4 minutes read
August 6, 2019
The hospitality industry is a competitive market when you’re competing with multinational hotel chains, smaller bed and breakfasts, and Airbnb. While trying to make yourself stand out from the pack, operational costs can begin to skyrocket. Finding a way to control costs without hampering your operations or affecting the guest experience will require strategies aimed at reducing redundant processes and making your hotel more financially sustainable.
Controlling Labor Costs
When your processes aren’t productive, you may think that your operations are short-staffed. As such, you hire more workers only to find that you are have increased employment costs while your staff is still struggling to be productive.
In these instances, you may not actually need to increase the number of staff members in your hotel. Instead, you should take a hard look at processes that may be increasing your hotel costs. Look at tasks that are time-consuming, such as housekeeping, and figure out how long it takes for your staff to complete the job. You may find out, for example, that there are certain cleaning procedures that are not required but are taking up more of the staff’s time.
Also, look to see if automating redundant tasks can make your staff more efficient. Instead of having staff run back and forth from your administrative office to find out what their next work order is, equip them with a mobile device so they can receive work orders no matter where they are in the hotel. This strategy can speed up tasks and improve operational efficiency, which will help to lower your costs.
Once you know how long it takes to complete regular, required tasks and have the right technology in place to help your staff, you can staff your hotel with the right number of employees according to your needs. Hire staff who have (or would be willing to gain) cross-functional expertise, as they can work at the front desk, provide customer service, and handle invoicing. Offer regular training and empower your staff so they can improve their productivity.
Utility costs are a big dent in your hotel costs. Cutting back on your electrical, heating and cooling, and water waste will allow you to make your hotel operations more sustainable.
To control utility costs, you should audit your systems. Track your utility usage during on-peak and off-peak hours, and look for energy waste that can be minimized. Also, don’t forget to look into technology solutions that are designed to continuously monitor your utility usage. For example, a water management software solution can allow you to evaluate the performance of your hotel’s water system, make improvements, fix issues, and increase your guest’s satisfaction when you consistently deliver hot water to their rooms for showering and washing needs.
Controlling Property Maintenance
Maintaining your hotel means performing yard maintenance, landscaping, guest room upkeep, and making emergency repairs. An effective way to control property maintenance costs is to address issues quickly while they are small. Ignoring small repairs to save on costs now can result in paying more later on if the issue becomes worse.
To address maintenance operations, ensure that your staff is equipped with a building maintenance checklist. Every system should be visually inspected to look for issues. Mechanical systems, such as heating and cooling equipment, should be serviced on a yearly basis to improve and maintain efficient operations. If a problem is found, a work order should be immediately created and delegated to the right employee or service provider who can do the job.
Don’t Forget About Your Customers
It can be easy to get rid of things from your hotel to cut down on operational costs in small ways. You may remove coffee makers, reduce the number of towels available to cut down on laundry work, or not offer Wi-Fi. Yet removing things that your customers want or being reluctant to add new amenities can have an adverse effect: decreasing customer satisfaction. With fewer amenities, guests will want to stay at other hotel establishments that can offer the things that they may want or need. So, ensure that the operational cuts that you make won’t negatively impact a customer’s guest experience.
Reducing operational costs doesn’t mean that you have to cut back on staff, technology, or building maintenance. Instead, take a hard look at your hotel’s utility usage, building maintenance, processes, and staff productivity to look for inefficiencies. Then target the issues that could be driving up your costs. Explore reducing the costs of maintaining and managing your hotel’s water system with Symmons Water Management.