Whether you already own, or are in the process of running, any type of hotelier establishment there are – of course – lots of important factors to consider to ensure a successful business. 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.
Identifying which audience to market your business to, and the best ways to maximise profit are crucial – and figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which should be a consistent consideration 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 importance of CCTV
If you have security cameras fitted within your hotelier business, it’s a great way to help guests to 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.
The importance of a staff uniform
It might – or might not! – seem fairly obvious, but a uniform for staff should be non-negotiable. 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.
When it comes to your electric supply, a regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is vital. 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.
Carry out these checks periodically. Doing this 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.
Gas safety needs to be a consideration. Similar to your electricity supply, your mains gas 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.
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.
The fitting of carbon monoxide and dioxide alarm is extremely important. 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.
Your emergency response plan
Hopefully it will never happen, but if there is an emergency then 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.
Of course, it isn’t just the physical safety of your guests that needs to be a consideration. 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.
By regularly updating your systems, you will help to ensure the safety of files and information, and thereby 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.
Password vigilance is key. Remember, 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.
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to running a successful, hotelier business but safety should obviously be a key consideration. 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.