Encouraging Self-Serve Check-In
The hospitality industry has been experiencing staffing challenges, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to financial constraints, many hotels had to cut back on staff, and today, staffing has yet to return back to its pre-pandemic numbers. To mitigate a lack of staff, hotels are beginning to increasingly promote self-serve check-in options instead. With the continuous labor market challenges within the industry and hotels unable to find suitable staff members to employ, allowing guests to check in independently via mobile apps or kiosks helps streamline the check-in process and reduces the reliance on front desk staff.
Many hotels are phasing out traditional buffets due to substantial financial losses associated with maintaining and operating them. The costs of preparing, replenishing, and disposing of food, as well as complying with health and safety regulations, have led to significant annual losses of $1 million. The pandemic years have also contributed to the decline in buffets due to the use of shared surfaces and the human contact that is associated with buffets. Buffets became an unsanitary accommodation that many hotels opted to remove or drastically change during the pandemic. Even though the hospitality industry has been recovering from the pandemic, the future of buffets is still questionable. While previously a pleasant convenience for all guests, buffets are starting to become a less viable option and a waste of resources.
Removing Valet Services
The decision to do away with valet services is driven by concerns over vehicle damage, which often results in dissatisfied customers and a negative experience with the associated hotel. Accidents, scratches, or dents caused by valet attendants have prompted hotels to re-evaluate the need for this service, especially when insurance claims and customer complaints arise. Valet is a critical component for hotels that can make or break the guest experience, so to mitigate the risk of accidents in valet services, hotels could implement new protocols to ensure better vehicle safety among their attendants, or they could remove valet services entirely.
Reducing Daily Housekeeping for Multi-Night Stays
In response to the labor shortages and staffing challenges within the industry, hotels are shifting away from offering daily housekeeping for guests staying multiple nights. Instead, they opt for on-demand or periodic cleaning services. This approach helps hotels allocate their limited staff resources more efficiently. Eliminating daily housekeeping is also a cost-saving measure for hotels. It reduces labor, cleaning supplies, and utility expenses. These cost savings can be significantly impactful for hotels.
Hotels are also motivated by environmental concerns to reduce daily housekeeping services. Many hotels have begun to incorporate more sustainable practices and eco-friendly protocols, like eliminating single-use products, to promote environmental awareness and showcase their commitment to finding innovative solutions to common industry challenges. By cutting down on the frequent laundering of towels and linens and reducing the daily use of cleaning chemicals, hotels aim to lower their eco-footprint and contribute to sustainability efforts.
Rebekah Icenesse is a contributing writer from St. Louis.