Safety in Service: Mitigating Risks That Could Take a Bite Out of Hotel Business
By Heidi Strommen President, ProHost USA, a division of Distinguished Programs | May 24, 2020
Hotels, restaurants and bars each present their own unique challenges that managers must take into consideration to protect the business's bottom line. But when a restaurant or bar is located on the premises of a hotel, hoteliers are faced with an entirely different level of risk.
Kitchen fires, food safety issues, exacerbated slip-and-fall risks and overserved hotel guests all have the potential to turn a hotel's hotspot into its biggest problem. So how can hotel operators best assess these increased risks and mitigate them to ensure an on-property restaurant or bar is taking all the necessary precautions to protects the hotel's most valuable assets, its guests?
Identifying the Risks
Restaurants and bars face numerous risks that could bring business to a grinding halt and threaten the health and safety of both guests and employees. These risks can often lead to expensive claims that cause irreparable damage to both the restaurant's reputation and its bottom line, which directly impacts the hotel it is located within. These risks include slips-and-falls, kitchen fires, water damage, foodborne illness and food allergies, over-served guests and more.
The most common risks are slip-and-falls, which are also potentially the most severe in terms of liability across the board. These accidents lead to the highest percentage of claims and of workplace injuries, with hazards often overlapping as employees are not restricted to the kitchen area. A wet floor, loose rug or even a stray set of silverware on the ground could be all it takes for a guest or employee to end up falling, and for a claim to be made that the restaurant and hotel should be held accountable.
In terms of cost, damage caused by fires can be the most severe and expensive. What starts as a minor kitchen fire could turn into a devastating ordeal that completely destroys the property. More importantly, if the right measures aren't in place to contain a fire and employees are unaware of how to deal with them, lives will be put at risk. Faulty kitchen equipment, bad wiring, cigarettes extinguished poorly and simply the process of cooking food are all potential causes of a fire within a restaurant or bar.