Solutions for the top 5 challenges facing the hospitality industry today
Make the most of your hotel, restaurant and bar in 2020. See how.
Digital Campaign Manager @ Builder.ai®
January 4, 2020
The hospitality industry has been deeply impacted by technology changes since 2009 and has shaped the industry to its current state today. Though market adjustments impact businesses, there are challenges that influence restaurants, hotels and bars internationally. We understand the issues facing this industry and want to provide long-term solutions to support the growth of the industry. How can we help? Let’s review the challenges and opportunities below.
See below how restaurants, bars and hotels can expand their business through digital transformation.
Challenge #1: Quick & efficient ordering that meets your customers needs
Challenge. Your customers are looking to get their orders quickly and easily with the least friction possible. Who wants to wait for their order while they could be more comfortable at home instead? Today’s mobile customer wants to have the ability to order when it’s best for them. Whether that’s in the bar or when they’re ordering delivery, customers expect to be catered to. That includes not just by customer service but additionally, through a provider (ie the restaurants’) software.
Solution. A mobile ordering system (alongside an iPad on location) can provide an entire suite of options for your mobile-first customer. These can come in the form of an Android or iOS application (and can dually use your in-store iPad, for example, to make ordering easier for your service staff, as well).
Challenge #2: Staffing that minimizes turnover & improves quality
Challenge. It’s indeed hard to find good help these days--and this is especially true for restaurants. Just taking the American context into consideration, according to the National Restaurant Association, the average turnover rate is 75% as of their most recent research in 2018. In fact, restaurant industry turnover tends to be higher than overall private sector turnover for a number of reasons. This includes the fact that overall, 30% of the eating and drinking place workforce are part-year employees, compared to 18% of the total workforce, according to the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). What does this mean for your restaurant? It means you’ll want to review your hiring practices to ensure you’re hiring the ideal candidates.
Solution. An employee training and engagement tool tacked onto your accounting app, can provide a space for your employees to grow. What’s more, if you can attract high quality candidates (using an online platform for example), you’ll be able to manage changes to your employees schedules (as your employees have a 28% likelihood to be students). This can reduce your turnover by enabling systems to help train, manage and continuously engage your staff. This can be in the form of providing an online training program for example, or accepting feedback from your staff through simple, anonymous feedback forms.
Challenge #3: Accounting that accurately represents your current and projected cash flows
Challenge. Accounting is one of the most essential components of successful businesses anywhere in the globe. Restaurants and companies serving them in the hospitality industry are no different. However, as we’ll note below, have unique financial constraints as they have numerous inputs in calculating their prime costs. These include the cost of goods sold (CoGS such as inventory costs) and total labour cost (including insurance and wages for example) which totals prime costs. Don’t know all these numbers? Not to worry, an automated accounting system can provide your business a current and projected cash flow analysis.
Solution. Just think how helpful it would be to have precise, real-time, easy-to-understand reports on hand at all times to help you determine your prime cost percentage and make adjustments in advance. You can do this by using an accounting application to streamline your restaurant reporting system to help you become crystal clear on your prime costs. This is especially important when you’re comparing your location budget and time period budget for example. Monitoring prime cost percentage at least every month ensures savvy owners and managers are always checking up on how their prime cost percentage is trending.
Challenge #4: Reporting to maximize and manage inventory
Challenge. Most often, restaurants deal with three kinds of reporting. This includes labour, sales and inventory reports. Labour reports summarize items such as overtime, attendance and labour cost percentage to show you who’s earning (and costing) you the most. Next, sales reports track everything from which menu items are most or least popular to table turn times and how many discounts you and your staff are applying to guests’ meals.
Ultimately, this data helps you to replace sales-related pain points with cost-saving strategies. Lastly, inventory reports are another fundamental tool in any restaurant manager’s toolkit. Food costs are one of the biggest expenses for restaurateurs (second only to labour), which makes inventory-control critical for protecting your bottom line. Tracking inventory usage prevents food, and cash, from going to waste.
Solution. As you can see, there are many ways reporting can help improve your bottom line. Luckily, automated systems can help offer in-depth, personalized data any time, anywhere and easy-to-understand, meaning actionable for your business. Here, you have the power to decide which metrics are most important to you and dictate how (or how often) you’d like to measure them. Whether you’d like your data reviewed quarterly, monthly, daily, even hourly; the choice is yours to take.
Challenge #5: cybersecurity and effective customer data management
Challenge. Data security is another concern hotel owners often don’t consider. Not only can malware or unauthorized users cause confusion and inconvenience should they gain access to a business's network and computer systems. Additionally, there could be lasting harm for your hospitality brand and customer relations, causing dire consequences. From websites and online payment portals to on-site networks and customer Wi-Fi access, digital security is no longer a concern that restaurant owners can afford to take lightly. If your business takes credit card transactions, you may need to consider cyber insurance as well.
Solution. Firstly, work with a provider like Builder.ai who understands and values your cybersecurity and data management needs. Create systems that protect your customers data. Next, create a system that’s able to track your data on the cloud--which we can help with as well with our Builder Cloud platform.
Would you like to solve these challenges? Look no further, at Builder Studio, we’re here to help no matter where you’re located across the globe.
Loretta Nguyen is a Digital Campaign Manager at Builder.ai® where she boosts awareness and generates leads through the use of multi-channel ad campaigns. Loretta has a Bachelor of Business/Commerce from Western Sydney University.