When you run, or are planning to run a hotelier business, there are many factors that you need to think about. Depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be different ways to make your establishment stand out from the crowd. This will require a lot of research of nearby properties to see exactly what is working and what isn’t.
You need to work out who you’ll be marketing to and how you plan to make a return on your investment. Figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which must be the same throughout every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we look at how you can correctly safeguard your hotel:
This may sound like something that can go without saying, but having corporate uniform is a must. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business. In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.
Installing cameras is another great way to instil confidence in your guests. However, just having a surveillance system in place isn’t enough. Be sure to constantly monitor your set-up, even if this means hiring a third-party company to do so. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.
Have a clear emergency response plan
It’s important that your team is well aware of what to do in an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.
Aneil Handa, Director of hotel group, Cairn Collection, said: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”
If you run a hotel or a guest house, a regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is crucial. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose.
By carrying out these checks periodically, you are limiting the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Like electric, your gas mains and appliances must be periodically checked. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.
In addition, you must also train your staff on how to use any gas appliances and show them how to carry our visual checks, so they can spot obvious faults. This could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.
It’s also imperative that you have a carbon monoxide and dioxide alarm fitted. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.
It’s not just the physical safety that you need to focus on, either. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with most of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.
Be sure to reduce this risk and keep your files and information safe by regularly updating your systems. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged. A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups.
Password security is also important, just as it would be for your personal devices. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.
With safety such a huge part of the hospitality industry, it’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.