Robust hotel systems

The procedural systems, and the control environment surrounding these systems, are crucial to the smooth and efficient operation of any hotel. Whilst a concern to many involved in hotel management, internal procedures is an area which is often overlooked, but can affect financial performance.

For staff and even some general managers, it can be a distant concern which is ultimately "not their responsibility", when a drink or meal is not charged to a room or when guests 'forget' to inform reception of a mini-bar binge the night before checking out.  How much does this happen at your establishment? Perhaps the most concerning answer to this question is one of complete ignorance and unawareness.

This is entirely different to a complimentary bottle of wine on a special occasion or a discounted food bill to a loyal customer, as these costs can be seen as 'marketing' with clearly defined objectives. Although obvious, it is still worthwhile stating that any good or service that is not charged to the guest, when it is appropriate to do so, is a cost which will only affect the bottom line in one way.

Granted that in isolation, these instances are nothing more than inexpensive mishaps which are habitually put down to training staff or a pleasant and unexpected freebie for guests, and easily swept under the carpet. However, consider how often this might happen and the impact may soon be significant.

In busy hotels with high occupancy and high guest turnover, it is completely understandable that staff will make mistakes, drinks will be dropped and other revenue losing events will occur. However, ensuring that robust systems are in place to mitigate the risk of significant losses is crucial to the success of any hotel.

This issue is magnified during periods of full occupancy when large numbers of guests are checking in and out within a small window. This weekend sees large numbers of runners, supporters and sponsors coming to town for the London Marathon. They will be 'in and out' within the week and your internal systems will be stretched and tested to the limit.  Are you going to take every opportunity to maximise returns at busy times?

At Moore Stephens, we specialise in ensuring the operating effectiveness of internal procedures are of a sufficient level to ensure that this is not an issue, allowing management to focus on the day-to-day running of their business and directing it to the heights they want it to reach. Ensuring that the systems and control environment are streamlined, engrained into the hotel’s culture and the staff’s thought process, is integral to the success of your business.


Alex Traill

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