The struggle is real at hotels where supply chain issues and the great resignation are negatively impacting operations, creating scarcity in everything from cleaning supplies to pillowcases and chicken tenders and generally increasing costs. A recent survey found that the problem is only getting worse, with no end in sight. Industry associations are advocating for legislative action to offset the costs.

Big Impacts

A November survey released in early December of 500 hotel operators by American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), found that 86 percent said supply chain disruptions are impacting operations. The biggest challenges were linens (85 percent said they couldn’t get them and 77 percent said the cost had gone up), cleaning supplies (72 percent said they were not readily available and 79 percent said the cost had increased) and food and beverage suppliers (availability was a problem for 76 percent and cost was an issue for 77 percent).

More than half (53 percent) said the problem had gotten worse over the past three months. And they didn’t see an end in sight. Almost half (46 percent) said they expected the problem to last 6-12 months and one in three (36 percent) said it could go on for more than a year.

The outlook is also grim on the employment front where a disappointing November jobs report revealed that the leisure and hospitality sector is still missing nearly 8 percent of jobs.

“The latest jobs report…underscores the need for smart, effective policies as well as stability in the inbound and business travel segments to facilitate an even recovery, said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes, in a statement.

Save Hotel Jobs Act

AHLA, U.S. Travel Association, International Franchise Association and UNITE HERE, North America’s largest hospitality workers union are all endorsing Save Hotel Jobs Act as a way to provide relief during this transition time. The combination of direct payroll grants and tax credits would help to offset the increased costs of goods and human resources.

IFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs Matthew Haller, explained: “More than 200,000 jobs were lost in the franchise lodging sector, representing a 33% drop in employment. This legislation will allow these franchise owners much-needed time to recover and rebuild their operations, ensuring they can rebuild their workforce and support local communities until travel resumes to pre-pandemic levels.”

Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO summed it up. “Hotels have a complex supply chain that requires regular procurement of a wide range of goods and services each day. And whether it’s production backups or shipping delays, supply chain disruptions are compounding hotels’ existing problems and increasing operating costs during an already tough time,” he said. “This survey highlights just how widespread these challenges are for hoteliers. That’s why now is the time for Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act, so hotel employees can get the relief they need during these difficult times.”