5 productivity challenges in hospitality and how to avoid them

Efficiency Boosters: Tackling the Top 5 Productivity Challenges in Hospitality with Proven Strategies
Caroline Joyce
Jul 2023
4 min read

It’s time to tackle productivity in the hospitality industry.

From managing a diverse workforce to ensuring smooth running day-to-day operations, a high level of productivity across your hospitality business is crucial for success and growth. In this article we explore five common productivity challenges faced by the hospitality industry and provide practical solutions to overcome them.

Why is productivity important for hospitality businesses?

Productivity has a direct impact on the success of all types of business; this is especially true for the hospitality industry. Efficient utilisation of resources, streamlined processes and optimised workforce performance enable businesses to enhance operational efficiency, minimise costs, and deliver exceptional guest experiences. Improving productivity ultimately results in increased revenue streams as well as happy - and well supported - team members.

While productivity issues do not necessarily relate to a lack of effort on the teams’ part, they very well might be the result of a lack of strategy, organisation or process management at an operational level. Here are some of the main challenges you might want to address within your own business.

Common challenges for productivity in the hospitality industry

1. Lack of investment in teams

The challenge:

The lack of investment in teams and training can have a significant impact on productivity. In an industry that relies heavily on the quality of service provided to customers, a well-trained and motivated team is essential. Without adequate investment in training, employees may lack the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties effectively. This can result in longer service times, mistakes, and ultimately, dissatisfied customers.

Morale is also important to consider here. Without ongoing training employees may become stagnant in their roles, leading to decreased motivation and engagement. These issues can hamper productivity, as employees may struggle to meet the demands of a fast-paced and customer-centric industry.

The solution:

Training teams and empowering them to be more productive is easier than you think, but does require some effort.

Tools like Trail allow management teams to add training materials including how-tos, guides and induction information into a central and digitally-accessible space, giving teams on the ground access to this bank of information throughout their time with the company. This is especially helpful in an industry like hospitality with such high levels of staff turnover and means management are not required to complete in-person training for every new staff member, whether they are permanent or temporary.

2. Using the wrong tools

The challenge:

The choice of different software and tools can have a big impact on productivity. Issues with point-of-sale, reservations, operations or any other tech can mean mistakes or slower processes for the team and more mistakes made.

As well as more general hospitality tools, not investing in automation and innovative technologies can limit the ability to streamline operations and can also waste a lot of time. This is especially relevant for hospitality businesses where repetitive tasks and processes are so common.

The solution:

Using digital checklists or smart technology means that teams can automate everyday tasks to reduce admin and lessen the risk of human-error. From reservations to EPOS, or back-office software to inventory management, hospitality tools and software can make a huge difference to productivity and wider operational management within your business.

3. A lack of accountability

The challenge:

A lack of accountability within both teams and management can have detrimental effects on productivity in the hospitality industry. In a fast-paced and customer-centric environment, accountability is crucial to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and to the expected standards.

When team members - or indeed leaders - do not take ownership of their responsibilities, it can lead to delays, errors, and a breakdown in communication. This lack of accountability can create a domino effect, causing a ripple of inefficiencies that impact overall productivity.

Without clear accountability, it becomes difficult to identify and address performance gaps, resulting in decreased teamwork, lower morale, and ultimately, a negative impact on the quality of service provided to guests.

The solution:

Fostering a culture of accountability within hospitality teams is essential to maintain high productivity levels. Leadership positions can do this by empowering teams with autonomy and responsibility, and this can be tracked by using technology like Trail. If productivity is an issue, engage your team by asking them what the different paint points are and then address them together.

Nominating specific team members to be accountable for certain tasks or responsibilities can also improve productivity. This can be made easier through software like Trail, where different tasks can be assigned to different team members, or alternatively, completed and signed-off by more senior members of the team.

4. Not using the data

The challenge:

Using data and reports can help in saving your business time all while improving productivity too. Without utilising reporting features and analytics, mistakes are repeated and trends can go unnoticed. This doesn’t just mean loss of revenue, this can also lead to issues with team efficiency as well as customer satisfaction.

The solution:

The simple answer? Use any and all data available to you to help you make better decisions within your business. Data from back office and front-of-house tools helps identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies in various operational areas, including team performance, inventory management or staff scheduling. By identifying trends from this data using reporting functionality included in reliable hospitality software tools, teams can address issues, improve processes and ultimately support a higher level of effective productivity throughout the business.

5. Clunky processes

The challenge:

When it comes to smooth-running operations, the biggest challenge hospitality businesses face is team members getting caught up and making mistakes due to clunky processes. This can refer to closing sequences, reservations, inventory management, and just about any area of the business that multiple team stakeholders are working on.

By not addressing these processes you might be setting your team up to fail from a productivity perspective. Simplifying these processes could mean the difference between an efficient or inefficient team.

The solution:

Simplifying processes can be easy when you address the first four challenges in this list (invest in your teams, get the right tools, use the data and ensure accountability). Tools like Trail can also help to map out simple processes for different areas of the business that can be followed and completed easily.

Take a look at what is causing the team the most issues or is using the most resources to complete, then work with your team to create step-by-step simplified processes. Ultimately, this means setting your team up for success when it comes to productivity.

To organise a free trial with Trail, get in touch.

What customers are saying

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