If you already run, or are in the process of, running any kind of hotelier business, there are various important factors to consider to increase the likelihood of success. Depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be different ways to make your establishment stand out from the crowd. This will likely require extensive research into nearby properties and businesses to see exactly what is working and what isn’t.
Establishing who you will need to market your business to, and steps to make a return on your investment are important. Figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which should be a consistent for every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we take a brief overview of how you can correctly safeguard your hotel:
The staff uniform
It should go without saying that a corporate staff uniform should be 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.
The use of CCTV
Having security cameras installed within your establishment is another way to ensure your guests feel safe. 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. You could even use cloud CCTV storage so that you can view your property from a control room, smartphone or a tablet 24/7. 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.
An emergency response plan
In the case – hopefully unlikely – of an emergency, staff should be completely knowledgeable about their role. 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.
Thinking about electric
A regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is crucial, if you run a hotel or a guest house. This is because, since your business is constantly in operation, 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.
Similar to your electricity supply, your gas mains and appliances should 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.
Additionally, staff should also be trained in how to use gas appliances – including how to carry out 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.
Securing online data
It’s also important to remember that physical safety isn’t all that needs to be thought about. 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.
You can reduce online data security risks, 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.
Remember to be vigilant about passwords too. Password security is 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.
Safety should obviously be a key consideration for anyone involved in 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.