Lean Hotel Operations

Offering excellent value at low cost

Process Improvement Japan - nature scene

Yukai Resort in the famous Gero Onsen Hot spring area of Japan is part of a traditional Japanese hotel chain which performs lean hotel operations in order to offer great value to their customers, reduce cost and remain competitive in the fierce hospitality industry.

The standard hotel rate in the Gero Onsen Hot spring area is 15,000 yen or approximately US $180.00 per person/per night which includes dinner, breakfast and entrance to the hot spring.

At Yukai Resort, the price for the same offering is 7,500 yen (US $91.00) - every day of the year; regardless of high/low season.

You may be surprised to hear that Yukai Resort is of high quality, they offer delicious international and Japanese meals and the surrounds are beautiful.

What`s their secret?

Lean management and the multi-function worker

Put simply, all resort duties are shared by all personnel. This has allowed the resort to operate with minimal staff and reduce costs overall while maintaining high quality.

For instance: The receptionists, in their free time will go to areas needing assistance; perhaps the kitchen or laundry.

Dinner and breakfast are buffet style, which reduces staffing requirements.

Staff are also active in lean management or lean kaizen efforts. The manager leads Kaizen circles weekly and monthly.

Employee engagement is key. This style of operation is extremely advantageous to both management and personnel. Cost minimization is an obvious benefit. For staff, this system allows them to gain experience in all aspects of hotel operations and gives them an opportunity to have direct input in improvement activities. It`s not only empowering and motivating but also excellent in terms of career development.

Return from Lean Hotel Operations to Lean Manufacturing Principles