For the Hospitality industry, recovery from the effects of COVID-19 will present unique challenges as hotels emerge from the crisis to operating in a dramatically changed market.
While the industry has made it a priority to quickly re-employ as many workers as possible, it will likely take months for hotels to see occupancy return to pre-pandemic levels. Even after volume returns – if this recovery mirrors the experience of hard-hit markets after SARS and similar epidemics – it may take years for Average Daily Rate (ADR) to fully rebound, making the return to profitability very difficult.
These unprecedented times call for rethinking several long-held assumptions about labor management, coupled with implementing technology innovations to help managers adjust with greater agility and ease as the dynamics of post-COVID-19 recovery.
To support hotels in identifying the best staffing strategies for this environment, UniFocus has added unique functionality to enable hotels to use ADR as a dimension in calculating work standards.
Historically, hoteliers have maintained that labor standards, designed to meet the expectations of their target market, should remain stable regardless of fluctuations in ADR. These assumptions have worked because hotels rarely experienced wide fluctuations in revenue within specific time periods or seasons. With the expected long-cycle ADR recovery following COVID-19, these assumptions will not be financially viable for many hotels.
The UniFocus system has always enabled properties to calculate flexible labor costs based on volume related to required hours. The addition of ADR as a factor utilized by the system makes it easy for properties to use a more difficult three-dimensional calculation of work standards, which serves as a better strategic fit when looking at staffing requirements during the post-COVID recovery period.
“With the standard two-dimensional approach to work standards, managers are often left to figure out how to maintain margins in periods of low ADR. This can take hours of their time,” said UniFocus CEO, Mark Heymann, “As properties engage in recovery efforts, managers will find themselves busier than ever. By building the ADR factor into work standards up front, it becomes a much more seamless process that enables managers to use smart tools, such as automated scheduling, to save significant time each week so they can remain on the floor where they are needed.”