At the peak of a great upward climb from the Great Recession, the U.S. lodging industry is seeing a leveling off in business performance.
During the 25th annual Lodging Conference in Phoenix last week, many industry experts talked about a new normal of muted revenue gains and thinner profit margins as expenses continue to grow.
The biggest and fastest-growing operating expense in the hotel industry today is labor.
STR reports U.S. hotels saw labor costs grow an average 3.7 percent from 2016 through 2018. Those three years are the only period in the past 20 years in which labor costs exceeded revenue growth.
Although industry analysts cite much-talked-about causes of increased labor costs such as minimum wage laws and a tight employment market, some of the reasons your hotel is wrestling with the expense are not so obvious.
In this episode of Lodging Leaders – the second in a two-part series about hiring and labor – we explore how you can get a grip on labor costs, become more efficient in scheduling employee hours, and manage employees’ work expectations.
We hear from Del Ross, chief revenue officer at Hotel Effectiveness; Bryan DeCort, executive vice president at Hotel Equities; and Bruce Barishman, vice president of operational excellence at Interstate Hotels & Resorts. We also include excerpts from a presentation by economist Bernard Baumohl at The Lodging Conference.
Resources and Links
Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.