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Hotels deploy tags to combat towel theft

Hotels deploy tags to combat towel theft

Hotels are deploying new technology to combat one of the biggest expenses of room occupancy – replacing stolen towels and bathrobes.

The anti-theft system uses washable radio-frequency tags stitched into towels, robes and other linen which triggers an alarm if removed from the premises.

Linen Technology Tracking, which is similar to shop security tags, has been patented by a Miami-based company.

Three hotels - in Hawaii, Miami and Manhattan – have trialled the system, Linen Technology Tracking’s executive vice president, William Serbin told the New York Times. He said the hotels did not want their names used.

He said: “Any given month, hotels can lose 5 to 20 per cent of towels, sheets and robes. That gets expensive with the rising cost of cotton.”


The company claims that the hotel in Hawaii, which introduced the tagging system last summer, has seen towel theft fall from 4,000 a month to just 750, saving more than £9,000 a month.

The anti-theft system could soon be rolled out globally.

The tags also allow properties to monitor their linen inventory, so that at any given moment they know when they need to order more. With inconsistent room occupancy, some hotels have been buying new linens less frequently, the company says.

Other benefits according to the companies include:
Improved control and savings within the laundry process.
Increased life of linens and towels.
Improved control over check-in and check-out process.
Reduction in linen and towel theft and shrinkage.
Improved customer service.