Our analysts have stayed at many hotels so far in 2008. During those visits, the lack of general safety and security really stands out. Though we do test for some loss prevention standards, in many instances, things just happen that make it really scary to be staying in a hotel. Many of those things are due to a lack of employee training and standards.
In one instance, one of our analysts had their car valet parked, she approached the attendant and told him that she had lost the ticket. He simply asked for the analyst’s last name and retrieved the vehicle that matched. He did not check ID, match the name with a room number, or anything else of the sort. The analyst should have asked for the Lamborghini sitting in the driveway!
During another visit, an analyst left the room to visit the restaurant. Housekeeping cleaned the room while the analyst was gone. Upon returning, the room door was not closed, but barely open. The room door did not close automatically as it should have. She was very surprised that her laptop and personal belongings were still in the room.
At many hotels, our analyst usually leaves the room keys in the room on purpose to conduct our test. We then go ask the housekeeping room attendant that is cleaning my floor to let us into our rooms. It is scary to think about the number of times that our analysts have been let into the room without being asked to prove ownership of the room. In most cases, a room attendant seems to open any guest room door for any guest.
The most common surprising occurrence is the amount of out-loud guest’s room number usage. The Guest Service Agents often announce the room number out loud when checking in a guest or taking a guest request. At bars, our analysts too often hear a bartender asking for a guest’s room number to close out their check. If we wanted to target or attack that guest, it just became too easy.
Other safety and security weaknesses that we often see:
-Hotels not screening phone calls before transferring them to guest rooms.
-Elevators that should require a key to access guest floors but the key reader is disabled.
-Exterior doors propped open, especially around outdoor swimming pools.
With all of the attention hotels pay to better and quicker service nowadays, some basic security standards seem to have been forgotten. As you can see, there is an alarmingly high number of times where the security of our guest’s room during our hotel visits is compromised. This can be because of a lapse in procedure or a missing standard. Though room invasions and theft are both low chance occurrences, they are things that no hotel manager wants to spend their time dealing with. Be sure to take some time during your next All Employee or Department Meetings to review some of your safety and security policies. Be sure to fully train every new associate these policies before they start serving guests.