Huwebes, Enero 19, 2012

Focus on Hospitality

2012-The year of the Dragon..
The hospitality sector is huge, encompassing hotels, restaurants, caterers and event organizers. It employs a massively diverse workforce and the pressures of the economic downturn have had a substantial impact , especially for those in tourism. In Bahrain , hotel occupancy is down by 45% due to political crises and hotel prices in prime locations such as Caribbean and Far East have dropped to their lowest level in decade. In such a tough times keeping a focus on quality will help businesses in the sector differentiate themselves from the competition.

Food Safety
No organization working in hospitality can afford to be the cause of illness of any customer so food hygiene and safety standards are of ultimate importance. Caroline Mortimer, director of Metropolitan Police Force in London caters for  50,000 people. "We employ one person internally who does nothing but check food hygiene standards within each of our catering facilities and also within our suppliers as well. Nobody is procured without having their food safety systems audited in full."

Ensuring that suppliers have the correct systems in place is where standards such as FSSC 22000, newly benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative, come in. Caroline says: "All of our suppliers have to be certified against recognized safety systems such as ISO 22000. Without an internationally recognized certification, suppliers will not be able to win contracts with global or international businesses.

Service with a smile
To encourage the best in Hongkong  Hospitality, The Grand Hyatt Regency- Hongkong has launched the "Smiles of Hyatt" campaign. Running until the end of summer the scheme asks members of the public to take photographs of the nation's most welcoming smiles and then shares them online.

Michael Ato Chan says. " We want to shine a light on those in our sector who are leading the way in customer service . And because excellent customer service invariably starts with a smile,  we started this campaign".

The future is green
Sustainability is crucial in the hospitality sector for not only surviving these times but thriving in them, according to Michael "Ato" Chan."People focus on green issues and think that they can't afford to be green but sustainability is about more than just environmental factors: economic and social factors are equally important."

"The first step is to look at elements such as venue, transportation , accomodation and food stuffs and ask questions about their sustainability. There is a wealth of resources online from organizations such as the department of environment , food and rural affairs that can help a business starting out."

Another important development in this sector is BS 8901, the environmental management systems standard for event organization. "Standards such as BS 8901 offer businesses a great framework to start addressing their sustainability. The future holds positive things for this industry. We have the scope to do something great.

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