There has been an increase in entitled behavior from customers in the hotel and restaurant industry in Britain and other countries, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact people. Guests are leaving their Mind Your Manners at home and abusing hotel staff as they want to get the best value for money.
I have reviewed over 350 hotels across the globe. A hotel is only as good as the staff. My best stays don’t require a Five Star to affirm that.
Leaving The Hotel Room As a Dumping Ground
Upon checking out, the staff discovered that the guest had left their luxury cabin in a state of disarray, with dirty dishes accumulated in the sink and an overflowing trash bin. Additionally, they had consumed the items from the minibar without adhering to the honesty box payment system, which has been successfully implemented for 3,000 stays since its launch in 2018.
The hotel reached out to the guest in a polite manner to request payment for the food items consumed during their stay. However, the guest vehemently refused and proceeded to express their dissatisfaction with the hotel on various social media platforms. They also left a negative review on TripAdvisor, which was the first one-star rating the property had received in its six years of operation.
Review feedback can be very damaging to the hospitality industry.
Serving The Guests Is Hard
Hotels are accustomed to accommodating the unique preferences of their guests. From discovering forgotten sex toys in bedsheets to city guests being surprised by the absence of 24-hour convenience stores in rural areas. However, the level of entitlement displayed in this situation was particularly disappointing. As a result, the hotel received a negative review from an uptight and unpleasant guest.
According to Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, the hospitality industry has been facing challenges with unruly customers for a while.
Since the pandemic, these behaviors have become even more prevalent, which is concerning given the increased costs of essential resources like food and power.
Issues range from guests stealing slippers and robes to verbally abusing staff members.
We are all human remind yourself that hotel staff work very hard to make your stay a happy one. Don’t treat others as you would like not to be treated.
Greed Inflation Is Not The Hotels Fault
It is important to not tolerate aggressive and abusive behavior, especially considering that numerous hotels and restaurants have been working to manage increased costs without burdening their customers.
Premier Inn, a hotel chain, implemented a more stringent guest code of conduct in November 2022. This decision was prompted by a series of incidents involving unruly guests. For instance, in 2021, a guest in London was found smoking marijuana in their room and proceeded to throw food at the hotel staff. Similarly, in 2022, an intoxicated guest at a Bristol branch stripped naked and directed homophobic slurs towards a staff member. These incidents led to the hotel chain taking action to address and prevent such behavior in the future.
In recent years, well-known hotel brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Radisson, and Accor have taken steps to enhance their guest codes of conduct. These measures include implementing guest bans for behaviors such as harassment or abuse towards staff or other guests, property damage, public intoxication, nudity, and excessive partying.
Mind Your Restaurant Manners
There is a concerning decrease in behavioral standards observed in restaurants. In 2022, there were reports of female staff members being physically and verbally assaulted by intoxicated groups of men at a pizza restaurant. Additionally, there were complaints about a couple who placed their toddler on a potty in front of other diners at an upscale restaurant brunch spot in March.
In recent news, a Michelin-starred chef has been accused of verbally abusing customers at his high-end tasting restaurant. The couple involved in the incident claimed that the chef was unpleasant and rude towards the staff. Their dissatisfaction stemmed from their dislike of the birch smoke used as part of the dining experience, as well as their rejection of a pair of hand-forged dining tongs.
In a recent incident, they displayed behavior similar to that of a three-year-old by using an offensive term to refer to her.
Don’t Adopt The White Lotus Mentality
This behavior has been compared to the entitled and demanding attitudes depicted in the popular HBO comedy murder mystery series called White Lotus, which is set in a luxurious Hawaiian resort and features privileged guests.
“In the past, encountering the occasional challenging customer was not uncommon. However, nowadays, it is more common for us to receive multiple guests who expect us to be able to address all of their issues and concerns.
Customers are dissatisfied with the snack options, either due to their preferences or the lack of variety. Additionally, some customers are not satisfied with the temperature of the milk. It is important to note that although some customers expect a high level of service similar to that of the Four Seasons, it is essential to remember that we are a small, family-run business.
Guests Requests For Discounts And Refunds
A significant portion of the negative behavior we encounter at our establishment is related to requests for discounts and refunds. French guests tend to directly inform us that our prices are too high, while British guests often attempt to negotiate after their stay. For example, we recently had a situation where a woman asked for a complete refund for a retreat because she felt the therapy room was too cold during her massage. Interestingly, she did not mention this concern to the therapist during the session.
Dr. Charlotte Russell, a clinical psychologist and editor of The Travel Psychologist blog, explains that as prices continue to rise, including those for accommodations and dining, some individuals may perceive these increased costs as a form of exploitation rather than a result of larger economic influences. Consequently, they may direct this frustration towards their hosts.
According to the client, this can evoke past feelings of mistrust and unfairness, leading individuals to react negatively by lashing out.
Theft Is A Crime
In order to enhance customer experience and prevent theft, certain hotels and restaurants have implemented measures such as reinforcing codes of conduct and implementing stricter customer ban policies. Additionally, some establishments have begun conducting searches of guests upon departure to ensure that stolen items like towels, dishes, and silverware are not being taken.
Furthermore, signs have been installed to discourage guests from taking food from breakfast buffets for takeaway purposes.
Entitled and Malicious Online Reviews
A noticeable trend is emerging where individuals are actively opposing entitled and malicious online reviews. This is brutally unfair to the owners of hotels, Airbnb or private boutiques who depend on reviews for their lively hood.
In a recent interview, a hotel guest expressed his belief that while being rude is not acceptable, guests can use their resourcefulness to secure a good deal during challenging economic times. The 42-year-old businessman, who frequently travels for work, has compiled a list of hotels where he can enjoy a complimentary breakfast due to lax monitoring by the reception and restaurant staff.