Do you ever wonder – as you carry your dishes from your restaurant table across the room to the bus tubs, after eating a meal that you ordered and paid for at the counter, and went back to the counter when your name was called to pick up your food and carry it yourself to the table – why you dropped money into the tip jar on the counter before you even saw a glimpse of your food?
Something you may not have noticed in your travels: the disappearance of “Vacancy” signs. Fewer and fewer motels and hotels display them. Travelers these days can use a smartphone app to see what lodging is at the expected destination and can call ahead to check on availability.
Fewer mom-and-pop motels exist; chain hotels, as in other industries, are more prevalent. The chains don’t want to advertise that they are full. They want the traveler to come inside, so if there is no room at the inn, they can be directed to a nearby property operated by the same chain.