Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Hospitality Hiring Crunch: Part 2 - Hotels

Last week’s TableTalk was about doing more with less in the restaurant industry.  This week we are focused

on the needs of current hotel employees because keeping them in place saves money versus recruiting and

training new staff.  With the right training and tools, you can do more with less staff.

Staff Training

With all of the changes that COVID-19 has brought to the hotel industry, the need for frequent staff training

remains high.  In addition to providing new standards of service to their guests, hotel workers need to be

regularly reassured that their safety is a management priority.  They need a clear sense of what to do

if they are exposed to a guest who’s sick, when to quarantine and for how long, and what the hotel’s return-to-work policy is.

Improve Technology

Earlier this week, Hotel Management published “How Hotels Can Leverage OperationalTechnology for Recovery” that will help you with:

  • Integrating Flexible Scheduling

  • Optimizing Your Labor Management

  • Cost Effective Budgeting

Increase Staff Motivation

And, again, recognizing that it’s way more cost effective to motivate current staff, than to findtrain new employees, consider implementing one or more of these ideas:

  • Give Clear Growth Parameters

  • Use Guest Survey Cards

  • Offer Capacity Bonuses

  • Reward with Rooms

  • Involve Staff

If you still need to bring on additional staff after adopting some of the above recommendations, be sure to

pay generous referral bonuses to staff members who help recruit new personnel.  They can be a tremendous

asset to a hotel’s Human Resources department.



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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hospitality Hiring Crunch: Part 1 - Restaurants

Right now the hospitality industry is gearing up for the summer tourism season with a distinct lack of

employees to handle the anticipated increase in demand, regardless of where your business is located.

We’ve all heard about doing more with less, but that’s taking on new meaning when the “less” is your

number of staff.  Here are a few things you can do to work more with less in your restaurant.

Don’t Give Up On Takeout and Delivery

While watching your guests dine-in is emotionally rewarding, it’s well known that it takes fewer staff to

package/prep takeout and delivery orders than it does to provide wait service.  It’s expected that the

delivery business is here to stay so to help increase profit margins, make sure your “to go” business

is well conceived and not disruptive to your in-restaurant guests.

Ask for Help

Yesterday at noon, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund began accepting grant applications by hard-hit

restaurants and bars based on lost revenue from the pandemic.  They will continue to accept applications

until the $28.6 billion fund is exhausted.  That sounds like a lot of money, but the restaurant industry

has lost more than $250 billion, so don’t be slow in applying.  

Streamline the Kitchen

Grants can be approved for maintenance, supplier costs and operational expenses so include requests

for kitchen equipment and technology that will help you manage your facility, maintain your equipment,

expedite serving customers and processing takeout/delivery orders more quickly and efficiently using fewer people.

Compensate Loyal Employees

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund also provides grants for payroll costs, so consider rewarding

your most loyal employees with “end of season” bonuses and generous referral fees.  Now is not a

good time to lose valued employees.

Next week, TableTalk will look at doing “more with less” in the hotel industry.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hotels are at Work for Your Extended Business Stays and Leisure

With so many people working remotely now, business opportunities for hotels are shifting to suit the demand of working ciientele. Working vacations are becoming more common during COVID and we’ve even heard stories about renters giving up their apartments and staying in hotels for weeks at a time to explore places they otherwise would never be able to visit for an extended period of time.  

Guests are opting for longer stays now because of the flexibility that remote work offers to the guests. Hotels are offering Extended Stay Packages consisting of discounted rates to ensure customer satisfaction.  With these longer stays, hotels are now expecting more work to take place in the hotels and have started to implement changes to make sure guests can productively get work done while in the comfort of their hotel. Some hotels are even offering Work From Hotel Packages that can include bonus amenities such as faster WiFi and a better view for your remote office. Definitely something to check out while we still have the flexibility to work from our computers! 

Another feature that many hotels are focusing on are their outdoor spaces. Creating spaces where guests can safely be outside and work from their computers can set a hotel apart from their competitors. By adding more dining and sitting areas outside for working and relaxing, guests can feel more comfortable spending work and leisure time at the hotel and will continue to come back and visit.

As the world starts to open back up, guests will appreciate the changes that are being made to the hotel industry.  And if you don’t want to take the time to check out deals on your own, both Kayak.com and Expedia.com can help with extended or longer stays.    

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Summer 2021 Travel Has Started Selling Out: Are You Ready?

After more than a year of being home-bound because of the pandemic, over two-thirds of Americans have

a “ready-to-travel” state-of-mind resulting in summer travel plans — 72.8% are expected to travel for leisure

within the next three months.  This sudden surge in bookings shows that many are locking in reservations

and rates before it’s too late.


At the same time, we know that many hoteliers have deferred maintenance and were slow to make repairs

and replace items.  Uninhabitable rooms were simply removed from available inventories during the

past year.  But all that has to stop now as occupancy rates are expected to exceed this summer to

2019 levels.  An accurate inventory of rooms and any maintenance required needs to be taken with the goal

of readying your hotel for 100% occupancy.


At the least, travelers are expecting improved hygiene and facilities — things like QR codes, contactless

check-in and plastic wrap on remotes.  But they are also looking for great amenities (like improved

guest rooms, on-site gyms, pool areas and restaurants) to make their first post-COVID family trips truly

special, memorable and safe.


Are you ready?


In addition to the TableBoost app, two of our Marketplace partners can help with that readiness.

Ascentium Capital for new equipment financing and Source1 Purchasing, a free membership group

purchasing organization, that will provide rebates and discounts from the vendors and suppliers you

already buy from, plus others.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Start planning for the summer today!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Celebrity Ghost Kitchens: Are They Here to Stay?

