ARE YOUR BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS MORE FAWLTY TOWERS THAN BURJ AL ARAB?

We all know hotels are good in a crisis.

Thanks to uktv.co.uk for the splendid picture of customer service excellence in action or is that inaction...?

Over-booked?  Syndicate out guests to other hotels.

Guest unhappy with room?  Move them.

Laundry, catering, or other supplier lets you down at short notice?  Mmmmmmm……

Hotel is unavailable during a period of peak national occupancy (e.g. the Olympics)?  Let me see……

OK.  So a ‘can do’ attitude and tried and tested crisis arrangements can only do so much.  But what can we do?

The Olympics and other major events are a fantastic opportunity for additional and much-needed revenue for hotels.  However with a little bit of effort – and very little expense – we can protect your business from the potential devastating reputational and financial effects of unforeseen disruptions.

 Here are our top 5 tips for business continuity planning for hotels in 2012:

1.  If you don’t have one, get a business continuity plan now.  And if you do have one, make sure it is still fit for purpose.  If you are not sure how to do this, see our FUN 100 day Olympics Business Continuity Project Plan here.

2.  Make sure your plans factor in key suppliers that your business depends on.  And don’t assume that they have planned for the travel restrictions in place around Olympic venues – I can tell you now, a lot won’t have!

3.  Have a strategy for what to do with your guests if a hotel becomes unavailable for any reason.  Normally you would probably syndicate these out to other hotels, but what if there are no other hotels available and you have umpteen guests on the street and nowhere to put them?

  • Where are you going to move them to?  Are there unoccupied offices that you can access on a short-term lease that you can put day beds or similar in to?
  • How are you going to move them?  Taxi and coach companies will also be enjoying a bumper time so why time set up some strategic partnerships ‘just in case’?
  • What are you going to tell the rest of the world?  A well-managed incident can put column inches on your reputation.  A badly managed incident can have precisely the reverse effect

4.  Don’t assume the impact of major events is localised.  Your business might not be in the vicinity of an Olympic venue but your suppliers might be – or their suppliers – or even their supplier’s suppliers.  The impact on supply chain management was brought home to all of us in the tragic aftermath of the tsunami that stuck Japan a year ago

5.  Ensure your extant reporting processes (crime, utility failure and so on) feed in to your business continuity risk management framework to help identify priority actions for mitigating the impact or likelihood of disruptive events occurring

Mark Goddard – Advent IM Security Consultant

If you want assistance with your Business Continuity Plan, we can help.

We can also help with all aspects of hotel security from Information and physical, including secure card payments through PCI-DSS.

Visit our dedicated Hotel & conferencing webpage www.advent-im.co.uk/hotels.aspx

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