Covid-19 has altered the hospitality industry in many ways, impacting how hotels operate to survive while maintaining brand quality. Hotel managers have had to develop ways to work efficiently and provide good customer service with fewer workers on board.
Whether the reasons are financially motivated, or there simply aren’t enough workers available to fill job openings, hotels, and other short-term lodging providers are modifying operations to thrive with a shrinking hospitality workforce. Here are ways hotels can make it work in the new economy.
Increase Office Management Automation
Many hotel-related office tasks are repetitive and time-consuming. Considerable time can be freed up when office management tools are used. This boost in office automation will free your personnel to take care of other hotel operations tasks.
There are many hospitality automation software tools to choose from, including the following:
- Smart Hotel Software, an integrated package for front and back-office automation, as well as for handling special events, online reservations, and more
- Cloudbeds, a cloud-based hotel management platform for hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, and more
- FCS Cosmo, hotel management software to manage, track, analyze, and optimize operations
- Maestro PMS, a property and hotel management system that is scalable and centralizes operations
These are just some of the tools that are available. Bring greater automation to your hospitality business to free up time for other important work that can boost growth and improve customer service.
Add Contactless Hospitality Touches For Guest Satisfaction
Travelers love happy little surprises, special touches, unexpected luxuries, and freebies. In the presence of a reduced hospitality workforce and fewer on-premise employees, it doesn’t take much to provide lodging guests with contactless hospitality touches that make them feel welcome.
- Complimentary cookies, popcorn, or other treats in the lobby
- Helpful maps and visitor guides left prominently in each room
- Complimentary water bottles, granola bars, and sweets in guest rooms
- A mini-fridge and microwave in every room
- An extensive self-serve beverage station in the lobby, which can include fruit-infused water, hot cocoa, and an assortment of teas along with the standard coffee and decaf options
- Extra towels in every room
- Extra sheets and blankets tucked away in guest room cabinets
Focus On Training
Your more permanent staff will need to spend additional time training new hires, who will likely come and go. At the same time, the industry (and the economy as a whole) continues to experience volatility. Focus on training that’s personal, effective, and efficient.
You may also need to cross-train your staff for a variety of different roles. By training your current employees to handle additional functions in your establishment, you protect your business during workforce shortages, and you help staff members add to their skillset, increasing their employability when they’re ready to move on. Good training benefits everyone, bringing a higher level of excellence to the industry.
Offer Employee Incentives
If you’re having a hard time filling open positions, try offering incentives to draw great workers in. Incentives may include any of the following:
- Higher pay rates
- Bonuses, including extra pay upon signing on and holiday bonuses
- A generous time-off policy
- Perks and prizes
- Employee discounts
- Free stays
- Respect – it should go without saying, but all employees need to be treated well
Rewarding your employees is a great way to have the workers you need on hand in light of the challenges currently found in the hospitality workforce.
Reduce Cleaning Frequency
With fewer hospitality workers available, it’s more common to reduce how often rooms are cleaned. An every-other-day cleaning schedule is becoming standard.
Let guests know of your policy, and give them the option to contact the front desk should they need extra towels, new sheets, or trash pick-up in between regular cleaning services.
For everyone’s protection, hotels have had to streamline their services. In an ongoing climate of uncertainty with the hospitality workforce, services can continue to be streamlined so that hotels can operate efficiently with fewer people working at each location.
These streamlined guest services can include:
- Grab and go breakfast
- Pool and fitness areas that are well stocked with amenities, including towels and hand sanitizer
- Plenty of in-room supplies and amenities to minimize the need for in-person hotel service
- A well-stocked information center (it could be an unused corner) in the lobby
- Automatic check-in and check-out procedures
Keep Getting Creative
In a shifting industry, hotel and other vacation property owners and managers are getting creative to resolve challenges and maintain viability and profitability. It’s all about finding new ways to serve travelers and guests while streamlining operations and maintaining high levels of customer service.
As leading hospitality brokerage experts, NewGen Advisory is poised to match interested buyers and sellers to keep businesses thriving and help the hospitality industry grow stronger. If you’d like to learn more about buying and selling hotel properties, contact us today!