Hospitality is one of the most fast-paced, ever-changing industries that is constantly affected by external circumstances such as staffing fluctuations, consumer trends, and, of course, the global economic climate. This means that hotels need to be agile in responding to any changes that may affect them if they want to stay relevant in a highly competitive market.
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You might say this is the case for any company or industry – and you would be right. However, there is an added complication when it comes to the hospitality industry. Hotels are so multifaceted that adopting any meaningful change is hard to do “from the top” without considering how the different departments are going to absorb it. This is, of course, partially the responsibility of the Senior leaders for each particular discipline, but if the different departments work in silos (which they often do) or if the hotel doesn’t have enough resources or long-term staff to fill these positions (which they often don’t), responding quickly to stay relevant can be difficult. This is the case, especially when new tools, technologies, and consumer trends disrupt operations across multiple departments.
The obvious answer is a multi-disciplinary approach, which will allow the hotel to address the issues – and opportunities – that arise from any rapid external changes in a way that encourages collaboration. Whether between Human Resources and Sales or Revenue Management and Engineering, opening lines of communication within and across departments offers a high-level overview of how to optimize efficiency and respond as a united front.
Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach is about much more than just departments working together towards a common goal. By connecting multiple departments, creative solutions can be developed based on the multi-disciplinary insight of department leaders to optimize operational processes for greater agility when faced with disruptions in the industry. That’s essentially the purpose of multi-disciplinary problem-solving: Coming up with creative solutions that leverage the strengths of each department for quick and effective decision-making. This is going to be even more important in 2024, and here are a few reasons why:
Staying Consistent Across the Board Gives an Important Message in an Uncertain Economy
A big motivator to focus on creative solutions is the risk of slowing leisure demand due to an anticipated mild recession in the first half of 2024. This means that because people will be spending less money on leisure travel and hotels in an uncertain economy, finding a way to make your hotel stand out from the competition is crucial.
However, it may be tempting to lower your average daily rate to appeal to more travelers, but this can do far more harm than good. According to hospitality investment banking expert Dr. Donald Wise: “If your only competitive advantage is dropping your rate, then you have no competitive advantage. You’ve got to be a leader, and you’ve got to keep the rate and sacrifice occupancy because if you drop that ADR you’re going to fight to get it back.”