Category Archives: Training

Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “5 Ways to Pummel Pests at Your Hotel”

“(Hoteliers) really should have an independent inspection of their vendors,” Rivard said. “The prime food producers throughout the country already do that. They’re checking them out,20150911_pest control whether they’re buying some ingredient or working with a pallet manufacturer.”

A hidden danger of record high demand is more guests walking through the door means a higher chance anything from bed bugs to cockroaches to rats and ants are following right behind.

One of the few things more disconcerting than the pests themselves is the effect they can have on your bottom line.

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky showed a single online review mentioning a bed bug sighting caused many to immediately write off a hotel. The first reaction of 56% of potential guests will be to no longer consider staying at that property, 7% will shorten their stay and 12% will seek to avoid that hotel’s brand in the future.

The same survey, results of which have not yet been published, showed 60% of guests who spot a bed bug would immediately leave the hotel, which is almost three times as many as those who would leave after finding someone else’s blood somewhere in a guest room.

“It’s a maddeningly difficult problem to deal with,” said Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and one of the authors of the study. “Everybody is dealing with bed bugs … but hospitality is especially vulnerable because people rely so much on social media when making decisions.”

The potential damage to your hotel’s reputation is only worsened when considering the fact that less than a third of those surveyed could identify successfully a bed bug, with many confusing other pests like lice, ants, termites and ticks for bed bugs.

The harsh reality is there are no 100% infallible methods to keep pests from darkening your doorways, but there are some things to make sure they’re less welcome after arrival.

Here are five ways experts seek to prevent pests.

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hotel Owners Can Get More Green by Going Green”

When looking for the smartest ways for your hotel to implement resource and money-saving updates, reach out to a consultant who can help you determine the costs, returns,Tap with dripping waterdrop. Water leaking, saving. and impact that going green will have your business specifically. It can be overwhelming, but remember that one small change at a time will add up to a lot of savings over the long run.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase we’re all well-acquainted with, and for good reason. The earth’s natural resources that we depend upon are finite, so the advice is simply to use them wisely. Even if you don’t consider yourself an eco-focused person, it just makes good practical sense to be resourceful–whether it’s in vogue or not.

The best part about wasting less resources, though, is wasting less money. Wasting less money is having more of it, and because the nature of hotels requires the use of a lot of water, energy, food, and other materials, hotel owners have an incredible opportunity to save a lot of money by being more resourceful.

Save money, help the planet–these aren’t the only benefits. Taking responsibility for the way your business uses the earth’s resources reflects well upon your brand and becomes part of your company culture. Your business can effect positive change in the world!

Below we review three areas that are full of opportunities for savings. Some of the ideas do require an upfront cost but will pay for themselves in savings. Remember to look into opportunities for rebates and tax credits when considering the cost of efficiency updates as well.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Green Lodging, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “6 Ways to Prepare For the Next Downturn”

“Providing an exceptional guest experience is the best investment any hotelier can make.20150714_downturn_feature This is why we as a brand have rolled out a membership-wide training program all about the importance of unlocking the personalities of the staff and the story of the hotel when guests stay,” she said.

Good times continue to roll for the global hospitality sector with growth in the travel and tourism industry expected to increase by 3.9% this year, according to Ernst & Young’s “Global hospitality insights” report for 2015.

But in the cyclical fashion of the industry, the upswing can’t last forever.

So what should hoteliers be doing now to prepare for the inevitable down cycle, and how much can investing in their products and services now set them up for not so good times in the future?

For Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Debut Hotel Group and Hampshire Hotels Management, preparation now is absolutely key to success in a future downturn.

“Hoteliers should be pragmatic, preparing for when it is a bit more difficult to get those much-needed guests through a property’s doors,” he said. “Hoteliers that are prepared with a product and with services that guests value, appreciate and are willing to pay for will be ahead of the game.”

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Filed under Employee Practices, Finances, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “DOJ Releases Supplemental Guidance on Service Animals Under the Americans With Disabilities Act”

“Public accommodations and facilities covered by the ADA (including, but not limited to,those noted above) are well-advised to review the new guidance,Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svg which provides practical insight into these and other thorny issues that frequently arise with regard to service animal access.”

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) just two weeks away, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions regarding service animals and the ADA.   This additional guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the DOJ’s previous July 2011 technical assistance on Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals, which remains in full effect.

The DOJ has stated that this additional guidance is meant to further assist people with disabilities as well as places of public accommodation covered by the ADA – such as retail shops, restaurants, hotels, medical facilities, theaters and event spaces, and other places open to the public – in understanding how the ADA’s service animal provisions apply to them. Among other topics, the additional guidance addresses in detail:

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CBRlu6

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Protect Your Property from Common Industry Scams”

To prevent any type of scam, Bragiel suggests that hoteliers establish reliable contacts within banks, businesses, and the hotel’s credit card processor. That way, if questions of authenticity arise,Scam the front desk staff can turn to trusted sources. “When in doubt, we always encourage our members to check with the folks they have relationships with,” says Bragiel

It could be disguised as a typical guest interaction: Someone checks in under a corporate account that does not require a credit card, only for management to later realize the guest was not an employee of the company. Or, it could be someone whose credit card fails to go through, so he or she provides the clerk with a false authorization code. Both of these scenarios are common lodging industry scams, pulled by con artists who exploit front desk protocols to get a free stay, and oftentimes managers don’t even know what happened until the guest is long gone.

Fraud is a growing issue in the United States, with retailers losing $32 million in 2014 to credit card scamming, up from $23 million in 2013, according to a recent Business Insider report. For hoteliers to avoid becoming a victim of one of these cons, it is important that they not only recognize the signs of common industry scams but also learn how to be proactive in protecting a property from vulnerability.

For more: http://bit.ly/1GKYRTh

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “Is Your Hotel Properly Collecting and Preserving Incident Related Evidence ?”

Videos can make or break a case. For example, in one case, video footage clearly showed that the plaintiff initiated the fist fight that was at the heart of his lawsuit.collecting evidence The video would have absolved the hotel from all liability, but the hotel failed to properly preserve this key piece of evidence.As a result, the case had to be settled instead of vigorously defended. Further, as digital surveillance systems continue to become the industry standard, judges have been less forgiving when it comes to claims that the pertinent footage was either lost or never preserved.

By the time a case reaches an attorney’s desk, all too often pertinent evidence either has been lost — or was never collected in the first place. California’s statute of limitations for a personal lawsuit is two years; consequently, an attorney’s first involvement in an incident on your property usually happens more than two years after the incident has occurred. If your hotel or resort has not properly gathered and preserved evidence, it becomes very challenging to recreate what transpired. Hence, it is imperative that; your hotel have formal written evidence retention policies; that first responders and security teams are properly trained on how to gather the evidence; and that hotel staff take steps to ensure that this evidence is preserved. Failing to collect and preserve evidence can turn a defensible case into a major settlement.

For more: http://bit.ly/1FPnjkz

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training