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Frank Meek

Hotel renovations often focus on guest-pleasing amenities, new design considerations or technologically advanced upgrades. While these will certainly draw more clientele, you want to attract the right customers. Renovations can appeal to another type of guests entirely - pests. But, there's good news: Pest management doesn't have to wait until your hotel is up and running. You can start preventing pests beginning at preliminary stages. With so many details to monitor during a renovation, it's important to not let pest control slip through the cracks; otherwise, you'll have pests coming through the cracks at your hotel. Read on...

Bob Carr

As cardholder data breaches at hotels occur with increasing frequency, it is more important than ever to take precautions to keep your hotel and guests secure. First, become familiar with threats to card data security - and the consequences of a compromise. Next, learn the requirements for Payment Card Industry compliance put in place to help protect cardholder data. Finally, apply these requirements by taking steps to alleviate some of the confusion surrounding PCI compliance. Read on...

Frank Meek

They are the centerpiece of your marketing and the crux of your competitive advantage. Your hotel amenities define the guest experience and can be the reason that guests choose a stay at your property over others in the market. Amenities like fitness centers, spa facilities, swimming pools and foodservice areas provide your guests with comfort, convenience and relaxation during their stay. These added-value services earn you bookings, but they may also attract unwanted guests to your property. Find out why pests see the essentials for survival - food, water and shelter - in many of your extras. Read on...

Frank Meek

Are your potential customers reading online reviews before booking a stay at your hotel? Are they ruling out your establishment because of a bad review about poor customer service or a pest sighting? These are the questions that concern hoteliers like you every day as more and more consumers use online reviews to make their purchasing decisions. Orkin recently partnered with national hospitality and linguistic experts to determine the frequency of pests mentioned on hotels review blogs and the impact of these encounters on customer loyalty. Read on for the full results of the study and how you can preserve your hotel's five-star reputation. Read on...

Peter Goldmann

Hotels, restaurants, casinos and resorts are notoriously desirable targets for thieves and con artists, mainly because of the large sums of cash flowing through these businesses. And, indeed, statistics do show that theft and fraud take a serious financial toll on the bottom lines of most hospitality entities. According to industry statistics, as much as 5% of annual food and beverage revenue is lost to fraud by hospitality companies. The good news is that there is a lot that hotel management can do to prevent and detect illegal activity that they're not doing now. Read on...

Frank Meek

With hybrid cars, energy-saving appliances and recycled products on the rise, the environmentally friendly movement has never been more popular. What many people don't know is that the pest control industry, for several years, has been making its own move toward "greener" alternatives to traditional techniques. But what does this mean for your hotel? It means better pest control results with less risk. Newer techniques and technologies are much more tailored to the biology and behavior of each target pest than treatments in the past. Consequently, they are more effective, virtually unnoticeable to your guests and much less likely to pose health risks. The days of spraying baseboards with pesticides and often malodorous treatments are over. Read on...

Frank Meek

Summertime and the living is easy by the pool - unless guests are forced to swat pests while they tan. As warm weather brings mosquitoes, flies and stinging pests out in numbers, hoteliers need to prepare themselves to fight back and make sure their guests' relaxing poolside experiences aren't ruined by buzzing insects. Read on...

Frank Meek

With Labor Day just around the corner, the housekeeping staff soon will scramble to clean rooms and managers will get ready to deal with overbooking woes. And while "walking" guests to another establishment may be a common practice during a busy season, hoteliers should ensure that they're walking guests due to overbooking - not because a regulator or inspector has forced a room closure as the result of a pest infestation. Though pest control is by no means the only area that regulatory inspectors will review, it is an important one. Inspectors will review pest control for the same reasons that hoteliers employ proactive pest management programs - pests can threaten public health, signify greater problems like poor sanitation and cause structural damage. Not to mention that a serious pest problem can lead to claims, additional expense or even a lawsuit from angry customers or negative media coverage. Read on...

Frank Meek

Hair on the pillow, lipstick on the glass, cockroach in the bathtub. They're three scenarios of which hotel urban legends can be made. But which one bothers guests most? To find the answer to this question, Orkin, Inc. fielded a poll to consumers and hotel insiders to learn their perceptions of housekeeping issues and uncovered some interesting attitudes in the process. When it comes to regular hotel users (i.e., those who spend at least one night a month in a hotel), they may not be the most forgiving lot if their bathroom is dirty: they rated bathroom cleanliness as a top concern, and when asked to select conditions that might cause them not to return to an establishment, more than nine out of every 10 (92 percent) chose "visibly unclean bathtub." Read on...

Frank Meek

For many of us, the start of a New Year means another list of New Year's resolutions. We set goals and start over fresh, pledging to improve ourselves over the next 365 days. Many hoteliers will make their own New Year's resolutions, from "increase business" to "raise the value of our service." But one thing that can spoil the chances of your hotel achieving these goals is pests. During the winter months, pests can pose a threat as they seek refuge from the harsh outside weather. In fact, some mice will gnaw through holes as small as a dime in search of shelter, food and water. In a recent poll Orkin conducted, 85 percent of regular hotel-goers reported they might never return to an establishment if they saw or heard a mouse. In the summer months, rodent pressure can give way to fly and cockroach infestations, which are also very off-putting to hotel guests. Read on...

Peter Goldmann

The problem for hospitality companies, among others, is that thieves have found more and more ways to steal customer credit card and other personal information in order to create counterfeit credit cards in the victim's name.,..or to use the credit card information to fraudulently purchase goods over the Internet with the victim's identity. In addition, restaurant and front desk point-of-sale locations are common "hang-outs" for dishonest employees armed with credit card "skimmers" that record guest credit card data for later use in identity fraud. Read on...

Frank Meek

Hotel guests weren't the only ones enjoying the unusually mild temperatures this past winter. The warm weather allowed pests to thrive throughout the season, and with such a low pest mortality rate over the last few months, summer is sure to bring even more pest infestations than usual. To keep pests out this spring, take advantage of your hotel's sanitation program as a pest prevention tool. Read on...

Peter Goldmann

Despite the constant barrage of news about corporate theft and fraud, there are still far too many situations in which hospitality companies unknowingly pay criminally-minded individuals or phony companies posing as legitimate vendors. How is it possible that "legitimate" companies have a private mailbox at the local UPS Store, a private residence, or even a prison address? Or that invoices a month apart with consecutive numbers both get paid? Or "invoices from a "vendor" whose address happens to match that of a company employee get paid? Read on...

Frank Meek

Whether it's lounging by the pool, enjoying dinner at a nice restaurant or just relaxing with a good book, your guests' favorite vacation activities can quickly be disrupted with the sound of an annoying "buzz..." Besides serving as a nuisance, flies also pose serious health risks to your guests and staff. Since flies feed on feces and other decaying matter, they can carry up to a half billion bacteria on the outside of their bodies, including E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus. In fact, flies are the No. 1 transmitters of disease in the world. Read on...

Peter Goldmann

The news headlines are chock full of accounts of massive volumes of confidential corporate information being stolen, including customer credit card data, medical records, Social Security numbers, corporate trade secrets, trademarked and copyrighted intellectual property and more. The results of these attacks, though hard to accurately measure in dollars and cents, are nonetheless devastating for both the victimized company and the customers, employees and contractors whose personal identifying data is stolen. In the largest theft of confidential information ever, the apparel retailer, TJX Inc., had its databases attacked by outside hackers to the tune of over 45 million retail transaction records, involving countless numbers of credit and debit card files. Read on...

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Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.