How to cut down on your hotel expenses and, at the same time, create an eco-friendly hotel image10 mins read
Hotel Cost Reduction has always been an important topic for Hoteliers, who are increasingly analyzing their hotel expenses, trying to cut them down as much as possible without, although, sacrificing the quality of the guest experience. Especially in hotels with high occupancy, where hotel profit margins are very specific, a thorough cost reduction strategy becomes very important in order to make them more profitable by avoiding spare expenses. But who would imagine that shaping a more eco and sustainable hotel character could drastically reduce your hotel costs?
At the same time, during the past few years, the tourism industry has grown exponentially while Sustainability & Eco-Friendliness are becoming the two main factors where tourists pay special attention to. Moreover, the “responsible way of travelling” influences travellers’ booking decisions, therefore, hoteliers are now starting to think about how they can redefine their properties to become more eco & human-friendly in accordance with their guests’ demand. This new direction seemed initially a problem for hoteliers, as they had to invest great amounts in facilitating the appropriate “sustainability adjustments”. However, a deeper and more comprehensive approach to the benefits of a sustainable hotel development and its connection with future cost reduction, makes Sustainability a significant priority.
Trying to link Sustainability with Cost-Reduction, we have decided to present easy-to-apply ideas that would help existing or newly built hotels create a more eco-friendly image, always explaining the cost-cutting benefits that each recommendation would have for the hotel. Keeping a business-oriented approach can give the appropriate boost to our next eco-friendly steps, however, it should not be forgotten that respecting nature is also a reason itself to develop more “life-friendly” properties.
Educate your hotel guests to be more eco-sensitive by rewarding them for using fewer resources like Housekeeping, Water and Energy.
If you really want to make the first step in saving resources, thus reducing costs, you have to work on your Hotel Guests’ Environmental Culture. If you convince them to use less energy or even more wisely, you could significantly increase your savings, protecting at the same time the environment, and eventually, make your hotel look more eco-friendly and responsible. Ensuring that the hotel itslef and its employees have a “Respect-Nature” attitude, you can encourage Guests to use resources only in the amounts they really need, making a contribution to the environmental approach of your hotel. For example, if you convince them to skip daily Housekeeping, that would translate not only to less water and electricity consumption and use of chemical detergents but also lower operational costs.
>> But how can you make it really work?
The answer comes with a reward. From our childhood, a good act was often rewarded with a treat, a technique which made us happier and more committed. The same happens with your guests. If you want to really get them to use fewer housekeeping services or participate in a “lights-off” event every night at 21:00, at first you should set the example yourself and secondly give them a benefit in return. Remember, however, that this reward should also have a “sustainable character”, in order for the campaign not to lose its real mission. For instance, if your guests skip housekeeping for a day, you can offer them a free detox drink at your hotel’s bar or even a day-long bike rental like Andersen Boutique Hotel in Copenhagen does!
Replace your entire printed material like room directories, menus and flyers with digital ones, using tablets/mobile devices and digital signage.
Using printed material is one of the most traditional ways to facilitate your in-hotel communication. In fact, most hotels still use them in every single hotel department: Restaurants, Spa, Rooms, even in the Lobbies. In addition, although many hoteliers claim to use recycled paper as part of their eco-friendly nature, the reduction of printed material would definitely contribute more to shaping the environmental character of your hotel. Moreover, if you have a look at your annual expenses for printed material during the past couple of years, you will definitely realize that it is actually a great deal of an investment itself. The counteract to this environmentally hazardous & pricey “hotel habit” comes from the use of smart devices, like tablets, for in-room communication and, of course, digital signage in the common used areas. In this way, hoteliers will not need to print room directories, menus and hotel announcements, as there are companies that offer complete solutions that not only provide all necessary devices but also guide you on how to easily create high-aesthetic content. This type of service will surely enhance your hotel’s communication and image, as you will get rid of the used and destroyed catalogs that downgrade your guest experience.
>> Why in-room communication is better with tablets?
Although many hoteliers claim that travellers cannot easily use tablets for in-room guest services & communication, the reality is that even people of greater age are nowadays more acquainted with smart technologies and willing to use devices instead of printed old-fashioned material. Furthermore, as companies that design this type of solutions, pay special attention to the ease of hotel guest navigation, the use of in-room tablets has nowadays become easier than ever. Another benefit is the increase of revenue as, on one hand, travellers can place their order easily through them and, on the other hand, hotels can also promote their special offers and events, reducing operational costs as well.
Track hotel food waste using AI technology to organize a more cost-saving kitchen management and food preparation.
Although food waste automatically means money loss and environmental burden, hoteliers don’t seem to pay the appropriate attention to this matter. Most hotels use outdated ways to organize their F&B departments and attribute poor care on food waste management. Even though it seems a bit sophisticated, there are nowadays several brands that work on Food Waste Management, which, using data of consumptions and waste, can more accurately predict resource allocation. As food cost is maybe the highest source of money loss in hotels, managing wisely your F&B departments can definitely increase your profit margin and support your sustainable image as well.
>> And if that sounds like Science Fiction…
Try to comprehend how these technologies work and get some ideas in order to organize your cuisine and food preparation effectively. This will bring your hotel a step closer to using these modern techniques and definitely inspire you to make some initial moves that will reduce food cost and waste.
Reduce the use of plastic, replacing hotel keys with mobile access technology and single-use bath amenities with soap dispensers.
Reducing plastic allows our planet to breathe while, if you take a look at your “hotel wallet”, it could be a good point to work on your profitability. Starting with the standard hotel keys, which are made of plastic, both the environment and your budget could be better without them. That is because even though they are reusable, there is always a significant hotel card loss every year, which results in more use of plastic and expenses. A great solution for that is no other than the Hotel Mobile Access opportunity. The majority of travellers use smartphones and what could be better rather than gaining access through your mobile without having to care not to lose your “plastic card“. This is definitely the upcoming global trend as even banks are moving towards this point of view. Why not hotels that already have plenty of solutions on that?
Giving up on plastic, the next step is to cut down on the use of single-use amenities, which burden hoteliers and nature as well. Sure, everybody loves small shampoo bottles and, for some, it is an integral part of the hotel experience, but things are changing and we all need to love our planet more than a small bottle. Hoteliers should also follow this trend as amenities are one of the greatest expense sources, as far as hotel operation equipment is concerned. That means that their replacement with soap dispensers would definitely reduce costs at a great amount. And in case you believe that this is not ‘Luxury-Enough” you can always check-out Marriot International that aims to eliminate Single Use Amenities by the end of 2020.
And why does this article miss on Alternative Energy Sources etc.?
When we came up with this article idea, we had decided to focus on easier-to-apply hotel cost reduction solutions that would also enhance the eco-friendly character of the hotel, and not speak about the obvious methods like alternative energy sources, ecological building constructions, etc., which have been covered hundreds of times. The idea was to find practices that every hotelier can implement and make their first baby steps to a more ecological way of thinking using Hotel Cost Reduction as a strong call out to make the beginning!
Nikos is the person behind successful tourism startups like Travel by Interest, Destsetters & Hotelier Academy. With his important experience in the Hospitality Industry, he helps both hotels & companies to succeed in the tourism market while at the same time he loves sharing his knowledge with professionals around the world. Hotel Concept Making, Travel Digital Marketing & Tourism Strategy are few of his habits and he is always open to fresh collaborations! You can find him as an author in Hotelier Academy or as a C.E.O in Travel by Interest or directly to his LinkedIn profile for new challenges!