On the way back to Florida from a recent trip to Asheville, NC, I stopped at a hotel in Brunswick, GA. This particular hotel is part of a brand name hotel chain that prides itself in quality. The reason for stopping in Brunswick, GA, is the hotel is almost exactly halfway between Western North Carolina and South Florida. When I arrived at the hotel, I was thinking about business, the economy, clients, current new events and a thousand different other things. As I was bringing the luggage in from the car upon checking into the hotel, I happened to look down and saw the trash can. I realized this hotel that prides itself in quality had reduced the size of the trash can. It was half the size one would expect to see. It didn’t take me long to conclude that the reason they were using smaller trash cans was that they cost less. The plastic liners cost less. This may seem like one of those insignificant business costs but if you multiply it by all the hotels in this chain across the United States there is some serious money being saved. I also discovered a place card in the hotel room on the bed that read something like this: For ecological reasons, bed linens will only be changed upon request during your stay. I thought to myself, if people were home, they wouldn’t change the sheets every day. So it does make sense not to use all the soap, water, electricity and labor to change sheets daily. Plus, it’s good for the environment. Same is true at this hotel with bathroom towels. Rather than change towels daily automatically, hotel guests can request a change of towels during their stay. Again, a huge savings of business costs.
Somewhere in the corporate mindset at the hotel’s headquarters, they were thinking about the impact with overall business costs: This will save millions of dollars! To add to this cost saving point, the hotel chain as part of their service use to provide their guests free breakfast. But now to save millions more, that’s been eliminated. If you want breakfast, it’s freshly cooked to order for a fixed price per person. This also potentially wastes less food each day.
On this road trip I stopped at a well known restaurant that has 500 or more locations, all located along the highways for easy driver access. It’s somewhat of a tradition for many travelers to stop at this restaurant chain during a road trip. The restaurant use to bring every table fresh baked biscuits, corn bread and honey whether as part of the initial greeting by the waitress or waiter. But now those dining at the restaurant must request the bread basket. More cuts to the company’s total business costs and adjustment to how things have been traditionally done over the years which reflect a changing business world. It’s also about the changing values and tastes of the average traveler frequenting these establishments.
Companies continue to change their approach in how they do business in order to reduce costs without damaging service or reputation with customers. We will be seeing more and more of this in the future.
Thinking in the same way as the examples with the hotel and the restaurant, ask yourself:
What can I do at my business to reduce costs yet still provide great customer service and a high quality product to my customers?
Get your management team and employees involved in this exchange of ideas too.
Brainstorm ideas. Have suggestion boxes scattered around the company. Welcome new ways of doing business that don’t sacrifice the quality of the customer experience yet can reduce business costs and improve the bottom line with business profits.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress by helping to solve the business problems and business issues weighing on their minds; and moving the company forward. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.