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4 hospitality trends impacting pest control and hygiene

To appeal to hotel guests, restaurant dinners or leisure customers and ensure repeat custom, the hospitality industry needs to focus on two vital areas: pest control and hygiene.

Perceived cleanliness is a primary factor in customer experience and a clean record in hygiene and pest control will help to ensure a positive experience, which is a key challenge facing the hospitality sector.

Given the competitiveness and the predicted growth of the global hotels, motels and restaurant industry (QSRs, pop-up outlets included), businesses can no longer ensure success simply by being competitive on price.

The hospitality industry presents a particularly challenging environment for pest control due to the constant entering and exiting of guests and the delivery of shipments throughout the day, which provides pests with easy indoor access. Similarly when restaurants come into the equation food safety can be put at risk due to the presence of pests such as rats, flies and cockroaches.

High-quality hygiene and pest control in the hospitality industry are essential to protect brands and reduce the threat of negative reviews in online forums and on social media. However, as time moves on and new hospitality trends develop new challenges are introduced in regards to both pest control and hygiene.

Hospitality trend #1: High employee turnover

High employee turnover in the hospitality industry means that staff may not be experienced or trained in identifying pest problems. In some instances, a disengaged employee can be harmful to your brand, particularly when hand hygiene is key.

An average hotelier spends 33% of revenue on labour costs and employee turnover in the hospitality industry is as high as 31%. As early detection is vital to reduce pest control treatment time and costs, this lack of awareness can have severe implications for a hotel chain or group.

At Rentokil, we offer pest awareness training for hotel and restaurant staff to ensure new personnel are aware of common pest problems and risk areas in hotels and restaurants.

Hospitality trend #2: Increasing social media reviews

Bad reviews spread quickly on social media and can damage brand confidence.

The real-time nature of social media requires organisations to be proactive and transparent to win customer trust and loyalty.

As the growth of social media and online hotel and restaurant review sites look set to continue, consumers have a quick and easy way to publicly shame organisations that fall below expectations or do not provide a positive customer experience.

The hospitality industry must proactively seek to meet customer expectations at every stage, from the moment a customer steps into your hotel lobby or when your diner is greeted by your waiting staff.

First-time impressions really matter. The perception of the washroom in your hotel lobby or restaurant is enough for your customer to make a judgement on the level of cleanliness and hygiene in your entire establishment. Additionally the presence of pests can quickly make its way onto the internet resulting in a negative opinion of your brand.

Hospitality trend #3: Growing customer expectations

Global travellers will expect consistent global customer service and enhanced customer experience.

Low airfares, last minute travel deals and cheap or heavily discounted rooms by chain hotels and independents mean that the number of global travellers is expected to rise.

Key international events, like the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, will continue to be drivers of demand for accommodation and hospitality, as was witnessed with the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

This will continue to place pressure on hotel chains and food and drink operators to provide excellent service, especially during peak visitor months.

The risk of poor pest control in a food service business not only risks business closure, but also serious staff and customer illness resulting from food-borne illnesses either from poor hygiene practices or a pest infestation.

Restaurants that score highly in terms of pest management and hygiene and, in addition, can establish a connection with their guests will be guaranteed to win customer loyalty and trust.

Rentokil, a global service provider, can deliver a global, consistent service to customers around the world to ensure high standards of pest control.

Hospitality trend #4: Strict hygiene and food safety regulations

Public food-borne illness cases and food scandals have placed food quality and safety at the top of mind for both customers and businesses.

Cleanliness in a restaurant can make or break your business. As reported by the New Food Magazine, pest management needs to play a key part in any food hygiene strategy.

Open kitchens, already seen in many restaurants around the world, will continue to be good for brands to demonstrate complete transparency at every level of the food preparation stage. Food must be clean and safe to eat.

Food service businesses tend to be low margin and rely on sourcing ingredients of varying quality at the lowest prices. However, increasingly strict food safety regulations mean buyers must choose reputable suppliers to ensure food safety and quality.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) in America recommends that business owners work with professional pest control companies to create an integrated pest management programme, which is a service also offered by Rentokil.

With over 85 years of experience supporting the hospitality sector, from hotels and restaurants to gyms, spas and casinos, Rentokil’s integrated pest management approach helps businesses safely comply with legislative and audit requirements.

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1 October 2019