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Frank Meek

The weather's warming up, which means peak travel season is approaching for the summer vacation set. Ensure your hotel remains a destination hot spot for clientele and not for cockroaches, which are especially active during the warmer months and can hitch a ride into your facility on guest luggage and deliveries. Learn how to identify these unwanted pests and what health hazards they pose to your guests. Stay up-to-date on cockroach management with a program to prevent cockroaches from "checking in" and tips to safeguard against an infestation that can wreck both your brand's reputation and your bottom line. Read on...

Frank Meek

Bed bugs. You can't turn on the television without hearing about this insidious pest. They're everywhere, and businesses nationwide have been affected. Bed bugs have made their way from the bedroom to the boardroom - not to mention, retail establishments, schools and even airplanes. But the fact remains that bed bugs are still a large problem for the hospitality industry. Read on...

Frank Meek

In the hospitality industry, word-of-mouth can be your best friend, but it can also be your worst enemy. While guests are quick to talk about your attentive service and efficient staff, they are even quicker to talk about any encounters they may have had with bed bugs, rodents or other pests during their stay. A pest problem can be detrimental to your hotel's brand and credibility. However, a few simple steps can help any hotelier work through a pest crisis and some even simpler steps can help them prevent the issue from ever coming to a head. Read on...

Venkat Rajagopal

Cleaning is important not only from the point of hygiene but also from the point of safety, security and complying with legislation. Hygiene is an important issue to all kinds of accommodation seekers irrespective of whatkind of accommodation they seek. When the accommodation provider continues to ignore hygiene that will meet guest expectations, no guest is going to return back. Key to any successful cleaning programme is the employee should learn about the brand's core value for which they are working. Accommodation providers should conduct regular audit on hygiene and keep staff well trained on what to look on their daily rounds. Read on...

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...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.