Health Inspection: Set yourself up for success best practices for pest management

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | July 15, 2012

You work hard to keep your hotel clean and inviting for guests. Pests in a hotel setting can cause bad word-of-mouth and unhappy guests who may not return to your establishment. But beyond the bedroom walls, one critical area of your hotel when it comes to pest management is your restaurant.

A failed health inspection due to a pest sighting in a restaurant or kitchen can be devastating, resulting in bad word-of-mouth or a potential shut down. Let's take a look at which pests are most attracted to your facility, pest hotspots that are cause for concern and how to deter pest entry – all information that will help you to prepare for your next health inspection.

A successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program seeks to limit chemical usage by reducing conditions that attract pests. IPM techniques like facility maintenance and proactive sanitation practices can go a long way in restricting pests' access to sources of food, water and shelter. An IPM program also relies on a strong partnership among you, your pest management professional and your employees. To avoid the often costly repercussions of a poor health inspection score, work with your staff and a pest management professional to be prepared for your next health inspection.

Why Pests Are Attracted to Restaurants

Delicious food, smells, warm temperatures – all the same things that we enjoy from a restaurant are also enjoyed by pests. The odor from the presence of food, water and optimal temperatures are what attracts pests to begin with, but it's certainly hard to reduce these conditions in the midst of a busy mealtime at your restaurant.

Four of the most likely pest guests looking to book a stay in hotel restaurants are flies, cockroaches, rodents and stored-product pests.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.