicably skimpy about toilet paper. If there's a half-roll in the morning when we leave, there's probably a half-roll when we get back, too. At best, there's one roll ahead. Often, they'll have more soap in the pipeline than toilet paper.

Maybe they fear if they leave more you'll use more. I suppose there might be some psychological factor to that: people are probably unconsciously, or even consciously, skimpy in a shortage. But I doubt that factor really adds up to very much. They certainly don't worry about that when it comes to any other supply. If they put one more roll into each room and maintained stocks from there, it wouldn't cost them any more, except a one-time cost of one roll per room. It wouldn't significantly change how much gets used up per day.

Toilet paper is not a big ticket item for hotels. Every little bit counts, sure, but many of these hotels are far more casual about much bigger costs. I wonder what's really behind this oddly uncharacteristic (in some cases) bit of skimpiness.

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