Time management in the hospitality sector is always an area of business under the scrutiny of venue owners and management. But with the lifting of lockdown restrictions here in the UK on 17th May, many hospitality teams are finding themselves rushed off their feet – much more so than usual.
After a year of being unable to take or confirm bookings with any degree of certainty, and restrictions being lifted and then toughened again, we’ve had something of a green light for meetings and events to go ahead. With a backlog of postponed bookings from 2020 and early 2021, you’re not alone if your venue is busy with back-to-back events. This obviously has repercussions on the day-to-day running of your venue and the planning of future events.
If you’re looking for solutions to aid the smooth running of your venue, to assist your teams with time management and to help you keep track of tasks, there’s plenty of help at hand. Here are some of our top tips.
Adopt some time management software
Time management software makes communication with and between team members easier and more transparent, with everyone utilising the same communication platform and serves, in the long-run, to make a happier, more productive team.
Time management apps such as deputy and Planday make staff management a breeze. Helping you schedule staffing to meet budgets and satisfy demand, manage requested annual leave, monitor and improve performance and oversee employee time-keeping and wellness all in one place. Systems like these help to avoid frustrating time sheet errors and remove the need for those annoying and time-consuming paper trails. Instant notifications mean you never miss a holiday request, sickness notification, or change in availability and the headaches that come with such errors. They can allow for shift-swapping between employees and let your team bid for available shifts, taking a lot of legwork out of the equation for management and meaning that the most dedicated members of your team get the opportunity to shine.
To automate or not to automate? That is the question
Automation is the practice of replacing any process that is usually carried out by a human, with a technology, process or procedure that requires little additional intervention.
There are several areas in a hospitality business where automation can be of a huge benefit. These include:
Automated housekeeping – Where software keeps track of work assignments, room changeovers and real time changes in guest flow to aid the prioritisation of tasks and resulting staff efficiency and hotel profitability.
Automated guest messaging – Where messaging can be customised to respond to the status of their stay and provide revenue boosting opportunities throughout the guest’s sales journey as well as throughout their stay.
Automated revenue management – In an industry where previously only the larger enterprises could afford full-time revenue management, now revenue management software can automate the most laborious of tasks to optimise rates and availability.
Automated upselling – Even the best members of your sales team can miss an opportunity to upsell. By automating the process, these opportunities are rarely missed and your guests are matched with the most relevant offers for their lifestyle and needs. This results in higher conversions and more revenue for your venue.
Automated room keys – Chains such as Marriott are doing away with keys and cards and redefining the standards of guest experience. By digitalising their room keys via the Marriot MobileApp, guests are able to bypass the front desk and check in to gain access to their rooms. By freeing up staff in this way, guests are promised a more relaxed, welcoming and engaging experience when they do interact with team members throughout their stay.
Automated room features – Through AI and voice command technology, guests can pre-programme their rooms to suit their personal preferences. For instance they could programme the room to ‘wake up’ by opening the curtains, turning up the lights, switching on a favourite TV or radio channel or even adjusting the room temperature. All controlled from one handy console located on a bedside cabinet. This saves your team having to make adjustments on their behalf, prior to their arrival.
Automated environmental drains – With energy costs and environmental consciousness on the rise, there’s an increasing pressure for venues to up their game towards sustainable practices. By installing ‘smart’ lighting and air conditioning that is activated by movement in guest rooms, great savings can be made – with utilities responsible for around 6% of hotel operating costs, while guests still get to enjoy a great welcome.
Automated concierge – By providing a text based system which attends to the most basic of requests and makes friendly recommendations in the same way that your team does, front desk staff are freed up to attend to more pressing tasks.
Automated feedback – Sending out pre-scheduled emails to checked-out guests, means that staff time and effort at check out is greatly reduced and the customer’s experience is vastly improved as they are able to provide their feedback, should they wish, in their own time.
Encourage potential clients to explore your virtual tour
We can sing about the virtues of virtual tours all day long, as they allow for both independent and guided tours of your venue at any time of day or night, from anywhere in the world.
3D walkthrough virtual tours provide users with the opportunity to explore every inch of your venue in HD detail and see it in a variety of different room set ups or dressed for any occasion. By embedding hyperlinked text within interactive information points throughout your tour, your customer can make a booking direct from the tour itself – saving them the time of tracking down the bookings page and you the time in placing the booking.
A Venue View virtual tour also provides you with a number of additional assets that you can use on your social media and marketing communications, including high resolution imagery and video content to help drive leads to your website.
With a virtual tour located in a prominent position on your website, your conversion rate is sure to improve as customers are far less likely to waste their own time (and yours) to view a venue in person if it doesn’t appear to meet their needs or expectations.
Even when your hireable spaces are in use, a dedicated member of your team can be on hand to provide 1:1 guided virtual tours utilising platforms such as Boost3D’s OpenHouse Live which offers multi-user control (as opposed to alternative video conferencing software that only allows the host to control), live virtual tour streaming, audio information points and the embedding of Facebook Messenger into your virtual tour to streamline your sales journey. This is as close to real life guided tours as you can get, as you and your customers explore your hireable spaces together, virtually.
A virtual tour is not just an asset from a sales perspective, but from a venue operations one too. Need to show a tradesperson the location of a maintenance issue or plan a renovation project? Use your virtual tour. Need to communicate a planned room set up to your team? Use your virtual tour. You don’t even all have to be in the same room or building to do it! Furthermore, the handy measurement tool included in a Venue View virtual tour, saves all that running around with a tape measure that is often involved in the planning of the most meticulous of events.
The proof is in the pudding
When it comes to time-saving tech, the data is readily available to prove its worth and the gains from investing are often financial too. For more insight like this follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn or bookmark our blog.