Thought Leadership

With travel demand accelerating rapidly, the hospitality industry is experiencing a new challenge: labor shortages resulting in sharply rising labor cost, which consumes as much as 60%-80% of RevPAR (CBRE).

In the U.S. alone, hotels need to hire 600,000 more employees by summer to be able to meet demand ( Right now there are 171,800 open positions on LinkedIn for hospitality jobs in the U.S. Wages in hospitality operations – frontline positions such as housekeeping, front desk, wait staff, line cooks, etc. – are up more than 20% since April 2020 (Hotel Effectiveness). Hotels and restaurants alike are offering sign-up bonuses, higher wages, and even cash payments to candidates just to come for an interview. At the same time productivity is down due to the influx of inexperienced staff, since many of the experienced hospitality professionals left the industry due to furloughs and layoffs during the pandemic. The question is, how can the hospitality industry solve the current labor shortages and unsustainable labor costs through technology innovations, automation, mobility, robotization and next-gen technology applications?

The panelists joining for this discussion are:

Simone Puorto (Travel Singularity)

Laura Calin (Oracle Hospitality)

Jos Schaap (ROOMDEX)

Max Starkov (NYU university)


00:59 Introduction

04:50 Why did skilled hospitality staff move to other industries? (Laura)

08:20 What we need to attract new people to the industry (Laura)

09:45 Most hospitality students leave the industry right after graduation (Simone)

10:50 We need to do a better job attracting young talent (Laura)

10:48 The effects of the rising salary costs in hospitality (Max)

18:50 Rethink by focusing on the guest enabled by smart tech (Max)

20:30 Lots of opportunity by rethinking operational processes (Jos)

23:00 Salary pay is part of the problem – We compete with other industries (Jos)

27:20 Diving a bit deeper into housekeeping labor cost (Max)

28:40 Don’t just think ROBOTS… we need COBOTS (Max)

30:20 Walkie-Talkies still being used in hotels? Yes! (Simone)

31:30 Are hotels too dependent on humans? Can tech help? (Laura & Simon)

36:10 How pre-mature tech fails in hotels (Max)

37:35 Dealing with tech-savvy guests… do we still provide the home-away-from-home? (Max)

46:10 Suggestions for rethinking the in-hotel guest-journey (Jos)

53:20 Panelists personal #1 recommendation for hoteliers dealing with labor shortage

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