Celebrity chefs have been slow to warm up to the use of ghost kitchens but Rachel Ray to Go and

Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera in Chicago are two who’ve endorsed the concept.  Easily the chef who

has most embraced using ghost kitchens is Guy Fieri who has amassed an amazing 173

FlavorTown Kitchens in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  These are three celebrity chefs we know from television and the media.

But during the pandemic, the term “celebrity chef” has taken on a whole new meaning: non-chef celebrities

who are also getting in on the ghost kitchen act.  In doing so, they are creating greater awareness

of their own brands and include rapper Wiz Khalifa, YouTuber entrepreneur/philanthropist MrBeast,

hip-hop artist Tyga, DJ Pauly D, actor/television presenter Mario Lopez, and singer/songwriter Mariah Carey.Interestingly, they are all part of the entertainment business, an industry that’s also been hard hit by the pandemic.

Who knows how celebrity ghost kitchens will fare as restaurants open up for indoor dining again, but it’s

clear that, at the very least, Chef Fieri will have a wealth of country-wide market research to help him if he

decides to open more brick and mortar restaurants.  When we emerge from the pandemic, let’s hope that

celebrities can go back to being celebrities, and true celebrity chefs can be chefs!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Keep Your Customers and Staff Safe with Air Purification Systems

As we continue to navigate our way through these times, it’s critical to keep our businesses thriving, and our people

safe. Keeping spaces clean is essential to the comfort and safety of guests and staff. Hotels and restaurants are

meant to feel welcoming, safe and clean, and going the extra mile to make sure that is achieved is necessary.

Cleaning when guests and customers leave is great. But how can we go above and beyond to ensure we are giving

those in the hotel or restaurant the best experience, to feel like they are in good hands and in a clean environment

throughout their visit?

Air purification systems.

With the pandemic comes the need for better technology. Air purification systems such as those from Vollara and

RFG Environmental Group  work to clean the air and filter out contaminants on surfaces and in the air. This includes killing viruses like Sars and Covid. 

So why invest in something that cleans when you can clean too?

Well, for starters these remove germs from the air and surfaces while they are on, and while guests are actively around

the hotel and restaurant. This allows the times that you cannot clean (while they are eating, swimming, etc.), to be

safer because the air is actively being cleaned. 

Second, air purifiers come in all different sizes and prices, so you can find one from any company that will fit your

price range, that specifically kill viruses like Sars and COVID-19. 

Having an air purification system also puts you ahead of other hotels and restaurants that do not.  When guests

are looking for a hotel that is going to put them first, you need to stand out. When customers are choosing

where to eat for the night, you need to stand out. Cleaning and bleaching everything will not put you at an advantage

from everyone else, but having this will. In these times, we need to win guests over to keep the business up and running. 

Not only does this appeal to guests and customers, but it allows your staff to feel more comfortable. Having a device

that will go the extra mile for safety is necessary.  These air purification devices can be put in lounge rooms, guest

rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, you name it. 

In this ongoing search to be the best, taking into consideration the needs of everyone is number one. Guests,

customers and staff see their safety before they see the outdoor pool area, or the best food. Putting in the effort

to provide the cleanest overall experience will make everyone feel relaxed and happy. 

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

One Step at a Time: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Sustainability awareness and environmental standards have been progressing as our planet has been feeling the

heightening effects of pollutants for centuries. Restaurants contribute to this offset in more ways than one: water

usage, energy usage, food waste, plastic usage, pollution, and garbage waste are the top contributors. As we

continue damaging our planet, the earth's health will continue to feel it to the extremes.

So how can restaurants stop contributing to this spiral and lower their carbon footprint? 

Reduce the amount of plastic that you use by replacing plastic with compostable and recyclable alternatives

(e.g. paper straws, paper bags, compostable food containers). 

Considering the large amounts of energy used by restaurants, switching to renewable energy sources, such as

wind, solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric, would be very good. Most electricity suppliers offer the option to source

your electricity from alternative sources. Wind energy has the best reputation when considering the effects on

the environment. Not only would wind energy reduce a restaurant's carbon footprint immensely, but it is also abundant,

infinite, and affordable. This makes it a feasible and an extensive alternative to fossil fuels. If the environment's

benefit is not reason enough to make this change, you can also acknowledge the low operating costs. Ask your electric

company about it. It’s simple.

Food waste is another leading cause of the climate crisis. Food is a substance that cannot be reused or kept for a

significant amount of time: it will go bad. This creates obstacles for the environment, both in throwing out the food

and the overwhelming demand for producing more. There are other ways around throwing out tons of food every

night when restaurants close, or even throughout the day when consumers do not eat the entire portion. 

Click here to read more about how to reduce food waste.  

Restaurants should consider composting. Compositing saves water by helping the soil hold moisture, as well as

reducing water runoff. It benefits the environment by recycling resources while minimizing what is sent to landfills.

A restaurant could also think about having its own garden and using that food for cooking. This is a much more

sustainable and healthy way of distributing food to consumers. If a restaurant does not have the land space for

either of these suggestions, restaurants can donate leftover food to local food shelters and also contract

with composting companies that will pickup your food waste and compost it for you. Throwing out ingredients

and pre-made meals that won't be served the next day is a waste of money and draining for the planet to keep up

with.  Click here to read more.

Overall, small changes like those I have suggested are a small step towards a healthier future for our planet. Not

only will your restaurant be minimizing its carbon footprint, but will be erasing its previous ones.

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