How Automation can save the hospitality industry
Now that international travel is firmly back on the agenda after the pandemic, hoteliers and restauranteurs are gearing up for a busy summer season. With Mauritius and Seychelles long being sought-after destinations for travellers, room availability for the ‘23/24 season is already at a premium.
The significant challenge that the hospitality industry in Mauritius and Seychelles faces – along with destinations across the world – is a shortage of staff. Hoteliers and restaurateurs are faced with the dilemma of balancing customer service and occupancy rates amidst the lack of availability of personnel.
We’ll look at the implications of staff shortages in the hospitality industry and how automation is coming to the rescue, allowing hotels and restaurants to maintain their service standards and increase their occupancy levels.
Staff Shortages: A Challenge to Quality Service
With a range of world-class hotels and restaurants, Indian Ocean venues have built their reputation on providing exceptional service - crucial for attracting and retaining guests. The current staff shortages, however, are putting huge pressure on hoteliers and restaurateurs, forcing them to make difficult decisions.
To ensure high levels of customer service, some hoteliers have resorted to reducing room availability, especially during peak periods. While this feels counterintuitive in a highly competitive industry, it's a strategic move to maintain service quality. By limiting occupancy, hotels are better able to manage their existing staff's workload, ensuring that guests receive the attention and care they expect.
When staff are stretched too thin, the quality of customer service inevitably suffers. Guests may experience longer waiting times, delayed responses and less personalised attention. For hotels and restaurants that have worked hard to earn their reputations, this poses a significant threat to their guest satisfaction. Failure to maintain service standards may lead to poor customer experiences, negative reviews and reputational impacts which have a longer-term knock-on effect.
How Does Automation Help in the Hospitality Industry?
In response to staff shortages, automation is emerging as a lifeline for the hospitality industry.
Many hotels and restaurants are turning to technology to fill the personnel gap. Automated solutions can handle various tasks, such as check-in and check-out procedures, delivery of service(s) and as devices to save labour and personnel. By embracing automation, hotels and restaurants can save time and money while maintaining their service standards.
The Role of Automation in the Hospitality Industry:
Efficiency and Cost Savings:
Automation not only reduces the burden on existing staff but also improves operational efficiency. Self-check-in kiosks in hotels, for example, streamline the arrival process, freeing up receptionists to focus on more complex guest needs. This saves time but also allows hotels to allocate their workforce more effectively.
Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) is also being used more within the hospitality industry. It’s being used to automate tasks, provide personalised assistance and can help guests with reservations, enquiries and recommendations.
Automatic cocktail makers like the Mixo Two can make cocktails in less than 30 seconds. Not only does this increase the speed of service to guests, but they’ve been found to increase customer demand as the waiting time is reduced. By using automation in this way, waste is reduced and the quality and consistency of recipes is assured across all locations.
Cutlery and glass polishing is labour intensive and time-consuming. Automatic cutlery and glass polishing machines can cut reliance on staff meaning they can be allocated to other tasks. Guests appreciate the gleaming silverware and spotless glasses, and more energy can be devoted to ensuring guests’ dining experience is exceptional.
Robotics are also making an appearance – though not commonly seen in Mauritius and Seychelles yet. Robots are used to assist with housekeeping and room service delivery as well as answering questions and even as robot waiters and kitchen assistants in the USA.
EnhancING Guest Experiences:
Contrary to concerns that automation might detract from the personal touch of hospitality, it can actually enhance the guest experience. For instance, chatbots and virtual concierges can provide quick and accurate responses to guest inquiries, improving customer service whilst other machines can accelerate service, leading to more happy customers and repeat business.
Redeploying Staff to Customer-Facing Roles:
With automation handling routine tasks, hotels and restaurants can reallocate some of their staff to more customer-facing roles. This ensures that guests receive the warm, personalised service that defines the hospitality industry in these two sought-after destinations.
Automation should not be seen as a threat, but as a tool to address the difficulties that hospitality businesses across the world are facing. The staffing situation in Mauritius and Seychelles is challenging and the industry has the opportunity to embrace new innovative solutions to maintain the high level of service for which they're known.
As the Indian Ocean continues to attract travellers from around the world, the ability to strike a balance between automation, quality service and occupancy rates will be essential for the industry's continued success. The future of hospitality may be automated, but it can remain as warm and welcoming as ever.
If you'd like to know more about our automated solutions such as glass and cutlery polishers and the Mixo Two, please get in touch, we'd be delighted to arrange a demo!