Six Practical Tips For Surviving The Hospitality Labor Shortage Crisis

Staffing shortages are crippling the hospitality industry—but you already knew that. Here’s what you might not know: recent changes in hotel technology have given hotel business owners the tools they need to fight back.
staff shortage hoteliers

Despite the world easing out of lockdown and travelers tacking tentative steps towards normality, a full recovery is still several years away. That’s partly because many skilled hotel workers aren’t keen to get back to business as usual–we’ll get into why later on.

The hospitality industry is all about genuine human connections. And technology has a place in that—digital solutions allow the staff you do have to thrive by minimizing monotonous work and allowing you to deploy them effectively.

This article covers:

  • Why embracing the tech revolution makes your staff happier
  • 6 tips for reducing staff burden and driving up income
  • Why it’s time to disconnect your landline

Ready to stop complaining about the labor crisis and start doing something about it? Keep reading.

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Hotel Tech Keeps Your Staff Smiling

The twin blows of COVID-19 and the economic crisis that followed left thousands of experienced hotel staff without jobs. Soured by low wages and perhaps feeling undervalued, a lot of hotel staff aren’t returning to their old jobs soon.

The hospitality industry might be down but it’s not out. Luckily, the technology revolution brought a slew of new tools to help struggling hoteliers—think profile enrichment, online check-in, digital marketplaces and more, which we’ll unpack later.

These tools make the staff you do have that much more effective. And by making their jobs easier you can reduce employee turnover. With good staff being harder than ever to find, this is something you should consider seriously.

The more tools you can give your staff to take the load off their shoulders the better they’ll feel—and the better experiences your guests will have.

Next up: Six practical tips you can implement right now to reduce staff shortages

tips to handle staff shortage in hotels

Six Tips For Reducing Staff Burden And Increasing Revenue

The key to coping with hotel staffing shortages is reducing their workload. If one staff member can do the job of three—without the extra stress—then you’re set. The best way to do that is by embracing new hotel technology to actually get the guests to do that work themselves—without feeling overly burdened.

At Duve we’ve been at the center of the hotel industry since 2015. Based on our own professional experience, plus advice from our network of hospitality industry hoteliers and business owners, we collated the following 6 practical tips on how to do just that.

Tip #1: Lose The Check-in Counter

Contactless check-in means guests can turn up at the hotel, check-in, and enter their room all without interacting with staff. That’s usually accomplished by sending the relevant information to guests via email, text, or web app ahead of time.

Just some of the benefits:

  • More efficient. Staff don’t have to man the desks and can be mobile–roaming around helping guests as needed, solving problems, and improving guest experiences.
  • Safer. No keys that can be lost or stolen. The digital access code changes with each guest automatically.
  • Less admin. Instead of focusing on routine and boring check-in, staff can refocus their energy on providing a great first impression and personalizing guest experiences.

Tip #2: Check-in Early And Check-out Late Without A Word To Anyone

The benefits of early check-in and late check-out are easy to see—they don’t often correlate with flight arrivals and departures which can vary dramatically. By allowing early check-in and late check-out you can dramatically improve your guests’ experience.

Again, this is something that can be automated by hotel technology. By adding an option for this on your hotel web app you give guests the chance to plan ahead of time, avoid long queues at reception and reduce staff workload. Plus it’s a highly-profitable upsell that is very popular with guests.

Tip #3: Automated Upsells

Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to improve hotel business revenue. Whether it’s airport taxis, room upgrades, or just plain old luggage storage, these are all opportunities to improve revenue. A lot of these tasks are easy to automate. Guests can select these options from an app rather than having to talk to staff about it, again, freeing up their labor and making things more efficient.

Learn more: Top Ideas for Upselling

Tip #4: Contactless Concierge

Your typical concierge service has a guest go downstairs and ask for tickets to a concert, recommendations for a restaurant, or a local attraction. While these are great opportunities to build a human connection with guests, some of the more common requests can be automated, freeing staff up to focus on other important tasks.

With hotel technology you don’t need a physical concierge (potentially saving on wages), everything is available on the customers’ web app—plus it’s all segmented and tailored to your guests’ unique interests i.e. golf trips for the business travelers and club recommendations for the party-goers.

What surprised me the most was how simple the system was on our end and how cooperative guests turned out to be. We sold out on every tour offered through Duve.”—Gil Einy, CIO at Brown Hotel

Tip #5: Start Enriching Guest Profiles

Guest profile enrichment, or segmentation, is one of the most powerful technology tools available for hotel owners. It allows you to know who your guests are, which makes your upselling, cross selling, and overall guest experience that much better.

By gathering feedback and data from your PMS and CRM (property management system, customer relationship management) you can build a detailed picture of who your guests are and predict what they like.

Once you’ve sorted your guests into segments based on their ages, interests, and reasons for travel, you can message specific groups of guests with appropriate offers rather than contacting your guests one by one. That means you can preemptively offer them services and recommendations without them heading down and crowding the front desk.

This allows you to:

  • Improve hotel service
  • Drive revenue with targeted upselling
  • Reduce burden on the front desk staff

This is something we’ve written about in-depth before. Check out the link below.

Learn more: If You’re Not Using Profile Enrichment In Your Hotel, You’re Missing Out

Tip #6: Cut The Cord On Your Landlines

The landline might just be going the way of the dodo.

According to our network of hotel industry veterans, physical phone lines are out. A lot of hotels these days are removing landlines from their rooms, citing improved staff productivity, less stress and reduced workload on their staff. Here’s why:

  • It’s outdated and old-fashioned technology that takes up valuable staff labor
  • It takes time to manage and reply (so much time wasted on courtesies for even the smallest request)
  • Without it, you can save x10 on day-to-day operations

It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Staff Shortages // Ready To Bid Au Revoir To The Labor Crisis?

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Staffing issues in the hotel industry are one of the greatest challenges you’ll face in your career as a hotelier. Finding and keeping good staff is something that requires investment in technology. But by investing with a technology partner you can automate key processes and optimize labor where it’s needed more.

Finding the right hotel technology partner to help you implement these changes isn’t easy. Duve has been on the front line of the hotel industry for over seven years, helping hotel businesses of all sizes implement the latest technology and run efficient, optimized businesses.

Curious about using digital tools to reduce your staff workload and improve overall operational efficiency? Book a Duve demo today.

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