Hospitality is an incredibly rewarding industry that thrives on curating memorable experiences that will remain with guests long after their trip ends. From exotic locales to local culture, attentive guest service, incredible food, beautiful grounds and state-of-the-art amenities, hotels are in the business of delighting travelers from the moment they step foot onto a property. Of course, a busy hotel is not just a hub of excited travelers and memories waiting to be made – there are also a number of security risks hoteliers must consider to ensure the safety of their guests and staff. After all, hoteliers cannot effectively manage the guest experience if they do not first manage the associated risks and safety threats that come with running a hotel. This proves to be especially true in a post-pandemic world, as guests step foot on property with a heightened and ever-evolving list of demands and expectations. On-property safety has, quite literally, never been so critical to a hotels’ success.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 4 safety threats in hotels and – more importantly – what hoteliers can do to mitigate them effectively. 1. Cleanliness + Health Concerns Over the last year, as the hospitality industry prepared for some semblance of a ‘return to normal’, hoteliers recognized that certain aspects of the guest experience would have to change to suit a world transformed by COVID-19. Specifically, guests had become hyper-focused on the perceived cleanliness of hotels, actively seeking out those properties which clearly advertised enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures as part of their offering. To this effect, hotel brands of all size and scale around the world have implemented enhanced cleaning and safety protocols including, but not limited to: PPE use, hospital-grade disinfectants, frequent and rigorous cleaning schedules, the appointment of ‘cleanliness managers’, self-service kiosks and contactless technology, and so much more.
Now, more than ever before, hotels must look to maintain rigid brand standards across their properties in regards to the cleaning and maintenance of guest rooms, amenities, and public areas within the hotel. Fortunately, hotels can leverage real-time location technology which utilizes multiple data points to confirm compliance with cleaning protocols, and automatically creates an audit trail of date/time and duration of cleaning. With these platforms, hotel staff can record notes, pictures and files right within the app while sharing real-time access to relevant and reliable information to corporate buyers and travelers. This ensures the accountability of a hotels’ housekeeping staff and helps to enhance guest peace of mind.
2. Theft Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is especially vulnerable to incidents of theft, both in relation to guest belongings, and ‘back of house’ theft committed by employees. From the guest room to on-property restaurants, kitchens, common areas, storerooms, offices, and more, there are countless opportunities for goods and assets to be stolen by a staff member, guest, or outsider. Beyond the deployment of security systems that provide hoteliers with 24/7 video surveillance of common areas, hoteliers can utilize inventory tracking solutions which relay the real-time location of hotel inventory and ancillary items. Not only does this empower hotel staff to deliver requested items to guests in a quick and efficient manner – it also allows hotel management to keep track of key items that may otherwise be prone to theft.
3. Emergency Incidents + Guest Behavior It’s no secret that hospitality work is often isolated in nature. Across large properties, hotel employees will often find themselves attending guest needs or performing duties alone, which leaves staff especially vulnerable to unexpected injury, assault, or verbal/physical harassment. With this in mind, it is absolutely crucial for hotels to consider what tool(s) and processes they have in place to mitigate incident risk for hotel staff and guests alike. In emergency scenarios, it is imperative that hotel staff have an easy and effective means to call for help.
The best way to ensure hospitality staff (and guests) are safe from accidents, falls, harassment, or abuse is to implement hotel panic buttons. Utilizing a network of BLE/Wi-Fi hubs to gather and relay real-time location data of staff in crisis, modern hotel panic buttons are convenient, discreet, user-friendly, and integrate easily and efficiently with a hotel’s existing back-of-the-house systems. If staff members feel their safety is at risk, they can simply trigger the handheld button to transmit their real-time location information to other team members.
3. Unauthorized Visitors On any given day during peak season, a hotel property is swarming with people. Understandably, with an ongoing rotation of guests arriving and leaving, it can be challenging for hoteliers to effectively track who is authorized to be on the property, and who isn’t. This is especially true for hotels that commonly rely on vendors, as it’s important to know which vendors are on-site (and where) to ensure the safety of guests, employees, and the vendors themselves.
Fortunately, there does exist technology for this precise purpose. Using a vendor tracking solution, hoteliers can easily manage who is on-site via real-time location tracking. From rooms to hallways and public areas, this technology provides hoteliers with a list of which vendors are on-site and their real-time location, which enhances the safety of everyone on-property and ensures restricted areas remain off-limits and helps hotels to optimize their labor management.
The good news? The TraknProtect Internet of Things (IoT) platform includes cleanliness tracking, safety buttons, inventory tracking, and vendor tracking all in one place. Click here to learn more.