Amenity Fixtures and Dispensers – A Savvy Sustainable Solution

The time for amenity dispensers and amenity fixtures is now. A major societal shift and technological advancement is combining to make this a solution something guests demand, and it’s all at a price point owners love.

With waste becoming a global epidemic and a heightened demand for sustainable solutions, hotel amenity fixtures are inevitable. Fortunately, fixtures aren’t just great for the environment, they save money and increase guest satisfaction.

It wasn’t all that long ago amenity dispensers faced a negative perception issue. Ugly and clunky, they simply didn’t resonate with guests. Plus, the only time people came into contact with them were in public bathrooms or at the gym, where unappealing, bottom of the barrel ‘pink stuff’ masquerading as soap and shampoo damaged this solution’s reputation.

That turned me off too. It made for an unpleasant user experience that had a stigma attached. Fortunately, It’s no longer the case. Style, branding and high quality products have come together to reinvent this category for the modern travel consumer. And some of the world’s top hotels are already providing their guests these products as part of an upgraded bathroom experience while winning guest loyalty in the process.

We think the tipping point was about two to three years ago when major manufacturers started creating attractive upgraded dispensers and fixtures for presenting branded products, while packing in consumer coveted products. The market has nearly doubled in just the past few years as hoteliers are also realizing they can do the right thing by Mother Nature while reducing overall operating costs.

We’re seeing widespread adoption at independent hotels and emerging forward thinking brands sharing a similar ethos. Additionally, leaders in this area realize it’s a great opportunity to create a strong point of differentiation that cues the consumer the property and its management care about the community and the overall environment.

Customers are becoming increasingly concerned about doing business only with companies that show that are moral, ethical and show they care about doing the right thing. More often, travelers are making the choice to only stay at hotels, or with brands, that do the right thing ethically. And being a good environmental steward is critical to meeting those expectations. Dispensers help achieve an environmental certification more easily too.

For customers when it comes to sustainability, it’s no longer about choosing one hotel over the other when all things are equal; it’s about spending money only with companies that share that person’s similar value system.

Guests also happen to love the convenience of amenity dispensers. Especially younger guests who have been using body wash for most of their lives, for example. And it’s something millennials would like to see presented more often during their travels.

Fortunately, it’s more common than ever for guests to see a great dispenser in the shower for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and they love it. It’s convenient, easy to use and eliminates forgetting to take those items into the shower with you; something I can never seem to remember. Hotels all over the globe are quickly switching to this smart solution.

Younger travelers are more eco-conscious and want to affiliate with companies that have strong ethics. They demand products that not only limit waste, but shave the entire carbon footprint associated with production, shipping and waste disposal. Typical bottled products shipping at 250 units per case create 70% product waste plus plastic.

With amenity dispensers, gallons are shipped four per case and represent less  waste. Some companies are even recycling the gallon containers, creating no waste.

For hoteliers, there’s also opportunity to eliminate both waste and cost. In fact, most hotels save 30% to 70% by switching to amenity dispensers. That’s a huge savings, and one without factoring in lower refuse carting costs, or factoring in bottle filling time on a bi- monthly basis is considerably less than setting up, discarding, and cleaning up of spilt products required with traditional small bottle models.

More recently, top amenity brands are adding products designed for amenity dispensers, heightening perception amongst consumers with incredible products from Nest, CO Bigelow, Malin and Goetz, Elemis, Bliss, Beekman 1802, PAYA, Tommy Bahama, TOCCA, h2O+, and Pharmacopia.

Simultaneously the dispensers themselves are getting an aesthetic makeover. It’s making them more appealing to guests while also matching the price-point of a hotel.

Major upscale brands are already using this ingenious solution such as Autograph Collection, Starwood Luxury Collection, Destination Resorts, Kimpton, Intercontinental Hotels and more. Independent properties such as The Maxwell in Seattle, The Hotel Rose in Portland, OR, The Hotel Z in San Diego, The Paul in New York City, the  Axiom San Francisco and the Camby Phoenix are utilizing amenity dispensers and amenity fixtures to present branded product to their guests because the dispenser looks and feel like a luxury product. At The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Portland, the system has been so well received people ask every week how they can put a similar system into their own homes.

Additionally, major companies associated with small bottle amenities are embracing  the trend toward a more sustainable option. With product loss reduction, lower packaging, shipping and manufacturing costs, it just makes fiscal sense.

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