Think twice before helping yourself to a free hotel towel or bathrobe. Three hotels in Honolulu, Miami and New York City have begun using towels, sheets and bathrobes equipped with washable radio frequency identification tags to keep guests from snagging the coveted items. The chip comes in the wake of petty thefts of luxurious linens, which are gouging the hotel industry to the rude wake-up call of $100mn (Rs 450 crore) a year.
“Through the utilisation of RFID technology we are providing companies with the unique ability to better control their operating costs and investment in assets,” said William Serbin, vice-president of Linen Technology Tracking. Linen Technology has partnered with Fluensee AssetTrack to optimise and oversee the implementation of this linen-tracking initiative.
Besides reducing theft, the washable RFID tags will also help hotels keep track of linens in real time, so they know when to order more.
The anonymous Honolulu hotel says that before employing the RFID tags, they were loosing 4,000 towels a month. They’ve now reduced that number to 750, saving around $16,000 a month.