Want to know a lodging property insider’s secret? Most owners of lodging properties wouldn’t use the toilet paper they put in their rooms. Seriously. Isn’t that crappy? Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.
The reason I’m writing an entire blog about toilet paper is that this is a surprisingly important issue in the lodging business. But let’s talk about how toilet paper gets here first, okay?
In the lodging business we go through a lot of toilet paper. Heck, you could actually be wiped out if you don’t choose carefully. But, seriously, most lodging properties buy toilet paper in really big quantities from suppliers. No matter how much investigation you do, you’re still stuck with several hundred rolls of whatever you’ve decided on. Unlike Costco there are no samples.
Oh, sure, these suppliers promise that their TP is A+ and that it’s soft and strong and on and on. In some places we’ve been to it feels more like the cardboard box the paper came in would be a better choice than what’s actually in the box. And the lodging manager likely bought it based on the recommendation of someone at the supplier and now they’re stuck with their decision.
One of the reasons we’ve stuck with this type of arrangement for all this time is that the toilet paper rolls that come from these hotel suppliers is wrapped individually. Opening a box of toilet paper is sort of like a really, really odd FedEx delivery with hundreds of individually wrapped Christmas presents. From someone terribly twisted. But Peggy found little plastic containers that happily perch on the back of the tank and hold a nice, fresh roll of TP.
This means we’re free to conduct an exhaustive test to see what’s the best product on the market and aren’t limited to having to buy from hotel suppliers. So, like all exhaustive tests, we started at the world wide web.
It turns out there are a number of organizations that worked to get to the, uh, bottom of this and have done their own research. And the results are fairly unanimous.
The folks at Consumer’s Reports were the ones who put the test together and created a points system with the best possible score being 100. None of the tested products received this score so we wonder if it was impossibly high or involved the use of a butler, perhaps. Ugh, who would want that job?
Anyhow, there were three winners in this race.
Starting from the third-place winner was Quilted Northern Ultra Plus with a score of 70 points.
From a product standpoint it’s not a bad position to be in second place and that title goes to Charmin Ultra Strong which got a score of 71 points. That’s only one point different than the third-place winner so you would likely not notice a substantial difference between the two.
So who’s at the top? You’d think that it would be some high-priced brand from a premium retailer. Maybe a private-label product from someone whose brand is associated with a long-standing tradition of quality. Or, perhaps, a very premium product available only in select places. But this is not the case.
The number one most highly rated brand of toilet paper is a private-label brand but it is from America’s largest retailer - a company known for being a discount-focused retailer. The toilet paper that the team at Consumer’s Reports thought was the top of the top with a score of 88 points out of 100 is WalMart’s own White Cloud brand.
Surprised? So were we. Frankly, our take on a private-label brand from a company who has worked hard to be focused on price first would seem to be something pretty lousy, but that’s not the case at all.
With great trepidation we went and bought a package of WalMart’s White Cloud toilet paper to give it a chance. We have listened to Consumer Reports magazine in the past with mixed results, so this was a trial that we weren’t sure about. However, at least we’d only be stuck with a few rolls of lousy toilet paper in the event that the magazine was in error.
But they aren’t. Frankly, this is the best toilet paper we’ve ever come across. As promised by the rating, it’s both exceptionally strong and also very soft. This is a really, really good product.
Comparing in price to the bulk toilet paper that we normally buy, as do most lodging properties, buying at retail means we’re spending about twice as much as we had in the past. However, considering the quality increase that we perceive this is something that we feel is well worth it.
Because you don’t want to stay somewhere and have one little thing just rub you the wrong way. So we felt it was our job to get to the bottom of this issue.
A blog about happenings in Lake County.