We all know that the hotel industry is one of the most vibrant and ever-expanding sectors. The hotel industry has almost all the job opportunities in the book and employs people from all around the world without bias. There are however several advantages and disadvantages of working in the hotel industry.
We have shared a few disadvantages of working in the hotel industry through this article. These are the 5 things we hate about the hotel industry and would desperately like improvements in these areas.
Let’s make it clear that we love this industry and thus it becomes even more important to highlight both the positives and the negatives.
We have highlighted both positives and negatives in one of our earlier posts that discusses the pros and cons of the hotel industry. One of our previous articles also covers 6 positives of working in the hotel industry.
While the hotel industry has more pros than cons, we have listed here 5 big disadvantages in the hotel industry. The things that we hate about the hotel industry. Check the list to see if you agree.
Things, however, are changing and we desperately want this to change even at a faster pace.
The Work Pattern (Long Hours and Weekend Work)
It is not uncommon within the hotel industry to hear of long working hours, multiple shifts and working weekend.
Demanding work hours and poor work-life balance is said to be the biggest disadvantage of this industry.
According to JobStreet.com the situation is worse in Asian countries where at times Hotel industry professionals have to worm up to 18 hours a day during the peak season.
The situation is a lot better in European Countries and North America but compared to other industries, even the hoteliers in these countries complain often about tough working conditions.
A lot of hotel industry professionals work over the weekend when everyone else is having a great time with family and friends. Yes, that’s what hospitality service is all about but even these professional deserve some break.
We suggest the below to the thinkers and leaders of the hotel industry to improve this.
- A five day work week across the industry all around the globe. Happier staff means better service that would definitely reflect in terms of long-term benefits.
- Extra pay for weekend work and rotational weekend off.
- Better use of technology to forecast staffing requirements in peak season
- Automation (depending on the feasibility) at front office and restaurants during peak season
- Treating staff as internal customers and on par with external customers. A healthy workplace is a need of the hour for the hotel industry.
Check out these Funny Images of the Hotel Industry that we have compiled to explain the disadvantages of the hotel industry with a put of humour.
2. Bureaucratic Hierarchy
The Hotel Industry is plagued by too much micromanagement. This is because of the old school Bureaucratic hierarchy in hotels.
“I order you Obey” is the concept utilised in most of the hotels. The Hotel Manager pressurising Directors who in turn provide pressure to the managers and supervisors.
However, the immense stress is passed on to the workers which constitute a majority of the workforce in hotels. This leads to a high attrition rate in the hotel industry and a less than satisfied workforce.
One of the major tricks to attract and retain the best hotel industry professionals is to decrease micromanagement and have a purpose and ownership added to job roles.
We suggest a move towards a slow death of the hierarchy culture of the hotel industry by the introduction of flat organisational structure or something like Holacracy as described by the below image of Medium.
3. The Star Divide between 5 Star Hotels and 1/2/3 Star Hotels
Yes, the hotel industry professionals are primed to treat 5-star hotel and people working over there in a separate league that 1/2 or even 3-star hotels.
As if one is the king and others like pawns.
Customers look at features, services and cost and go for a 3 star or a 4 star or a 5 star as per their convenience.
When customers are not rigid in selection (barring a small star conscious section), why should the hotel industry carry a bias?
We are all aware of the tussle between apartment-sharing websites like Airbnb vs the Hotel industry. This divide has to diminish and disappear to give the competitors a tough fight.
Let’s all forget inequality and hire and invite people based on talent and preferences without any biases.
4. Unruly Expectations and Complaints of the Customers
This is another thing we hate about the hotel industry.
At times guest becomes too unruly with their expectations. You would hear of the most bizarre complaints in the hotel industry.
Just for a few freebies or refund at times customers threaten hoteliers by leaving a bad review on travel websites or by spreading a bad name.
While at times the complaints are genuine, the unexpected and fake complaints outnumber them.
Image Courtesy- ARS Technica
Yes, customers are not always right.
We need to find robust measured to handle guest complaints in an effective way to deal with genuine complaints. These should not be mean to blackmail hotel or its staff for some discounts or free meals.
5. The Seasonality of the Hotel Industry
This again is one of the disadvantages of the hotel industry that impacts all the customers and those working in the industry. Forecasting of expenses and revenues is so very difficult in the hotel industry due to the seasonality issue.
The business is seasonal and depends on too many factors like weather, socio-political situations, economy etc. It becomes a torrid task to forecast staffing needs, expenses and revenues making life tough for all the hoteliers.
Concepts like Timeshare, retail outlets and concept/themed food outlets can help hotels fight seasonality. But, the onus is on the respective governments and regional travel authorities to help the hotel industry fight the issue of seasonality.
Devising better policies by understanding seasonality and having a more integrated tourism industry can help fight this issue in the future.