Hotel Online  Special Report



Clayton on the Park Provides Humorous
Solution to Low-Flow Toilet Problem
April 30, 2004 - Clayton on the Park General Manager Micarl Hill likes to keep things on the light side, partly because its his nature and partly because he’s found over 27 years in the hotel business (23 years in his native California) that a little humor goes a long way. So, when Hill was faced with the challenge of educating the guests of his boutique all-suite hotel as to the vagaries of low-flow toilets and their potential for stopping up, he resorted to humor to get the message across.

“It’s a sensitive subject both for our guests and our employees, especially our engineering staff,” explains Hill. “Clayton on the Park was built four years ago while the Clayton, MO building code still required low-flow toilets so we’re stuck with them, just as I was in the hotels I managed in California.”

Hill won’t say the low-flow toilet problem had become epidemic in his hotel but they were having so many guest calls that they nicknamed them “Code 10s.”

“We had no choice but to educate our hotel guests to flush often,” he said. “It was either that or put plungers in all the bathrooms and that was not a realistic option in a luxury all-suite hotel.”

So Hill worked with his marketing communications agency to create two different instructional cards with humorous four-color graphics, which were placed on the toilets. The cards, one featuring a cartoon plumber in a wet suite with a plunger and one with a devil with a plunger, read:


We’re kidding, of course, but this is fair warning. Per building code, our toilets are low-flow-designed to save water, so please flush often when using in order to eliminate the chance of congestion

“We’re more than happy to assist if you experience toilet congestion but frequent flushing will prevent the old plunger procedure.

Your Friendly Toilet Technicians”

The message worked. Clayton on the Park cut “Code 10s” by 78 percent in the first 30 days of implementing the card program in January of 2004 and reduced them by 76 percent for the whole first quarter of 2004.

“Our instructional program is a win/win situation,” notes Hill.  “Our guests are spared the embarrassment of calling for help for clogged toilets and our staff the awkwardness of answering the call. Plus we have eliminated the distractions that take our people away from their assigned duties, allowing them to more fully concentrate on their jobs.”


Clayton on the Park
Tom Gorman

Also See: Cold Weather Turndown Service at St. Louis Hotel Includes a Hot Water Bottle / Oct 2002
Kids Toy Great Way to Market Clayton on the Park / Jan 2002

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