It’s a challenging time in the hospitality industry. Businesses that achieve the most success will actively seek multiple ways, no matter how small or detail-oriented, to elevate the hospitality their guests experience. However, achieving and maintaining elevated hospitality takes effort and focus by every member of the team. It would be helpful for hospitality businesses to optimize the time spent on operations while also limiting the time spent on basic administrative tasks, which would allow employees to focus on what’s really important – the guests.
One technological tool that can be used across the hospitality landscape to save time and optimize operations is a digital, mobile auditing solution often known more simply as a checklist app. These apps can both customize and automate processes to help hospitality businesses do more within the constraints of stringent budgets and fewer employees.
How Does It Work?
A mobile checklist app starts by digitizing and storing all hospitality checklists – from kitchen cleaning checklists and line checks to housekeeping forms, from retail branding audits to extended cleaning protocols. Making all these forms available online means that any employee can access them from any mobile device; important administrative forms can be quickly filled out with a few swipes and clicks and then uploaded to the cloud. This allows real-time measurement of how well operations are performing against organizational standards for safety, quality and service.
Everyone on the Same Page
These checklist apps keep employees and management on the same page as far as duties, procedures and best practices -- even those staff members who are working from home. As checklist items are completed, each interaction is recorded, time stamped, geotagged and marked with the employee’s name so it becomes part of the organization’s legal records. It’s also easy for employees to use their mobile devices to take relevant photos and videos and add them to records, saving the time and effort of describing any issues through the written word.
In short, digital checklist apps bring many operational chores into the 21st century using widely available technology that employees are likely very comfortable with already. Using these checklists is quick and easy, freeing them from time-consuming paper-based administrative tasks, ensuring the forms are filled out correctly and completely the first time, and opening up employee work time to the more productive, guest-facing efforts that really elevate hospitality. One internationally successful app, MeazureUp, reports its client partners see a reduction in assessment time of 50 percent or more.
Efficient Operational Procedures
Mobile, digital checklist apps also make things easier on the managerial side of operations by:
- Storing audit forms online so they can be completed on-site as the audit is ongoing and with the same ease that employees complete the checklists.
- Making action plans just as easy; they can be built, customized and assigned to employees for completion, including automatic reminders and notifications.
- Making it easy to update all checklists, audit forms and procedures; updates are made only once, and the app rolls them out to all employees simultaneously and in real time. No one is ever stuck using outdated forms or inaccurate information.
- Simplifying employee training by standardizing and customizing it online while also allowing it to be completed remotely as necessary. This applies to both onboarding and retraining efforts.
Then there are the benefits provided by the checklist and audit data itself. Instead of the management team spending time trying to examine and collate data from paper forms, all the information is available online in dashboards and easily understandable reports. Does the shop regularly run out of the same items? The inventory audit will show it. Are housekeepers running into the same problems with a certain piece of equipment? Their daily checklists can document it with photos and videos. The data will show how the restaurant is performing through each shift and over time. No matter the operational center, necessary improvements, opportunities and best practices can be uncovered and implemented much more quickly. If the hospitality organization includes more than one location, the benefits are compounded as management can evaluate all data across the organization and quickly adjust and enhance operational processes to ensure success.
As inferred above, a great benefit of these checklist apps is their flexibility: kitchens, restaurants, housekeeping, and retail centers can all use the same app, which is customizable to their departmental needs. These apps can house staffing schedules; employee training modules; all checklists for safety, cleaning, brand consistency, etc.; regulatory audits; performance goals and achievements; and much more.
Operationally, management no longer needs to spend time and energy ensuring that operational standards are consistently being met; the information is available for them to see at any time. This allows them to focus on taking actions that ensure elevated hospitality throughout their teams and procedures.
Surviving the Slowdown
The hospitality brands that survive this economic slowdown will be those that use it as an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships by offering unique experiences and personal connection in a time when these are very much lacking. These digital checklist apps support these efforts by:
- Keeping track of operational status in real time, providing alerts for any concerns, and saving time and administrative costs.
- Fighting rising costs and increasing profit margins through insights based on real data.
- Improving the employee work experience and supporting the maintenance of staff wages at higher levels; these steps help retain quality staff members and reduce expenses related to employee turnover.
- Freeing up time for your staff to focus on providing an excellent experience to every guest.
Over time, a mobile, digital checklist solution supports the consistent performance improvement that enhances guests’ satisfaction with the hospitality brand and helps build those relationships. That’s how digital checklist apps support elevated hospitality and can help guarantee the success of each hospitality business now and into the future.