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Hospitality Staffing Now #1 Industry Problem

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Washington Post, Bloomberg, Travel Weekly

Miami, Florida – 3/20/23: The recent news reports below are three of many recent articles and reports in the past 6 months on the challenges of staffing, hiring, retention. In a recent research report 85% said they were “somewhat or severely understaffed, including 22% who report that they are severely understaffed.” Unfortunately, the trend is not pretty nor is expected to change. New approaches to staffing need to be implemented to overcome the Hospitality biggest industry problem, staffing shortages. Here is a summary of the three recent news reports.

Robb Report/Washington Post – January 24, 2023

During the pandemic, tons of people took the opportunity to change their routine—and also their career. Particularly in the hospitality industry, many businesses had to shut down or let go of employees. And now, almost three years since that first started happening, the sector is still facing problems: 2 million hospitality and leisure jobs remain open, The Washington Post reported on Friday. And while many industries have recovered, leisure and hospitality are still 500,000 employees short of its 2020 levels.

Alex Sirigu, the general manager of a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has raised wages by as much as 20 percent and is closing earlier on weeknights, in hopes that workers will see that as a benefit. “The people who used to work in restaurants have gotten new jobs,” he told The Washington Post. “They’ve all moved on.”

Travel Weekly Conference Los Angeles – February 3, 2023

The hospitality sector’s ongoing labor crisis appears to have supplanted Covid as the industry’s single biggest challenge moving forward. During a presentation at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) here on Monday, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) CEO Chip Rogers highlighted the labor shortage as “the issue that permeates pretty much” every facet of the hotel business today.

“This is an issue that has impacted our ability to get the economy back to where it needs to be,” said Rogers, adding that the hotel industry has “probably been more impacted by a lack of workers than any other industry.”

Bloomberg News – March 23, 2023

On one hand, foodservice employment levels are approaching where they were in early 2020 and the number of restaurants is still below pre-pandemic counts, implying there are plenty of workers to go round. Yet for every two job openings in foodservice, there’s only one unemployed person to potentially fill the gap, and job openings spiked to 1.7 million in December.

Possible Solution

So, what is the solution going forward if this trend is not going to change. The same as in the past when faced with industry challenges that impact productivity and profits. Implementing new technology has and will continue to change the hospitality industry, and there is a new technology solution for this staffing problem as well. Robotics staffing solutions are solving this problem today for many companies. Service Robot staffing can help fill in certain positions, help current staff do their job better, increase productivity, improve the customer experience and retention. This will allow you to re-deploy your current staff to other customer facing functions. These robot solutions can deliver food, room service, clean floors, and buss tables at a $2 per hour rate, 20 hours a day, every day. Over 100,000 locations have already implemented this solution globally with proven robotics staffing solutions and are having remarkable success. Integrating robotics with your current staff has proven to improve customer service and reduce staff turn-over. The robots do the heavy, not pleasant work, and the staff spends more time with customer service, making more in tips. Plus, at $2 per hour cost average, your CFO will love it.

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