When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the hospitality industry was one of the hardest-hit industries as people cancelled their flights, vacations and fancy dinners, opting to stay indoors instead. In fact, in March 2020, the National Restaurant Association was already predicting a decline of $225 billion in sales within three months. The association believed that this would lead to the loss of 5-7 million jobs. Similarly, by March 23, 2020, over 20 airlines – including Emirates – had suspended their operations by 100%.
As people start travelling again and business resumes, the industry is struggling to recover – all the while grappling with a new problem. Supply chain issues are worse than they have ever been.
What supply chain issues are affecting the industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the Ukranian war have left the global economy reeling and the cost of everything is going up. These cost increases have adversely affected businesses in the hotel industry who now have to allocate a bigger portion of their budget to sourcing products. Since sales have not quite recovered yet, these increasing costs eat into the revenue gained, leaving a huge dent in earnings. More specifically, according to a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), hotels have experienced increasing costs for in the following areas: daily cleaning and housekeeping supplies, linens and other soft goods, and food and beverage products.
Lack of supply
As if the higher costs weren’t already bad enough, in some cases the supplies required simply aren’t available. Hotel, restaurant, bar and coffee shop owners have all reported having to improvise for items as basic as napkins. QHotels Management – an umbrella organization that manages global franchises, including some Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn and Best Western properties – is facing these issues firsthand.
As a case in point, QHotels Management CEO Vimal Patel says one of his hotels advertises 12-ounce cups of coffee but – at some point – they could only find 8-ounce cups with no lids. Things got heated when customers took to the Internet to complain bitterly about the substandard coffee cups they were offered. The last thing you want to do as a restaurant or coffee shop owner is give someone yet another reason to get upset before their first cup of coffee. Unfortunately, many of these establishments can only improvise and hope that their customers will understand.
Extended wait times
As reported by AHLA, when business owners actually manage to source the supplies they need, they also face extended wait times. To put this into perspective, Patel reports that orders that would normally take 48 hours to arrive can now take months. In fact, he adds, “you’re lucky to get it in 3 weeks.”
All these problems have compounded to create a very challenging environment for businesses in the industry. Since sales haven’t gotten to pre-pandemic levels yet, businesses are struggling to simply stay afloat.
Luckily for these businesses, Scott Graham has experienced these problems firsthand too. Why is this lucky? Well, Graham has leveraged 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to solve the supply chain issues that businesses in the industry are facing. He’s done this by building KEXY – an all-in-one marketplace that bridges the gap between retailers, distributors and brands in hospitality.
“I know firsthand how inefficient operations and communications have led to the worst supply chain issues that restaurants, distributors, and brands have ever faced,” says Graham. “These problems are interconnected. Restaurants lose money by tracking inventory inefficiently. Distributors miss out on 20% of sales opportunities due to lack of information. By law, brands cannot directly sell to restaurants, which limits their ability to market their products. We built KEXY to solve these problems by connecting different players in the industry.”
How does KEXY work?
KEXY essentially tracks inventory patterns and buying behaviors of establishments, thereby creating a marketplace where everyone wins. With KEXY, restaurants can purchase the right products to help their bottom line and distributor representatives know when the best time is to sell their products. Additionally, brands can increase awareness of their products to a wider audience.
In this way, KEXY serves as an inventory management system for retailers, a sales platform for distributors, and a marketing tool for brands.
“It’s our goal to bridge the gap between every segment of the hospitality
industry and build a thriving community,” says Graham. “We’re passionate about helping our customers succeed and we’re committed to making the hospitality industry a better place for everyone.”
KEXY is currently the only platform of its kind. While there are similar restaurant management apps, they have traditionally maintained what Graham refers to as an “establishment-centric focused mindset.” In other words, their solutions only address the needs of one segment of the market. On the other hand, KEXY has completely reimagined how restaurants, bars, and suppliers conduct business with each other. KEXY is the only platform that addresses the operational inefficiency challenges faced by all players in the food and beverage ecosystem.
What KEXY customers have to say
So far, KEXY’s customers are thrilled with how effective the platform has been for business.
As George Wood (from Bloomington, CA) says, “KEXY was suggested to me by a colleague, so I gave it a try. Figured it couldn’t hurt. One month later and I’m satisfied. KEXY has been instrumental in positioning my brand in front of key decision makers at the bars and restaurants we partner with. Needless to say, sales have gone up!”
In a similar vein, Chanel Jones (from Wichita, KS) says, “Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! KEXY is the ideal marketing tool for brands looking to gain an edge over the competition. The ability to create customized marketing campaigns is just one of many features that has helped us to boost brand awareness and increase sales. Highly recommended.”
KEXY’s plans for the future
KEXY was recently accepted to the prestigious Techstars Accelerator Program – a development that will help them grow the platform and transform the hospitality industry even further. In addition, they’re currently in a pre-seed funding round designed to provide the capital for future upgrades to the platform.
The KEXY team is well on its way to making the hospitality industry a better place for everyone. They’ve already built a valuable resource-rich network among different sectors of the industry. At the same time, their planned growth is bound to help them create even more growth in the industry.
Want to get plugged into KEXY today? The good news is that the platform is free for retailers and comes at an affordable price for other sectors of the industry. You can easily sign up on their website today. Alternatively, you can always join the KEXY community on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.