Tips for Small Hotels, Inns and Hospitality Businesses
A Baker's Dozen of Savings in the Office
The first “real” hoteliers I ever worked for owned and operated independent, family-run inns and businesses. They had learned to be frugal, having lived through very hard times in WWII and the subsequent years as the economy grew and recovered in the decade that followed. When recently looking at a client's income statement that was trying to look at all costs for potential savings, I noted a number of things they practiced then that still have merit today. These can be especially valuable in small properties and are offered as ideas for consideration.
Get rid of Waste in Printing
We often print a document that has unwanted advertising or a single line on the last page. This can be addressed by using software that can predetermine this waste of paper and ink, or we can start looking a bit closer at our print jobs. While it used to be calculator ribbon and tape, the principle is the same.
Buy Environmentally Friendly Paper
We still need paper, so look for options. GREEN is huge and growing, and many times lesser known brands may have the best price and a great product.
Copier and Printer Settings
Verify copier and printer defaults back to single copies after someone has used it. Other options may include double-sided printing and using the “draft print” mode whenever possible uses less ink. Think about your print jobs – which of them “need” avoid color printing?
Buy Re-manufactured Ink and Toner Cartridges
Not only do these refilled and/or remanufactured cartridges cost 15-25% less than new ones, but each reused cartridge saves about several pounds of metal and plastic and almost half a gallon of oil, which are waste products in the manufacturing.
Rexamine Office Equipement at replacement time
All office equipment produces toxic substances in both manufacturing and disposal stages, so fewer office machines means the smaller your carbon footprint can be. There are many ranges of multi-tasking machines availabele now that copy, scan, fax and print.
A substantial amount of office power is used by machines that are off, but still plugged into a live outlet. Think about your iPhone or Droid – note the reminder to unplug the charger? Standby or phantom power is a huge and generally unnecessary expense.
Do away with Screen Savers
The photos may be lovely to look at, but in addition to being at times distracting, they can use a lot of energy. Set monitors to power off after the same amount of time as changing photos.
Use More Natural Light
Artificial lighting represents 40% of electricity consumption in typical offices and open blinds and enjoying daylight wherever possible makes sense. The obvious is also at the end of the day – turn the lights off at night.
Install Motion Sensors
We have learned to do this in remote housekeeping and engineeting closets and are beginning to do it in guest rooms. Evaluate your office and meeting space and noti how many have lights on, evene when empty. Instead of leaving it to people to turn off lights as they leave rooms (which they often do not do), install motion-activated light switches. These will turn lights on for a designated period of time (eg: 15 minutes) whenever somebody passes in front of the switch or moves around in the sapce .
Swtich to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
I could not believe the quick pay back, but compact fluorescent bulbs use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last about 10 times longer. Their costs have dropped, so you can save on energy, replacement bulb costs, labor replacing them and reduce overall waste as well. They are now available in almost all sizes and wattages, with softer sheens than earlier moidelss. No changes in equipment is necessary, as just about any light that uses an incandescent bulb can instantly use a compact fluorescent bulb.
Look at Reasonable Bulk Purchases
Costco, Sam's Club and others have made it possible to get reasonable amounts of cleaning and office supplies, as well as office type foods (coffee, sugar, etc.) .
Consider Green Cleaning Practices and Products
Paper Towels can be replaced by hand dryers in rest rooms and affordable environmentally- friendly cleaning products protect the health of not only your cleaning staff but also your associates, while reducing harmful substances and odors from the office.
Remember the Lessons of Craig's List
Those independent hoteliers I mentioned in the opening did not have the ease of Craig's List or other online search options, but they often went to auctions and sales. They found many one of a kind items they were able to use in many different ways.
Hospitality Tip of the Week™
“Action expresses priorities.” - Mohandas K. Gandhi
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John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com, which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
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