Handling difficult situation in hotel or restaurant is a gigantic task indeed. Almighty forbid, there is an accident or an emergency situation in your hotel, but, still anything can take a turn. So, to handle an accident or emergency situation in hotel or restaurant or resort you must have pre-cautionary arrangement or some policy and I believe in every big hotel, there are house rules to face all kinds of situation.
Now, whatever the situation you face, it has to be handled with your intelligence and in accordance with house rules.
- Fire: Don’t panic! As soon as the fire is noticed-just inform the telephone operator first. The telephone operator has to call the nearest fire brigade station and every station of the hotel. In smaller hotels, the receptionist does the job of telephone operator. So he will do the same thing. This emergency paging system can be used for announcing the situation. The trained personnel of the hotel will start fighting with fire extinguishers and with all other arrangements at service. Every guest and all other personnel have to come out through the emergency exit or the normal way if it is safe. No one should use the elevator. Everyone has to come out by stair cases. The hotel rescue team (security department and the managers, supervisors) should research all the rooms including bathroom to make sure that no guest is left behind. The front office and other management should look after the whole property so that the miscreants could not do any harm.
- Death: In the event of death of a guest, the front office should inform the general manager, chief security officer and the hotel doctor. This is not an alarming matter-no other guests need to be informed about it. If necessary, the general manager can call the police. The dead body must be removed through the staff entrance and room should be sealed till the police formalities are done. As per the guest registration card address or information the concerned personnel are to be contracted to hand over the body.
- Accidents: In case of any injury or fracture received by a guest or staff, the house doctor should be called immediately informing him of the nature of accident and the condition of the patient. But until the doctors arrive, the first aid treatment should given to stop bleeding, clean the injured area by savlon, detol, iodine or just aftershave lotion—whatever appropriate medicine is available in your hand. If a fracture is suspected the patient should be moved till the doctor comes, everything should be done according to his suggestion. For more tips read how to handle accidents in hotel or restaurant.
- Damage by guest: If anything is broken or damaged by a hotel guest then a damage report has to be prepared by the concerned department. As per the damage report the shift duty manager has to determine an amount (more than cost price) and instruct the front office cashier to charge the amount to guest’s account.
- Drunk guest: The shift duty manager has to handle the guest—better not to argue with the guest at all. The guest must be politely taken away from the bar/ public area to the office or to his room. If he is quite imbalanced or behaves very badly then the matter should be handled by the security officer.
- Theft: If any loss and damage slip comes from housekeeping department saying that a certain article is missing from a certain guest’s room that means the guest has taken the item from his room without informing anybody then the value of the item has to be charged on concerned guest folio. By doing this you are serving two purposes, one is, you are getting the value of the item back and also the guest is being informed of his misdeed. The thing is to be handled by the shift duty manager. But before doing that, you must make sure whether the guest has done it or not. Sometimes it is also found that, guest items are being stolen by the hotel employees. In such cases, all the security point has to be informed specially the staff in-coming and out-going area and staffs should be checked physically while going out. If it is established after proper investigation that the money has been stolen by the hotel staff then it should be compensated by the hotel for the greater interest of the hotel’s future business. But while checking-in the guest should be informed by the receptionist that valuables should be kept in safe deposits box at the cashier counter.
The following precautions measures can be taken to protect thefts:
- Safe deposit box for guest’s valuables.
- Self-locking room doors.
- Keeping an eye on walk-in guest and light baggage guest.
- Not to let any unrecognized person or the telephone caller know the guest room number unless he/she tells the guest’s name.
- Reception, while giving the room key to the guest, must make sure that he/she is giving the right key to the right person.
- Strictly controlling the grand master key. For the slept out guest, the room should be double locked with security officer. Only after guest’s arrival, the room should be opened by the shift duty manager.
- Posting of security personnel at all possible corner and all the floors.
- All the areas should be well lighted.
- Report to security about any suspicious persons.