Whatever stage you’re at – whether already owning, or in the process of running, your own hotelier business, there are plenty of factors to consider to ensure 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.
Which audience should you market your business to? How do you maximise profit? What is your unique selling point? However, one aspect which should always be at the forefront for every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we offer a brief overview of how you can help to safeguard your hotel:
A staff uniform?
Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but a corporate uniform 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.
How important is CCTV?
Important! Installing security cameras will help to make guests feel safer. 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. You could even use cloud CCTV storage so that you can view your property from a control room, smartphone or a tablet 24/7.
Emergency response plan
You should ensure your staff are competent in the face of an emergency. Hopefully it will never happen, but if there is an emergency your staff should be fully up-to-date about what they need to do in the scenario. 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.
Your electricity supply is always a potential source of danger so a regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is important. 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.
Periodic checks are vital – carrying these out periodically will ensure 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.
This – like electricity – is another potential source of danger; so gas safety should be another priority consideration. It’s important that staff have full training in the operation of any gas appliances – and this should include spotting any obvious faults, by using visual checks. 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.
Your gas mains and appliances should also be periodically checked – much in the same way that your electricity supply is. 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.
Carbon monoxide and dioxide alarms are a must. 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.
Online data is important too
Physical safety will be at the forefront of your mind but shouldn’t be your only safety priority. For example, hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cyber security breaches, with most of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.
Stay on top of your IT systems – regularly updating these will help ensure the safety of files and information, and reduce online data security risks. 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.
Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about password security. Password vigilance is key – just as it is 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.
Running a successful, hotelier business carries lots of responsibility and safety should obviously be a key consideration. Do keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide you with a good insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.