Published 21 July 2021
by Marc Bertorelli
A shortage of staff may have more than the obvious effect on hospitality, as operators struggle to plug the gaps left by our European partners. With the industry in the throes of a massive re-adjust, outsourcing may no longer be a dirty word. Marc Bertorelli, Business Development Manager at leading hospitality accountancy specialists Paperchase, reviews the option of outsourcing.
With staffing shortages being the next problem that hospitality must solve, operators may be struggling with current tasks and may need to look a little further than the HR department for solutions.
With British workers resisting the hospitality industry in preference to other sectors, how can you restructure your operation to be more efficient by outsourcing, or engaging skills for hire?
Outsourcing seems to have become a dirty word for the provision of external skills and services. We can dress it up, give it another name, but the concept remains – finding someone else to do a specific task, better than you could, at a lesser cost, allowing you to get on with what you do best! The restaurant sector has been buying in skills and services for years, but has the term ‘outsourcing’ been marred by too many providers cutting costs to the detriment of quality and service levels.
Finding someone to do a task better than you, who you do not fully employ, is not such a bad idea. Chefs no longer have the time or perhaps the skill to be both fishmonger and butcher. Instead of buying in whole carcasses or whole fish, they now buy in perfectly portioned cuts ready for the pan. With reduced head count, financial directors are being swamped by admin, so buying in skills such as bookkeeping, payroll, recruitment and Tronc also make perfect sense. While we’re at it, let’s buy in reservations, IT, marketing and PR. Many larger firms outsource their HR and their recruitment to drive down cost per new hire. Other operators outsource their entire financial control systems, reducing costs, increasing efficiency, whilst improving product or service offering.
Perhaps what has happened in the last 18 months is changing practices in hospitality. Getting the right staff to do the right job may well push up staffing costs. But running leaner and finding trusted providers to supply key skills and services could result in significant cost savings, which business could then reinvest in attracting the right staff. So, does this mean the industry is ripe for outsourcing?
There are advantages to finding experts to run certain operations within your business, and they all make perfect business sense. Paperchase prefers to look upon the service provision and the relationship with the client as a partnership, as our success is driven by your success, and we want you to grow your business.
Engaging with an external service provider has a number of advantages, for example:
Enhanced Service Quality – Every hospitality business’ top priority is service quality and guest satisfaction. Experienced external service providers are familiar with industry service standards and processes and strive to deliver services that exceed the customers’ expectations.
Core Business – Allowing a partner to handle certain functions within your operation allows your team to focus on growing the business and delivering an exceptional guest experience.
Risk Sharing – Outsourced staff are employed by the partner firm and not your company, which effectively shifts legal risk associated with the employment of labour. Your overhead is reduced as the back-office expense is covered in the service providers fee.
Reducing Costs – This is the big one, as shifting a service provision to a third party can help an organisation cut its operational costs by as much as 50%, which provides an overall cost advantage when competing against other hospitality operators.
Flexibility – Allowing your operation to adapt to demand and growth in real time and with minimal inconvenience.
Many may say that using a third party service provider can have its disadvantages, such as losing control of your processes, by shifting the responsibility of certain functions of your business to an outside firm, or that service provider may not be able to cater to the ever demanding needs of its clients simultaneously and may not be able to focus 100% on your business.
Marc Bertorelli comments, “Paperchase was set up solely to be an outsource resource and specialist service provider. With over 600 highly skilled graduates and qualified accountants, we have the breadth of skills, and the structure to manage the reporting process. If you are keen to make changes in your business, whilst keeping control and focusing on your core business, in the absence of an ‘outsourcing button’ on your computer-keyboard, call me, Marc Bertorelli at Paperchase, and I’ll explain how we can partner with your business, taking control of key operations, and helping you to grow.”