LeanSixSigma and its application in the hospitality sector

In the post-pandemic era,

 hospitality firms, big and small, are looking for innovative ways to cut costs and stay afloat while keeping customers happy.

The key here is to improve efficiency in the work processes through implementation of processes that are proven to generate results.

The lean six sigma methodology fits right in to this need gap. Based on its philosophy of eliminating waste and optimising operations while incorporating strict quality control processes, it has a proven track record and definitely a place in the hospitality industry.


Why is lean six sigma a perfect fit for the hospitality sector?


The primary goal of the six sigma system is to satisfy the customer needs and generate customer loyalty towards a product or an organisation.

Lean, on the other hand, deals more towards eliminating waste and improving work flows, by identifying what is a value-add for the customer.

Together the guiding principles of both lean and six sigma can provide a seamless flow between employee work processes and satisfaction, while delivering low cost, customer friendly outcomes for best results.

Before initiating changes related to the lean six sigma methods, understanding the challenges and identifying areas of waste are of great importance.

Some common areas that impact efficiency in a hospitality set-up include –

  • Inefficient processes at the reception area and during guest interaction
  • Variable and or ineffective formats of inter-departmental communication
  • Inconsistency in house-keeping protocols
  • Inefficient raw material procurement, processing and delivery methods
  • Food wastage
  • Maintenance of critical equipment
  • Electricity bills
  • IT resources


The key to successfully implement lean six sigma in the hospitality industry


The lean six sigma method has a proven record for driving success through efficiency and frameworks that can implement systems and protocols at all levels.

The first step towards an implementation of the lean six sigma methodology is the setting up of adequate infrastructure that works in unison with the everyday responsibility of the employee, with an aim to create a culture of collaboration and involvement.

There are seven phases that need to be considered to initiate six sigma principles into an organisation, viz., envision, strategize, develop, implement, improve, sustain and abandon.

Other critical factors are speed, breadth of implementation and budgets.


Once the challenges and barriers are identified, micro projects that resolve all of these are initiated by the lean six sigma black belt or master black belt along with their respective team members.


The hospitality industry relies heavily on customer service and the lean six sigma methodology if correctly implemented, can help these organisations to efficiently serve guests in a cost-effective manner with minimal waste, yet with great outcomes.


Reference: Justin LM. UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1150. DOI: 10.34917/2523548 

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