Supply chain challenges are producing lot of headaches for hotels, an industry already badly struck by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many hotels are facing problems due to supply chain crisis. Vimal Patel is one such hotelier among thousands. He manages a chain of hotels comprising of the likes of Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, and Best Western. During the past couple of years he has had to struggle a lot to acquire towels, shampoos, notepads, and other goods that his hotels needed, due to shortage of goods resulting from labor supply crisis.
“Ever since the pandemic, serving paper products like plates and napkins, as well as the food itself, has become a huge problem — and a customer service challenge,” he says. “Guests often don’t understand why a product is unavailable.”
How Supply Chain Disruptions Are Affecting Hotels:
- Deliveries Taking Unpredictably Long Time:
Most of Patel’s properties are franchises of larger brands and require conforming to brand standards. Patel typically orders items from an approved vendor, which previously took about 48 hours to arrive.
“Now, it can take months,” he says. “You’re lucky to get it within three weeks.”
- Rising Cost of Goods:
The entire nation is witnessing inflation — and hotels are no different.
Hotels reported a 79% cost increase on day-to-day cleaning and housekeeping supplies, a 77% increase for linens and other soft goods, and a 77% increase in food and beverage supplies, according to a November 2021 survey of about 500 hotel operators conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
- Staffing Issues Still Persist:
In a separate AHLA poll, 94% of respondents stated that their hotels are understaffed (including 47 percent who say they are severely understaffed). Furthermore, 96 percent of hotel operators stated they are attempting to employ but are having difficulty filling available positions.
- What Guests May Expect During Their Hotel Stay:
Travelers and hotel guests need to be aware that the conveniences and amenities they have been used to may not always be readily available, and this problem may persist for some more time.
Guests need to understand the difficulties the hotels are going through in trying to procure the products their guests need and want. There are promising reports of improvement in hiring of labor and supply of goods. So hopefully the current issues will get resolved in the coming months.