Hotel Staffing Shortage: How to Leverage Tech to Create Efficiency with Lean Teams

A September 2022 survey by the AHLA saw 87% of hotel respondents reporting staffing shortages. Could hotel technology be the answer to the hotel staffing shortage?

Whether a boutique B&B, a multi-property chain, or a sprawling tropical resort, the industry is continuing to face a massive hotel staffing shortage post-pandemic. A survey of 200 hoteliers conducted by the American Hotels and Lodging Association (AHLA) in September 2022 saw 87% of respondents reporting experiencing a staffing shortage, with 36% labeling it “severe.” As travel reaches pre-pandemic levels, the decrease in available employees is creating a new wave of difficulties for hoteliers. So, what can hoteliers do to support operational strength with less staff? Leveraging hotel technology can make your guests feel like your property is working at full capacity without adding additional work for the staff you do have.

Let’s take a look at some issues understaffed properties are currently facing and see where technology can help.

The Front Desk Clog

Reduced staff and an influx of guests inevitably leads to a clogged front desk. This backup usually happens for one of two reasons: guests checking in or guests calling in. When it comes to cutting down on lobby lines, branded hotel mobile apps with mobile check-in and mobile key capabilities allow guests to check-in from anywhere, bypass the front desk and use a mobile key to access their rooms. This frees up front desk staff, while improving the guest experience.

Mobile apps and smart-room tablets also eliminate the amount of phone calls front desk staff have to field. Through a hotel’s mobile app, guests can place service requests and in-room dining orders and get automated updates in real-time. Additionally, pivoting to digital service requests reduces human error and helps ensure a guest’s request doesn’t fall through the cracks — all while freeing up the front desk’s phone lines so staff can focus their attention where it’s most needed. An added bonus? An efficient app process for simple service requests gives guests the feeling of full service.

Work Order Pile Ups

As trade shows, business trips and family vacations reach normal levels again, many properties are noticing a decrease in work order fulfillment efficiency. Making sure work orders are completed in a timely manner — not to mention prioritized accurately — can be extremely frustrating and difficult to achieve, especially during a hotel staffing shortage.

Investing in a digital ticketing solution helps properties with disorganized work order systems streamline their requests. Many hoteliers have found success by utilizing an internal ticketing system through their hotel app’s backend. The benefit of implementing digital ticketing is, once again, taking unnecessary steps off the staff’s plate and leaving less room for human error. Automated ticketing allows management to set work order priorities and track the status of each work order in real-time.

When Service Recovery Struggles

Bad reviews and negative word-of-mouth are the bane of a hoteliers’ existence. It’s also no surprise that efficient service recovery can be hard to come by. Efficiency can feel unattainable at times due the sheer number of things to keep track of during the process of any given service recovery task.

Implementing tech to manage and direct the flow of every individual recovery case keeps things from falling through the cracks. From following up on a complaint to delivering a bottle of wine to a guest whose food order arrived late, a digital service recovery system can help ensure any mistake or mishap is quickly followed up with proactive recovery.

 

Looking to combat hotel staffing shortages and create efficiency at your property? Request a demo today.

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