ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Time To Save The Daylight.
Gene Ference, President, HVS/The Ference Group
Friday, 31st March 2006
There's no better time of year to take a look at just how your hotel, resort or casino runs-where it is wasteful, how it is efficient and how you can help save time, energy, money, your job…perhaps more. Best use practices of resources saves money…

"Timing is everything," or so the saying goes. And "daylight" is what most of the United States and nearly 70 international countries are turning to in early April. What better time of year to take a look at just how your hotel, resort or casino runs-where it is wasteful, how it is efficient and how you can help save time, energy, money, your job…and perhaps more?

While there are numerous opportunities to control exactly what will happen in a given situation in your facility, whether it is guest related, food or service related, one of the most overlooked areas that is able to be managed is the ability to control wasteful practices and optimize the use of resources-heat, light, energy, water, etc. Simply put, best use practices of resources can save money that can be better used on improvements to the facility itself, to better train, to offer more services, or to increase staff benefits!

In surveys conducted by HVS/The Ference Group & The Center For Survey Research, one of the areas of concern focuses on to what extent resources (heat, light, energy, water) are being wasted. In a recently completed survey, representative of many surveys taken by the service industry,

  • 77% of respondents agreed that their company was not wasteful.
  • This, however, leaves 23% who think that improvements can and should be made!
Wouldn't it be nice to know just how those improvements could be made? Management must make a commitment to find out where the inefficiencies lie and institute changes. For example, many restaurants have stopped serving water automatically as guests begin their dining experience-except when requested. This practice obviously helps to conserve water. It also allows a server more time to perform other tasks and give service in other areas. With no water on the table, it may also increase the bar or drink portion of the check, as patrons may order wine, beer, mixed drinks, or other refreshments.

Therefore, a simple conservation effort of not filling a water glass on every table can lead to the following:

  • Overall water conservation.
  • Diminished glassware to be purchased, washed and stored. (Again, less water used in washing dishes.)
  • Increased overall food service-more time to cater to customers.
  • Increased average bar checks-increased restaurant revenue.
  • Increased tips due to higher overall check totals-increased personal income.
Guest surveys are another excellent source in finding the extent of wasteful energy sources and problem areas. Air conditioning and heat that can not be regulated properly or easily can consume vast amounts of energy unnecessarily. Lighting in guest rooms must be adequate, but not overly bright. A well lit desk can be efficient in aiding a guest with their work, while it can be terribly inefficient if the desk light is not sufficiently bright, therefore "making" the guest illuminate the entire room in order to try to have enough light at the desk.

Housekeepers or bell persons generally will not be able to make this observation. Only a guest will be able to let management know of any problems in the room, and having guests fill out a survey is a great deal less confrontational than a formal written or verbal complaint. In offering a satisfaction survey, guests are made to feel that management is trying to make improvements. By only allowing guests to complain, those that do so are usually those that are extremely unhappy and who become alienated from your facility, never to return.

So what sounds easier? Waiting in the dark, lurking in the shadows to see what your guests feel or think after they become dissatisfied, or opening the "blinds" and allowing the daylight to stream in through the use of a survey. We think you will agree being proactive is the better way to go.

After all, it's daylight savings time-time to be sure you are running your place of business efficiently. This is a good time each year to check and be sure-and make adjustments. Make use of your staff's knowledge whenever you can, but also listen to your guests. Surveys are an accurate indicator of what is right and what needs correcting. And, it takes but one good written comment by either a guest or staff member to save much more than is spent on the survey itself.

Daylight saving time isn't just about adding sunlight to each day, it's also about becoming more efficient in time management and increasing your bottom line by becoming more aware of what's happening around you. Arrange your office or guest rooms so the sun shines through onto work areas, eliminating the need for artificial light for as long as possible. Save some daylight, it's time.

Additional articles can be found in our management library at: www.theferencegroup.com For more information regarding development programs, contact, Gene Ference, President, HVS/The Ference Group. gference@hvsinternational.com

HVS/The Ference Group provides programs in TeamStrategics: organizational development, business health assessments, and strategic planning. Our clients include successful applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Employer of Choice, Best Human Resources, Employer of the Year, as well as quality of work life and service culture awards of Great Britain, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, The Netherlands and Singapore.
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