Technology's Role in Improving Hospitality Worker Productivity and Quality
By Adria Levtchenko CEO & Co-Founder, PurpleCloud Technologies | June 30, 2019
One of the most pressing issues in hospitality today is the full cost of labor, which can comprise as much as one-half of a hotel's total operating budget. Two factors are impacting budget watching for labor, even as the U.S. hospitality industry has experienced a sustained era of strong occupancies, growth in RevPAR and overall profitability.
The first is the tight labor market in many areas. As the hospitality industry competes with other service and managerial industries, for both entry-level and more experienced working staff and for front line managers, many operators are finding it increasingly difficult to find enough qualified candidates for open positions. The second factor is rising wage rates, driven by the just-noted competition for employees, as well as significant increases in the minimum wage in a number of states.
No one realistically wishes these issues to be solved by a softened labor market that would result from a less robust economy. That would imply reduced levels of business and leisure travel, fewer meetings and conventions held at or nearby hotels, and less family or group dining trips to a popular hotel restaurant, an industry profit center of growing importance.
On the other, the continuing implementation of advanced technologies into the hospitality space suggests a technology-related "solution" to the industry's labor concerns. Rather than "inventing" ways in which technology (and artificial intelligence) might replace workers, perhaps the best approach here is not to replace workers with technology, but employ technology to make workers more productive. This approach has many benefits, which include a relaxing of hiring pressures, improved worker productivity and newfound personal and organizational satisfaction and confidence.
In this article, we will explore some of these relationships and the practical ways in which today's best technologies can improve worker efficiencies, enhance the guest experience and make for a strong, confident organization.
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