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Building Efficient Operations into Your Brand Vision – Lodging

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Every hotel wants to run like a well-oiled machine. Smooth operating procedures lead to more efficient hotels, content employees, and perhaps most importantly, satisfied guests. However, ensuring a hotel is firing on all cylinders may require more staff and more resources, making it harder to achieve a profit.

Hilton\’s new midscale brand, Tru, strives to achieve the best of both worlds. Designed with operational efficiency as its top priority, Tru aims to diminish labor costs while maintaining high levels of cleanliness, consistency, and guest satisfaction.

According to Phil Cordell, global head of focused service at Hilton Worldwide, Tru was developed in direct response to consumer concerns and complaints regarding midscale hotel operations. \”Making sure that we develop a product that portrays to our customers that we are clean, efficient, and cost effective is one of our guiding principals,\” Cordell says.

Starting with a strong base was key, and in Tru guestrooms that base comes in the form of luxury vinyl tile (LTV) flooring instead of traditional carpet flooring. This switch was based on guest perception-while carpet is cheap to install, it does not always give the best impression of cleanliness. Almost impervious to damage and very easy to maintain, LTV can be cleaned quickly with the use of a Swiffer, instead of a clunky vacuum, thus cutting down on the time it takes to clean a room, as well as the amount of electricity used.

Additionally, everything about the design of the guestrooms promotes efficiency, from its slightly smaller size of 227 square feet to its open floor plan. Traditional guestrooms are filled with heavy and bulky furniture with a lot of drawers, and, therefore, many hidden nooks and crannies that must be cleaned. To combat this drain on housekeeping\’s time, Tru guestrooms contain no dressers or wardrobes, instead featuring open shelving and storage space. This includes their \”land zone,\” which functions as an open closet with a place for guests to store their suitcases and hang up their clothes and outerwear. From a guest perspective, these design elements eliminate the worry of having left something behind in a drawer, and from an operational standpoint, it\’s easy for housekeeping to simply wipe down all the open flat surfaces.

Efficiency and cleanliness have also been stepped-up in the guest bathrooms by eliminating the tub and providing guests with only a shower. This decision was born of two discoveries by the Hilton team. First, that showers alone are easier to clean than a combination shower/tub. Second, that guests often speculate about how clean a hotel tub really is. Eliminating the tub eliminated that doubt.

Beyond redesigning a room to make cleaning easier and more efficient, Tru also reexamined what products were being used during the cleaning process. This train of thought led Tru to partner with Proctor & Gamble and develop a simplified cleaning protocol using only three products-one for wet surfaces, one for dry surfaces, and a Swiffer to clean the floor. The new protocol cuts the turnaround time of each guestroom by 8 to 10 minutes, Cordell says. Laundry services have also received a boost in efficiency from Proctor & Gamble, which provided Tru with a cold water laundry solution that saves electricity and water.

And the guestrooms aren\’t the only area in the hotel operating at peak efficiency. In Tru\’s lobby, a self-service shop setup known as \”The Hive\” keeps labor costs low. Guests can help themselves to the hotel\’s retail offerings, such as single servings of beer or wine. They can then check out their purchase at Tru\’s circular \”command center\” front desk, which allows for a single team member to complete multiple tasks.

Guests also have the ability to customize their breakfast by choosing from a selection of breakfast bases, such as yogurt, oatmeal, or bagels, as well as toppings and spreads from the self-serve \”Create Your Own Yum\” bar.

Pushing the boundaries of traditional hotel offerings, Tru\’s operationally efficient design scheme reaps many benefits, including lower labor costs, ease of maintenance, product durability, and a customizable guest
experience.

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