As business as usual resumes, the hospitality industry is once again in transition. Businesses are moving on from the ‘rebound’ stage and are looking to rebuild — yes, there’s a difference.

Reactive solutions were once a useful stop-gap in a rapidly changing pandemic environment. Now, those in hospitality require best practice procedures that will set them up in the long term. 

Our experience driving safety and quality in the hospitality sector has highlighted the more common safety errors businesses tend to make — and has given us firsthand knowledge on how to avoid them. How can hospitality avoid common missteps? Here’s what not to do.

  1. Overloading communications

Communication in hospitality often poses a challenge — it goes without saying many employees don’t have desks or corporate computers and operate in shifts. As with any distributed team, it’s important to keep your people up to speed with what’s going on. Perhaps you’re using Whatsapp to confirm rosters, emails for business-wide announcements, and a to-do list to keep track of the day’s admin actions. Oh, and pulling things together into your audit database at a later date. 

But critical issues can get missed when communicating over a variety of methods. By using a real-time, live chat log, you’ll know that every piece of information is accounted for. Improving communication channels is a must for any business navigating the pandemic.

  1. Making staff the only safety ambassadors

Your staff likely have enough on their plate, why not let your venues do the talking instead with professionally designed templates? The pandemic has shown visual communication to be a powerful tool for encouraging safe behaviours and lifting consumer confidence. A publicly displayed list of daily safety procedures with completion shown is cited to increase trust and confidence in a business.

That being said, information shared needs to be accurate as well as engaging. SafetyCulture worked in partnership with Canva to develop free professionally designed safe environment templates to help businesses communicate effectively. The free library consists of posters and social media templates to help businesses communicate with customers and employees during COVID-19. 

  1. Inspecting for safety hazards and safety alone

With consistent, quality service comes reliability, and with reliability comes customer loyalty. And in a day and age when customers have higher expectations for dining experiences than ever before, restaurants have their work cut out for them. Sure, digital inspection platforms like iAuditor make sure safety compliance stays in check. But don’t just implement COVID-19 protocols with iAuditor — it’s a safeguard for food and service quality too.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Within an inspection, staff members can upload pictures and add notes, share recipes and menu ideas, standardise recipes, and even address quality issues across different shifts, service times, and even locations.

  1. Flying solo with your operating systems

These days, we’re using so many different systems it can be hard to keep track. It can mean that if your inspection software is standalone, it can be pretty tricky to get that data uploaded into other areas of the business.

By integrating inspection data with your business operations, you’ll be able to have a clearer picture of strategic and operational issues  – vitally important if you are a global business. For instance, with an integrated approach, you’ll know that a leaky patch in the kitchen has been a problem for the last few weeks, but the follow-up actions needed haven’t been completed. You can then issue a deeper investigation.

The right technology can help sharpen our focus, making sure every detail and element of risk is accounted for — but only when it’s implemented correctly. As hospitality switches from being reactive to proactive, businesses can tap into tech to help drive better employee and customer experiences in the long run.

Move from rebound to rebuild with more industry tips and tricks in SafetyCulture’s Hospitality Trend Report 2021.

About SafetyCulture

SafetyCulture is a global technology company which supports businesses to do their best work every day. Its adaptive, mobile-first products help to enhance operations and foster high-performing, safer workplaces. Used by over 28,000 organizations, its flagship products, iAuditor and EdApp enable teams to perform checks, train staff, report issues, capture data and communicate fluidly. In 2020, iAuditor was named winner of Best SaaS for Health and Safety or Risk Management at the SaaS Awards.