top of page

Size Matters! Are Your Bananas Too Big?!

With rising prices, food cost issues are high on the menu for hotels across the country. Ex Accor & Radisson Purchasing Director, Austen Bushrod, shares some thoughts on discovering savings right under your nose.

Death by 1000 cuts

Firstly - let me start by stating there should be no room to compromise on the quality and service that your hotel provides. Your reputation is created by blood, sweat and tears of people in your business who have built it, often over many years. If you want to destroy that quickly, then there is no quicker way than swapping out products for inferior and cheaper items.

The second thing to quickly add is that by removing or dumbing down on the service you give, you are already in a downward spiral that it will be almost impossible to get out from - and you may not even know it.

I remember a long-running discussion in a hotel group about removing the biscuits from the bedroom. Sadly, they were removed, and on paper they 'saved' £40k. From a customer perspective, we had minimal complaints with no glaring rows at reception. After all, who is going to argue about a biscuit? As a single decision it probably did not deter customers, but rather just disappointed. I call it 'death by 1000 cuts'. You see, one action doesn't necessarily do the damage, but what if you combine that with the removal of facecloths, the hiding of pillows in the wardrobe, less bathroom amenities and one less sachet of coffee. The 4-star hotels started to be 3-star at best. This rot will take a while to set in, but everyone will eventually wonder why the hotels are struggling to maintain rate and why occupancy was on the decline.

Rarely will the cuts bee seen and identified as the cause. However, if you asked the customer why they don't choose a hotel anymore you can often hear the phrase, 'I don't know why, but it's not as good as it used to be'.

The problem here for the hotelier is that they lost view of