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Hotel Chains to reduce staff

Mumbai, July 23  () : Hotel chains across India would cut down their staff ration per room to cut down on the expenditure in view of declining revenue and no room for increase in tariff.

Most of the hotels are implementing the international ratio of a single staff for a room in the luxury range. HR firms that act as consultants to hotel groups have been asked to do the restructuring on these lines. Salaries of staff  have become costlier, but the number of customers is coming down.

The room tariff cannot be increased, say hotel managers. From last year payroll, expenditure has increased from 10-12 per cent to 18-20 per cent of the revenue.

One of the routes is to have staff do multi-tasking. Abroad, the guests are expected to fill their water jugs from dispensers kept in the corridors and can iron their clothes in the ironing boards kept in the corridors.

Indian hotels, for instance, employ close to three staff members for every room. Aim is to bring ratio from 2.7 to 1.75 staff per room by next year and recruitments will be practically nil.

Oberoi Hotels and Resorts’ balance sheet witnessed a 32.7 per cent decline in the total profits for the quarter ended March. Intercontinental Hotel Group, which owns the brands Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in India, has double the staff-room ratio in India compared to its hotels under the same brand abroad.

The staff ratio for Holiday Inn in India is in the range of 1.5 to 1.8 per room, while in the US, it is just around 0.6 to 0.8. The higher staff ration gives more level of attention in India.

Hotel chains say that low staff ration abroad does not necessarily mean that they do not deliver service to their global customers. It does not matter how many people the hotel hired but interaction between each staff and guest is more important, feels the management of Southwest Asia, IHG.