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Cost Control in Hotel Operations: Practical Strategies for Irish & UK Hotels

| Alkimii

Payroll management is a constant challenge in the hospitality industry. Gains in sales performance can be easily lost due to poor labour management. As the costs of labour and food continue to rise, controlling labour expenses becomes essential for ensuring profitability, long-term success, and sustainability in our sector.


Payroll Management: Your Biggest Lever 

Payroll often represents hotels' largest expense. Here's how to get smarter: 

  • Strategically organise your roster: Utilise automated systems displaying real-time payroll percentages during scheduling. Aligning staffing with revenue and occupancy forecasts and monitoring live payroll percentages ensures optimal cost efficiency. It's not just about reducing staff numbers but ensuring the right personnel are scheduled appropriately to meet demand.  
  • Farewell to traditional payroll costing: Say goodbye to outdated spreadsheets. Access live data visible to the entire management team, enabling timely and informed decisions on staffing adjustments in response to fluctuating business levels. 
  • Embrace predictive planning: Integrate payroll and sales forecasts for precise staffing predictions. This approach ensures that your workforce is aligned with expected demand. 
  • Automate and streamline operations: Invest in a system providing real-time payroll cost reports, facilitating immediate adjustments in the week, for the week, rather than realising you had a bad payroll week after it has happened. Checking these daily reports enables informed decision-making, preventing the risks of being understaffed or overstaffed without waiting for weekly evaluations. Implementing a continuous improvement mindset ensures ongoing refinement of your operational processes, fostering adaptability to changing business levels. As we say in Alkimii, Payroll day is too late to find you had a bad payroll week. 



Employee Engagement: Your Secret Weapon for Retention 

Happy, engaged employees translate to cost savings in the long run. 

  • Foster a Culture of Recognition and Rewards: Introduce initiatives that celebrate individual and team accomplishments, extending beyond mere compensation to encompass acknowledgement and tailored incentives, like celebrating and acknowledging special moments, such as promotions and birthdays.  According to the findings in The Happiness Advantage, job satisfaction stands out as a pivotal factor influencing turnover rates. The research underscores that a content and engaged workforce is the foremost advantage in today's economy. A decade of research demonstrates that happiness correlates with significant improvements in business outcomes, including a 37% increase in sales, 31% boost in productivity, and a 19% rise in task accuracy. 
  • Open Communication and Feedback: Don't let communication get lost in translation. Utilise digital platforms for two-way communication and frequent feedback cycles. Feeling heard and valued motivates employees, reduces turnover, and saves recruitment and training costs. Implement regular surveys and check-ins with your team that allow them to voice their concerns and ideas, fostering a sense of community and belonging. 
  • Invest in Development and Training: Offer opportunities for growth and skill development. Studies show that employees who feel valued and invested are more likely to stay. Consider internal training programs, cross-training opportunities, or tuition reimbursement initiatives. 


From Reactive to Proactive: Maintenance and Incident Management  

Accidents happen, but a reactive approach to incident management can dry your budget.  Instead, be proactive: 

  • Reduce Insurance Premiums: Implement a robust incident management system that meticulously tracks and documents events, saves CCTV footage and files as well as notify management. This proactive approach demonstrates effective risk management, often leading to better management of insurance premiums. Imagine having detailed records of guest slips and falls, allowing you to negotiate better rates with your insurer, saving thousands annually. 
  • Proactive Maintenance: Analyse maintenance task data to identify recurring issues and emerging trends. This insight allows for a more proactive approach, curbing the need for costly repairs down the line and providing opportunities for bulk repairs that can yield cost savings through economies of scale. Embracing this proactive strategy contributes not only to operational efficiency but also to long-term fiscal prudence. Ensure that you manage your plant and equipment to maximise its reliability and lifespan, helping avoid unexpected and unnecessary spending. 


Remember: Cost control isn't about cutting corners but smarter resource allocation. By implementing these strategies, hoteliers can gain a competitive edge, ensuring a thriving future in a dynamic market. 


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Why choose Alkimii

Specialist hospitality software, built on experience, proven across hundreds of hotels.

After years of working in the hospitality industry and running his own hotel our founder Ronan McAulay knew first hand the technology challenges that the hotels face. Alkimii was built to exclusively solve these challenges.