5 Vital Steps To Achieve Operational Excellence

02/11/2022 Duncan Colvin

“To achieve operational excellence you need to run a quality business. A quality business is just one that’s run really well, not just out front and in terms of what the customers see, but it’s about everything that goes on behind the scenes as well. Ultimately a well-run and well-managed business will do well itself.”

– Duncan Colvin, Head of Compliance, Venners

1. Why achieve operational excellence?

To achieve operational excellence you need to run your hospitality business as efficiently, effectively, and profitably as possible. According to research, achieving a state of operational excellence can lead to “25% faster annual growth, and 75% higher productivity”. In some cases businesses that adopted an operational excellence mentality have been able to increase profits by millions.

Strategically achieving operational excellence in hospitality is about equipping your business to tackle obstacles that limit growth and productivity. Through monitoring operational excellence regularly businesses can benchmark and improve performance, enhance efficiency, grow profit, reduce losses, tackle fraud, and cut costs.


2. The struggle to achieve operational excellence

It’s never been harder for hospitality businesses to achieve operational excellence than today. The continual strain on operators since the pandemic, has unmistakably kickstarted the cumulative erosion of operational excellence in hospitality.

Our industry has been dealing with a seemingly endless staffing crisis, the cost-of-living has skyrocketed, energy prices are soaring, supplies have become increasingly inaccessible, and then there are of course the drastic changes in customer expectations.

The hospitality industry is a resilient one, but after taking hit after hit, operational excellence can’t help but slip.


3. The role of compliance

Compliance is the practical solution to ease the current pressures the hospitality industry is facing and is the ultimate way to help businesses achieve operational excellence.

The term ‘compliance’ is universally misunderstood. It is commonly perceived to be beneficial only to determine whether rules and regulations are being adhered to. This has stifled meaningful progress in the development of operational excellence in hospitality businesses.

Compliance as a business support tool is much more effective when it comes as a panoptic approach. By covering topics such as brand image, profit, legalities and training, compliance can guarantee operational excellence.

It is vital for solving pre-existing problems and prohibiting issues from escalating; pinpointing underlying obstacles that hinder businesses from achieving operational excellence. It is also an essential process for monitoring the health and success of a hospitality business and for driving positive change.

When it comes to genuine business needs in a stringent market, most decision makers place compliance on the ‘nice-to-have’ pile. The reality is, however, that compliance is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It is high time that the industry seriously looked at redefining the purpose of compliance and its crucial role in operational excellence.

Watch this webinar, featuring Duncan Colvin, our Head of Compliance, to get further insight how to improve operational excellence in your business through compliance.

4. How to achieve operational excellence

As businesses operate under maximum stress levels, now really is the best time to employ compliance-centric strategies. Hospitality establishments need to ensure that they have a business model in place that offers bulletproof protection and fool proof directives.

The determining factor between those who survive over the next 18 months and those who don’t, will be the effective use of compliance services to achieve operational excellence. Operators need to ensure that operational excellence becomes a key priority as we head towards the start of another year. For maximum success they will need to:


Step 1: Strategy

Establish a strategy that targets persistent operational weaknesses and outlines best practice standards

Step 2: Polices, processes and procedures

Revise current policies, processes and procedures and introduce new ones where needed

Step 3: Compliance auditing plan

Formulate a compliance auditing plan to collect relevant data and benchmark success internally in their business and across the wider industry

Step 4: Progress monitoring and corrective actions

Monitor progress and implement corrective actions whenever required.

Step 5: Trend analysis and training

Analyse common trends in findings to determine training needs and develop relevant programmes to address them

Roadmap infographic outlining steps to achieve operational excellence

10. Benefits of achieving operational excellence

In the long run, being able to achieve operational excellence removes the need for management involvement in day-to-day activities and permits leaders and managers to spend their time innovating and working on activities that generate top-line growth.

Learn more about operational excellence by downloading our essential handbook for operational excellence via this link.