Labour Shortage in the Hospitality Industry – a Worldwide Phenomenon

According to the industry, there is a shortage of 35,000 employees in Austria and 60% of German tourism businesses are looking for skilled full-time and part-time workers. The tourism industry is suffering from skilled labour shortage: Be it cooks, waiters or housekeeping staff – there is no personnel to be found. Moreover, the demand for temporary employees is as big as never before. Truth of the matter is that the hospitality industry is no longer seen as an appealing workspace, and this is by no means only a regional phenomenon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1.7 million unfilled vacancies in the tourism industry in 2021; 1 million employees decided to change career paths. In order to be able to provide the same level of service in spite of labour shortage, many hotels had to reduce their offerings.

Digitalization: Study shows Enormous Potential in Tourism Industry

This much is certain: The skilled labour shortage in the hospitality industry will remain a problem for a considerable amount of time. Nonetheless, the situation for hotels isn’t without hope; it’s rather a matter of using untapped potential.

Especially in recent years, the hotel tech industry has experienced a real boom due to the growing demand for digital products. Be it in the area of reservations, check-ins, in-room experience or internal and guest communication: The use of digital products goes hand in hand with a more efficient daily work routine and, thanks to automation, an improved guest experience. It’s now more important than ever before to provide the reduced workforce with appropriate tools and to support them as much as possible. A recent study conducted by the consulting agency h2c GmbH, in which 86 international hotel chains participated, gives hope.

Its findings show that the use of technology in the tourism industry has enormous potential and is far from being reached. Compared to the status quo, the use of digitalization in hotel internal work procedures could be increased by up to 25% in the future.

Case study: Digitalization ensures more Efficiency in Daily Hotel Work Routines

In the following, we will give you an overview on how the daily work routine in hotels can be improved by using the hotel collaboration software hotelkit. We will also highlight which work processes should be displayed digitally in order to work in a more efficient and effective manner.

Straightforward Housekeeping Processes                             

Planning, cleaning and inspecting rooms are time-consuming work processes. These processes were already demanding with normal staffing levels, but with a reduced workload, they are hardly manageable. hotelkit Housekeeping enables you to shorten the time spent on planning as it can easily be done via PC, tablet or smartphone. Depending on the scheduled work hours of your team members, you can assign rooms or entire sections to them with drag and drop. Thanks to the digital checklists, the housekeeping staff can look at their to-dos and work them off on their smart device. Furthermore, the cleaning progress can be tracked in real time. As soon as a room is cleaned, the front office can see this via the interface to the PMS. By using hotelkit Housekeeping, the Radisson Hotel Bergen was able to save 24 working hours per week. The daily process of room assignments is now done within 30 minutes – without the digital solution, this process used to take about 2 hours.

Optimized internal communication

Communicating with team members doesn’t need to be time-consuming: hotelkit replaces internal emails, phone calls and written notes and makes communicating with the entire team much quicker and more efficient. The digital solution enables cross-departmental collaboration as well as the transparent exchange of information on one centralized platform which can be accessed from anywhere in the hotel via PC, tablet and smartphone. The outcome? Smooth and improved cooperation within your hotel.

Structured Task Management

The digital task management in hotelkit enables you to display the daily to-dos in a structured manner: Digital handovers for the early shift and late shift at the reception and checklists for daily routines, such as the nightly walkthrough and setting up the breakfast buffet. Furthermore, work processes that are in progress can be tracked in real time,and tasks can automatically be transmitted to the responsible team members. The review of HACCP can be transparently documented in the system and ensured through the use of NFC technology.

Digital Repair Management

Managing repair orders digitally can save a lot of time as unnecessary phone calls and walks through the hotel to find the maintenance team can now be avoided. If a deficiency is detected, you can immediately create a repair order in the hotelkit app: You can add the exact location and urgency to the entry, and you can also add a picture to further clarify the issue. Detailed statistics show the operational leaders when most repair orders arise in the hotel, this allows them to assign their staff accordingly: hotelkit, thus, ensures optimal use of staff resources.

Transparent Knowledge Management

A digital handbook means that SOPs, procedures, tutorials and knowledge articles are accessible to the entire hotel team at any time. In times like these, where labour shortage is a major topic, the working team members can no longer only perform work in one area of the hotel, they need to be flexible and take care of tasks in other departments as well. By storing the hotel knowledge on a centralized platform, the team members have easy access to the information and can get familiar with it. By adding videos and pictures to the knowledge base, processes are understandable and transparent for everyone; no more misunderstandings due to language barriers. Moreover, the available knowledge base can be used during the onboarding of new team members.

Digitalize your work processes with hotelkit!

It's Michael's passion to write, he wants to become a writer.

About the author

Michael Santner

Narratives about impoverished poets during his studies encouraged him to follow his passion in a secure jobIn hotelkits marketing he takes care of packing the numerous ideas of his colleagues into exciting stories.