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Hotel group CEO traveled for hours to make beds at understaffed Florida location amid the labor shortage

Hotels continue to struggle with the labor shortage.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • The CEO of an Orlando-based hotel company traveled about 2 hours to help an understaffed location. 
  • Jan Gautam told a local outlet he went to help “make the beds” on his way to a meeting. 
  • “Our manager there needs help and if I don’t go, what happens?” he told The Palm Beach Post.

It may be a new year but there aren’t many signs that the labor shortage is going to disappear any time soon.

Many businesses have been hit hard. This includes the haulage industry and in particular, the hospitality sector, but some bosses have found ways to tackle the problem head-on.

According to The Palm Beach Post, this was the case for Jan Guatam, the president and CEO of Orlando-based hotel company, Interessant Hotels & Resort Management. Guatam told the outlet he was determined to help with housekeeping duties at an understaffed Florida location.

He said that while on his way to a meeting in Fort Lauderdale from Orlando recently, he stopped at a Holiday Inn Express in Boynton Beach — which his company manages — to help make the beds and offer support to its manager.

The site is approximately a two-hour and 30-minute drive.

“I am going to make the beds,” Gautam told the outlet. “Our manager there needs help and if I don’t go, what happens?” 

The squeezed labor market has led to wage hikes, store closures, and employee burnout.

Last year, the co-founder of a San Francisco pizza chain said he received no applications for an assistant manager, despite raising the salary to $70,000.

The Palm Beach Post reported that making beds and offering manual support to the hotel managers and employees at the 24 properties that Gautam’s company owns, plus the 75 others it manages are among his most important duties as an executive. 

“The people staying at our hotels demand 100% service. They are paying for it,” he said. “The rooms have to be clean. They have to be ready.” 

Labor shortages may persist beyond 2022 and could remain a very long-lasting problem, as Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reported.

Results from a study conducted in November 2021 by the US Chamber of Commerce, suggested labor shortages could be permanent, given how many people left jobs during the pandemic and have not returned to work. 


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