Making Sure That Your Hospitality Business Runs Perfectly Business by Terry Barker - August 15, 20170 Whether you run a restaurant, hotel, café, or bar, there is no doubt that the hospitality industry is a tough one. The customer experience can make or break any business, and it is essential that every business owner seek ways to improve this experience. Neglecting to attend to the customer experience and improve it wherever possible is a mistake that can lead to a tainted business brand, lost sales, and poor profits. How to Improve the Customer Experience No business owner in the hospitality industry deliberately wants to fail, so it is therefore crucial that they do what they can to enhance the customer experience. Purely from a customer’s perspective, the most important factors that contribute to their experience are as follows: Professionalism: This can be quantified in many ways, but customers view businesses as more professional when they as a customer are treated in a manner that befits a professionally-run organisation. To the customer, this means that they are to be treated as important, that they feel as though they are a priority, and that nothing is too much for the staff. Going the ‘extra’ mile, in other words, is a prime characteristic of hospitality businesses that are considered to be professional in customer’s estimations. Cleanliness: Few things will turn the customer experience sour faster than an establishment that is unclean. For example, just imagine walking into a hotel room to find that the bed sheets are stained and dirty. Would you stay there for the night, or would you leave and go somewhere else? We may all have different standards of cleanliness in our own private lives, but the fact is that there is only one high standard to meet when it comes to a hospitality business. In so many ways, enhancing one’s hospitality business is about addressing these foundational challenges and making them a top priority. One can certainly go a very long way in the hospitality industry by sticking to these two crucial factors alone! The Real Challenges That Hospitality Businesses Face The fact is that most business owners don’t have anywhere near enough time to address these core expectations each and every moment. This is especially the case for fledgling businesses in this industry who are struggling to make a name for themselves. Looking after marketing strategies, business direction, staff concerns, and everything else can take up so much time that anyone who is not perfectly and completely organised will struggle. So, how can a business owner make things easier for themselves? Getting on Top of Your Priorities as a Business Owner One of the best tools that a modern business owner has when it comes to prioritising the customer experience is outsourcing. When mentioned in the context of national economics, outsourcing has a negative connotation that usually means a loss of jobs and the loss of profits to overseas interests. When it comes to the hospitality industry, however, outsourcing can be the difference between success and failure. For example, if you run a hotel, ensuring that you have clean bedsheets, clean tablecloths, and clean staff uniforms is essential to the customer experience. It is no overstatement to suggest that dirty linen will kill off a hotel faster than just about anything else! The truth is that most hotels don’t have the on-site facilities to launder their own linen, and if they do, it is too small to be adequate for the volume of fresh linen required for each day of operation. The solution is to outsource their needs to a professional company like Stalbridge Linen Services. Why Use a Fresh Linen Service? Laundering services are certainly popular in the hotel industry, but they are being used more and more by small businesses, and even those who work in a different area of hospitality, such as cafes and bars. Outsourcing to a linen service provides the following essential benefits: Efficiency: First and foremost, a business that chooses to outsource its laundering to a professional company can focus on what really matters on a day-to-day basis: their customers. Outsourcing can help a business achieve greater levels of efficiency and productivity over the course of the typical working week. Time: Of course, having one of the major criteria of the customer experience – cleanliness – outsourced means that the business owner has the time to enhance the customer experience even further. Clean linen means that the business buys time, and this is crucial! Cleanliness: Put simply, freshly laundered linen that is delivered on a daily basis to the business means that the business’s customers are more likely to enjoy their experience. Morale boost: Sometimes, even the smallest details matter. This is never more apparent than in the area of hospitality. A clean and crisp uniform can make every staff member feel like a productive part of the team. They can work with pride and therefore provide an even better customer experience. Who knew that a fresh linen service could do so much? Getting on with Business More Effectively The simple fact is that a professional third-party fresh linen service means that the business in question can get on with what they do best, knowing that they will have freshly laundered linen available to them whenever they need it. Removing this burden provides the edge that many small businesses need. Perhaps the one other advantage that is worth talking about is the economic one. Many new business owners in the area of hospitality tend to equate additional costs to outsource with inefficiency. In the case of fresh and clean linen, the advantages certainly outweigh any disadvantages. What these new business owners fail to understand is that simplifying their daily operations is the biggest edge that they can gain over their competitors! Sometimes, this involves paying money to a third-party linen service that will get the job done on time and to a highly professional standard. A single and simple monthly invoice to a laundering service that provides so many distinct advantages? This sounds like a definite win!