COLUMBUS, OH—At its recent brand conference in New Orleans, Red Roof, based here, unveiled a new bedding package for its Red Roof Inn and Red Roof Plus properties. At the time, Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof, noted that “it replaces the dated fleece blanket.”
The bedding refresh was influenced by guest and franchisee feedback, according to Red Roof SVP of Design and Construction John VanDenBerge.
“Through industry research and guest surveys, we found that guests want a predominantly white bed cover and no fleece blankets,” he said. “So, we made it our mission to create a mostly white top-of-bed that is clean and modern while maintaining a warm and inviting feel.”
At the conference, Marina MacDonald, chief marketing officer, Red Roof, told Hotel Business that when it comes to design and function, economy guests have similar expectations to guests that stay in the upper chain scales. “Research tells us that just because you’re spending under $100 a night, doesn’t mean you don’t want a well-designed room—everything that works and functions, elements they have at home,” she said, adding that for the brand, it’s about “listening to what the customers want, and how do we do it in the right kind of way to keep that value proposition for the customer?”
The new bedding package will have two main components: a quilted, filled blanket and a decorative top coverlet. “The quilted, filled blanket replaces the fleece blanket of our old bedding to maintain warmth while enhancing comfort,” noted VanDenBerge, who added, “We aimed to create a durable, easy-to-launder and stain-resistant top-of-bed that still achieved neutral operational costs. We succeeded as the new product not only looks great, but it’s much easier to manage operationally, and the cost of it is actually less for franchisees than our current top-of-bed package. On top of that, it will require no changes to the bed-making process, so the transition is seamless for our hard-working housekeeping staff.” At the conference, Alexander noted the bedding package is 20% less expensive than the cost of the current package.
Two different printed top coverlet designs—geometric rectangles and organic leaves—will be available to hoteliers. Both designs will start at the foot of the bed and move up to about the halfway point, with the remainder being white, noted the SVP.
“We want our guestrooms to look fresh and clean, and the white accomplishes this,” VanDenBerge explained. “The texture we selected is crinkled because it works well with the prints and gives the bed depth as well as a luxurious look and feel.”
Red Roof Plus Premium Rooms will feature their own all-white coverlet. “We are always looking for ways to take our Plus properties to the next level,” said VanDenBerge. “The all-white coverlet is another bonus in a fleet of Premium Room amenities that includes a complimentary welcome snack box; in-room coffee and tea; an iron and ironing board; a hair dryer; and a mini-fridge and microwave. Since we’re enhancing our guest experience with the new bedding package across the board at all Red Roof properties, it makes sense to take it a step further for our Red Roof Plus Premium Room guests.”
VanDenBerge noted that Red Roof expects the new bedding package to be available for hotels to implement in the first quarter of 2018. “We’re planning on an expedient 12-month rollout so we maintain a consistent image for our guests,” he explained. “While there is no predetermined order of the rollout, our franchise properties will likely be the first to implement the new product because they have shown tremendous enthusiasm for it since we announced it at the brand conference.”
As of now, there is no plan to make the bedding available for purchase to guests but, according to VanDenBerge, “We are always obsessed with listening to our guests and implementing their feedback. We sincerely hope that they love the bedding so much that they want to take it home, and we’re always open to accommodating the desires of our guests.” HB