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Focus on efficiency

06 September 2022
Inflation drives costs, particularly wages, making it more challenging to maintain hotel profits. Hotels fired or laid off employees during the pandemic and now have difficulty winning them back without offering higher compensation. As a result, wages and salaries will likely continue to increase. However, hotels have a few options to curb the cost increases.

Let the guest do the job

Many other industries have been very good at moving their employees' jobs to the customer. For example, banks used to handle all transactions manually. The bank customer had to stand in line and wait and wait a little bit more while the bank teller performed the job. Today banks have moved the transactions to the customer. Transferring the job from the bank to the customer probably took a few years, but today the customer is happy, and there is no way anyone would like to return to what it used to be. Other examples are self-scanning in food stores, airline check-in, self-drop of luggage, and many more.
The exception is the hotel industry. The booking process has been partly automated but has many flaws. For example, third-party booking websites do not always send all guest data to the hotels, so upon check-in, the front desk employees have to, once again, ask the guest for the address, phone number, and email address. In addition, only about half of all hotel reservations are automated or semi-automated. Hotels handle the other part of incoming reservations by a hotel employee at a call center or a hotel.
Another process to automate is the check-in/check-out process. This process has been the same for at least a hundred years. Guests do not understand why hotels are so slow to adopt digital solutions when every other industry gets increasingly digitalized to delight their customers. The mega-chains have mobile apps that handle booking, up-selling, check-in, check-out, guest folios, and many other services, but most hotels still retain the manual processes.
The cost of manual handling of guests in hotels is high. How about replacing a few employees with a full-featured mobile app? The benefit will be lower labor costs, less recruiting and training, and the best part is that the guests will be happier.

Increase productivity

Productivity means that you work smarter, not more hours. It does not even mean that you need less number of employees. The idea is to help your employees to produce more, such as serving more guests, cleaning more rooms, meeting more potential customers, sending more offers, etc. As a result, the hotel employees will create a higher output volume during the same shift and without additional effort. There are five ingredients in the productivity formula.
  • Hiring knowledgeable and skilled people
  • Training them and engaging them in the company culture
  • Creating efficient processes
  • Giving them tools and systems that will make their jobs easy
  • Rewarding them when they do a good job.
Hotels that ensure high-quality ingredients will keep their employees longer, and the employees will contribute more to the hotel's success.
Every hotel needs to set a quality standard for all ingredients in the formula to maximize productivity in every department. Involve employees in the process for faster implementation and higher engagement. Guests will notice and experience product and service improvements.
Guests will be happier when they feel they have control over the interaction with the hotel before, during, and after the stay. Guests will be even more satisfied when the hotel delivers the guest experience productively, with no waiting times, no mistakes, and fully engaged employees (that have not been exhausted by inefficient processes and systems).