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5 Common Security Issues in the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is incredibly varied. Taking in everything from hotels and motels to bars, restaurants, and entertainment spaces, hospitality businesses come in all shapes and sizes. However, there are a number of things companies operating in the industry have in common. One of the most universal is security.

Owners of hospitality businesses face a range of security issues including anti-social behavior, unauthorized visitors, and high staff turnover. In addition to this, poor onboarding and recruitment can leave you vulnerable, with theft and fraud two of the most pervasive issues in the industry —from both guests and staff. Addressing these issues head-on is the best way to boost security, reduce staff turnover and protect your bottom line.

1. Unauthorized Visitors

Thanks to the nature of the industry, keeping unauthorized visitors off the premises is an ongoing challenge. It’s not uncommon for hotel guests to bring friends and acquaintances back to their rooms while bars, restaurants, and other less secure premises can find it even harder to keep unwanted guests out.

Unauthorized visitors pose a threat to hospitality security because they’re hard to track and because their intentions can be unclear. Malicious individuals might steal money or stock, or cause damage to premises. Not knowing how many people are on-site can also make it difficult to be compliant with safety regulations.

Possible solutions to this issue include:

    • Hiring security professionals to man the entrances
    • Installing an access control system to restrict entry to the premises and parking lot
    • Monitoring guests via smart camera systems

2. Antisocial Guest Behavior

Occasionally, even authorized guests can pose a security threat to those working in the hospitality industry. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, up to 90% of women and 70% of men working in the restaurant industry had experienced some form of sexual harassment. Many of these assaults will have been committed by people who are on the premises legally.

As well as sexual harassment against staff, violence between guests, vandalism, and threatening behavior are all common anti-social behavior issues in today’s hotel and hospitality industry.

Possible ways of reducing or even eliminating guest anti-social behavior include

  • Training staff in de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques
  • Providing employees with panic buttons and adding signage staff is outfitted with them throughout the property. Knowledge of the system has been proven to reduce the frequency of incidents
  • Installing video surveillance to keep track of problem guests
  • Training security guards to spot guests that might pose a risk

3. Employee Safety Concerns

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry has a turnover rate of 73.8%. One of the factors contributing to this high figure is employee safety. A lot of people working in the sector simply don’t feel secure, especially when they’re required to work alone or in isolated areas. Improving bar, restaurant and hotel security should therefore help hospitality business owners to improve staff retention, something that could in turn help to boost profits.

Ways to address employee safety concerns:

  • Listen to specific employee safety concerns
  • Consider employing additional security personnel
  • Nominate security officers to monitor the premises
  • Issue staff with wireless panic buttons

4. Data Privacy

Data privacy is an increasingly important issue for businesses in all sectors of industry. Hackers target businesses of all sizes. Small businesses are often at increased risk, with around 36% of attacks aimed at enterprises with fewer than 250 employees.

One of the main reasons for this is that a lot of small businesses haven’t yet assessed the internet security risks they face, let alone implemented a comprehensive online security plan to tackle them. Cybersecurity breaches can have a huge impact on both customer trust and company profits. The average organizational cost to a business in the United States after a data breach in 2020 was estimated to have been $8.64m.

Ways to improve your online security system include:

  • Installing up-to-date internet security technology
  • Ensuring wifi networks are secured
  • Hiring an outside company to provide online security solutions
  • Staying up to date with current cybersecurity issues

5. Theft

Theft is a major issue for most businesses in the hospitality industry. The large number of cash transactions that take place leaves businesses vulnerable to theft and fraud. Employee theft in the restaurant sector alone is estimated to cost between $3 billion and $6 billion. On top of this, businesses have to deal with theft by customers and malicious individuals as well as targeted attacks.

There are a number of measures hospitality businesses can take to minimize losses through theft. These include:

  • Promoting credit card sales over cash transactions
  • Carrying out background checks on prospective staff
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Installing CCTV monitoring systems

Wearable Panic Buttons for Hotel Employees

One solution to improving employee safety and boosting security in the hospitality industry is a wearable panic button system. These hi-tech systems allow employees to silently and instantly call for help when they feel threatened, spot unauthorized visitors or witness anti-social behavior. This allows hotel security personnel to address issues as quickly as possible, minimizing risk and potential losses.

Panic buttons for hotel workers can be integrated quickly and easily into the existing security infrastructure. Affordable and effective, these systems can help businesses to address their security needs and keep employees and customers safe.

Find out more about the functionality of wireless panic button systems, and learn about the technology we offer, by requesting a demo with a member of our team today.  You can also download a comprehensive panic button checklist to empower you to make the best decision when it comes to the safety of your team.

About Author

Yasmine Mustafa

Yasmine Mustafa believes ROAR found her, not the other way around. A former refugee and undocumented immigrant, she draws upon her unique life experiences to lead ROAR in its mission to empower and protect workers across all industries. Her journey is a testament to resilience and unwavering commitment. With over 15 years of leadership in the tech industry, including the successful sale of her first company, 123LinkIt, to a firm in Silicon Valley in 2009, Yasmine is a driving force for positive change, balancing profits with purpose. Yasmine’s workplace safety advocacy and leadership have earned recognition from the BBC, CNBC’s Upstart 100 and the City of Philadelphia. Yasmine is a highly sought-after conference speaker. A two-time TEDx speaker, Yasmine has also presented at the prestigious SXSW and CES conferences, sharing her deep passion for harnessing technology for positive change. Beyond her professional life, Yasmine enjoys time spent with friends and family, exploring the outdoors, biking, and hiking. She also dedicates her time to the boards of Coded by Kids, Leadership Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies.

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