Toilet Performance: The Latest and Greatest Hotel Perk


The Professor always has toilet performance on the brain, but acknowledges that this concern might not always be at the forefront of the average person’s mind when making a simple decision like, for instance, which hotel to stay at on a trip. Most travelers – and most hotels, for that matter – would prefer to be focused on aspects like location, continental breakfast quality, or Egyptian cotton sheets. However, the Loews and Hyatt hotel chains have both been in the news recently for investing in high performance Champion 4 toilets from American Standard as a service to their guests. The Professor was pleased to be able to speak with Richard Senechal from Loews Hotels and Ron McGill from Hyatt Hotels about their sudden interest in flushability.

When it comes to hotel perks, one usually thinks of something like high quality bedding or premium cable channels. How did your hotels come to be so interested in toilet performance?

Richard Senechal: “For us, clogged toilets became a huge problem about 15 years ago, when building codes began requiring toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush – about half of what they’d been using. These new toilets technically should’ve saved us money on reduced water bills, but we quickly began to see a significant uptick in the number of service calls we received regarding clogged toilets. Until we upgraded our toilets we were receiving as many as 12 calls per day in our three Orlando-area hotels alone, which took up a great deal of staff time.”

Aside from the amount of time your staff had to spend fixing these clogs, did your hotels experience any other problems related to toilet clogs?

Ron McGill: “Oftentimes, we would have a guest cause a toilet overflow, which was quite embarrassing and inconvenient for them. It was even worse when they would flush the toilet and then leave the room without knowing that there was a problem –  the overflow could go on for an hour or two sometimes. By that then a lot of damage would have occurred, including leaks down into the rooms below.

How did you come to choose American Standard’s Champion 4 toilet for your plumbing upgrade?

Richard Senechal: “Our Orlando engineering director, Tony Rodrigues, had tested the Champion 4 toilet and told us it was ‘a quantum leap’ over our existing toilets. He eventually convinced the company that it made good business sense to replace the toilets throughout all 18 Loews hotels. Today, about a third of our hotels have the Champion 4.”

And how are the new toilets working out for your guests?

Richard Senechal: “We have seen an 80% drop in service calls at the hotels where we have installed the Champion 4. That translates into a lot of saved man-hours and we couldn’t be happier with the change.”

Ron McGill: “We no longer need to keep toilet plungers on every floor – the new toilets have virtually eliminated clog-related service calls at our hotel. We’re also really pleased with the savings we’re experiencing on our water bills thanks to the Champion 4. The cost of utilities on Long Island is outrageous, so any chance to cut expenses in that area is extremely important.”

Thank you so much for your time, gentlemen. The Professor enjoys nothing more than a good toilet chat with fellow professionals.

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