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Michael Nardi
Written by Michael Nardi
September 05, 2018

Hotel Food and Beverage Operations: 3 Technology Solutions to Make Business Strategy More Effective

When it comes to the hotel food and beverage sector, what's making the most significant impact to better serve guests, increase efficiency, and lend actionable data insights for better business strategy, too?

In this era of rapid change driven by technology, this is an important question for every hotel industry leader to address. After all, it’s not enough for hospitality companies to blindly adopt new technologies without a clear plan for how they will benefit the business.

hotel food and beverage staff Adobe Images-640x426

With that in mind, here are 3 areas and some associated technology solutions for hotel organizations to create stronger business strategies to serve guests better, increase visibility on data trends, and nurture more streamlined food and beverage operations to stay competitive as things shift and change into the future.

1. Seamless PMS integrations

Despite the leaps and bounds in hospitality technology even over the last five years when it comes to cloud-based technology and infrastructure, the hotel PMS remains to be the nerve center by which all incoming and outgoing data is understood, processed, and then actioned. Entering into discussions with hotel industry leaders on a regular basis, our team at Vivonet is intimately aware that creating robust integrations with hotel PMS is the price of admission for us and for good reason. The PMS is the central command console for locations to plan and coordinate every aspect of day-to-day operations from reservations, housekeeping services, to all manner of sales and payment management.

As technology has expanded to serve the changing needs of customers, the influence of PMS certainly includes food and beverage operations; hotel restaurants, bars, cafes, snack bars, hotel pantries, and any number of concepts. These individual revenue centers rely on point-of-sale solutions and other applications that serve their often specialized needs. But to look at all of these revenue centers in relation to each other even outside of food and beverage operations, it all has to be included under the PMS umbrella without missing a beat.

Hotel bar serving guests Adobe Images-640x426

This means that hotel food and beverage point-of-sale systems, self-serve kiosks, back office applications, and other solutions that support food and beverage ops must be compatible with leading PMS systems like Opera, Infor, Springer Miller, and OnQ. These integrations aren’t simply necessary for individual locations. They help business analytics at head offices make better sense of how each revenue center is performing across the whole brand.

When it comes to strategy and growth, this vital connection between PMS, POS, and other systems and solutions certainly makes an impact on creating better strategy when they can all be accounted for in a single technology ecosystem. That may seem basic. But that just goes to prove how essential this kind of seamless integration really is.

2. Centralized labor management

The hotel industry is a very labor-intensive business. According to Robert Rauch of RAR Hospitality, 45% of all hotel costs are due to labor, and these costs are rising rapidly. Labor is also the most challenging type of expense to control due to the unpredictable day-to-day staffing requirements of most hotels. Occupancy rates are not only seasonal but very sensitive to economic trends and fluctuations in consumer behavior. As a result, the workforce itself is always in flux.

In order to keep up with these rapid day-to-day changes, hotel brands need a centralized, modern labor management system based in the cloud that can effectively track and forecast employee activity to help inform scheduling and spend in an intelligent and cost-effective manner. A system like that also allows agile management of staffing levels at various times of the day, allowing management to ensure that locations are never over or under-staffed.

Hotel wait staff member Adobe Images-859544-edited

Based on our experience, a well-implemented labor management system can reduce labor costs by 5% in a typical hotel. Those are some very significant savings, and they become even more attractive if your company also owns the property itself. For a hotel with a 10x cap rate, sophisticated labor management can raise the value of the property by hundreds of thousands of dollars, easily paying for the costs of the system many times over.

3. Automated inventory management

Along with other service aspects of the guest experience in a hotel, food and beverage operations teams are mandated with creating and maintaining an exceptional sense of continuity when it comes to the company offering. Popular food and drink menu items must be available at all times. Shortages are bad form when it comes to guest expectations, and can of course cost organizations in sales, too.

Similarly, the issues of waste, losses, and the significant costs associated with them must be seriously considered as well. Too many ingredients and items that do not quickly translate to sales are just as detrimental as a lack of availability of popular menu items. Implementing supply chain efficiencies to help ensure this vital balance is essential to the health of each location and the brand as a whole.

vivonet_inventory_manager_laptop

An automated, cloud-based inventory management system allows operators to do that by providing a unified, central view of all food and beverage inventory. Not only does the system allow operations to monitor current supplies on single interface. It also lets operators set alerts and automate orders for when a location is running low on items that are considered essential to delivering the highest quality of service.

An inventory management system that includes automated features like the ones described above makes it far easier to establish and keep momentum on a healthy and optimized ordering cadence. By using an automated system like this, leading hotel brands are able to ensure that they identify and implement strict controls over essential inventory items, and can quickly identify those items that do not support sales quite as well. They can better manage the waste and losses that negatively impact the bottom line, too.

Improve hotel food and beverage operations with proven technologies

The simple truth is that hotel organizations that invest in the right technologies that address essential and measurable challenges win. The solutions that increase operational efficiency and lower costs in strategic areas of the business provide a solid basis for success. It's these basics that make the most difference, helping organizations gain important data insights for better strategies to increase revenue, control costs, and keep guests coming back.

We’re living in an era where technology as it meets changing cultural expectations is driving rapid expansion to change the way that hotels do business. By focusing on key strategic areas and then investing in essential technologies to support them, hotel chains can support guest needs and have a positive impact on sustainable business growth as the industry landscape shifts, too.

Vivonet and hotel food and beverage operations

Right now, our team at Vivonet is working with leading hotel brands to help them streamline their food and beverage business by using our cloud-based solutions. Our extensive experience in cloud-based point-of-sale technology and tight PMS integration to specifically serve the hotel industry is creating paths to scalable growth for them. 

Hotel industry technology leaders; we can help you connect the dots and make a positive impact in your hotel food and beverage operations business strategy, too. We invite you to reach out to us below and tell us your story. 

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