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Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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Bearded hotel staffers don't cut it with guests

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: November 7, 2013 - 2:36 PM

Do you feel all warm and cozy when a crisply groomed check-in clerk hands you the keys, but just a little offput of he happens to be sporting a sprouting of facial hair? Just in time for Movember, the November-long moustache growing charity event, a Cornell study found that facial hair is a no-no for most men in the hospitality industry. A study published in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, a publication of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, found that hotel guests feel most confidence in smiling and attractive men and women behind the check-in counter and elsewhere in a hotel. No surprise there. The head-scratcher, though, is that when it comes to facial hair, white men should get out their razors for a clean cut, but African-American men can bring on the goatee. Hotel guests assigned greater "assurance ability" to clean-shaven men, but for reasons that aren't clear, this held true only for Caucasian men and not African-American men. "Assurance," for the sake of the study, translates to "an employee's knowledge and courtesy and their ability to convey trust and confidence."

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