Hotel Food & Beverage: Keeping It Clean

By Robert Trainor Exec Chef, Hilton | October 28, 2008

Recent issues of trade journals have explored the fresh importance being placed on strong sanitation practices. From outbreaks of Norwalk virus aboard cruise ships to fears over SARS as close to home as Canada, the media seems to report a new health scare almost every month. On a global level, proper sanitation can stop a number of these illnesses in their tracks. On a more everyday level, keeping a clean kitchen is just good business sense.

Throughout my career, I've been fortunate to work in establishments that practiced good sanitation. Even so, like many others in the industry, these establishments considered achieving basic standards to be doing enough in terms of cleanliness. Staff members labeled and dated items, wore a hat or hairnet and knew to wash their hands after every visit to the restroom. For most in the industry, that was the extent of sanitation practices.

Today, chefs and restaurant managers are not only more accountable for the quality of cuisine and experience presented to their guests, they are being held responsible for cultivating and maintaining a higher cleanliness ethic. This issue is so important that many operations are actually increasing their budgets to provide staff with both basic and leading-edge tools and training to achieve higher sanitation standards.

Lead by Example

As with every other point of quality and pride in any kitchen, sanitation begins with leadership by the chef and restaurant managers. The head chef has an obligation to lead by his or her example of unwavering commitment to cleanliness, and provide team members with the tools and training needed for success. Teach employees the reasons for sanitation practices - and how they affect the restaurant's financial success and customers' trust - and you will succeed in making sanitation a part of your operation's culture.

Begin with the Basics

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.