Is your hotel inspection-ready?

Hotel inspections are a big part of keeping a hotel up and running.

There’s a direct link between high audit scores and high guest satisfaction. 

So, rather than viewing inspections as a looming threat, it’s best to think of them as an inspiration to always operate at your best.  

Of course, it’s essential to maintain these high standards at any given time, as good service will shine even more when it’s common practice. But it might be wise to consider a checklist of strategies to implement so you’re fully prepared for an audit at any time!

Let’s go through the ways you can ensure your hotel is ready for an inspection, whether it comes tomorrow or seven months from now. 

How to be ready for a surprise hotel inspection

  1. Know your brand standards and maintain them at all times

If you’re a franchised hotel, it’s crucial that you’re aware of every single standard set by higher management. This can include everything from the way guests are greeted, to the placement of amenities in the shower. 

Keep a checklist of every brand standard, and make sure that they’re assessed and maintained on a regular basis. Each team member should be working at the relevant standards for their area. 

  1. Review past reports with staff

One of the best (or only) good things about an inspection is the chance to figure out where you’re failing as a hotel. By reviewing audits from years past, and highlighting mistakes and shortcomings, you can be sure that those gaps are filled. 

Hold regular team meetings to keep everyone on track, and to ensure the same issues won’t come up in the next inspection. 

  1. Make a checklist of deficiencies that need to be addressed

Using past reports and your standards list, you can piece together a list of crucial issues that need to be addressed ASAP. Supervisors from every department should be included in the creation of this checklist—they’ll have the best insights from their team. 

Communication between teams is essential here; make sure that your daily communications is up to scratch. An internal digital messaging app like HelloShift can do wonders for improving cross-team collaboration. 

  1. Get housekeeping to fill out mini inspection reports for each room

While you should be doing in-depth room inspections on a regular basis, small issues can be addressed quickly by housekeeping, who are already spending time in each room every day. Things on this mini report could include:

  • Burnt-out bulbs
  • Batteries in remotes and smoke detectors
  • Dirty or stained curtains
  • Checking between the mattress and box spring
  • Fridge/freezer functionality
  • Do not disturb sign in place
  1. Train staff to be constantly serving the guests

A service culture is a no-brainer in the hospitality industry, though your staff should be constantly reminded to keep guest satisfaction top of mind. Regardless of a team member’s role or position, they should make eye contact with guests in the hallways, offering a smile or greeting. 

Hotel guest interactions are paid close attention during an inspection, from housekeepers and front desk staff to bartenders and valets. Maintaining positive interactions all year round is an easy way to ensure good points on an inspection. It also leads to higher guest satisfaction, which is definitely good for business!

Having seamless and easy guest communication is also a key factor in guest satisfaction. HelloShift connects your staff and guests in one easy place, with auto-generated messages and instant replies to questions. It makes things easier for guests and also reduces stress for your staff—an absolute must when an inspection is looming!

How to serve the hotel inspector

Introduce them to key staff

This won’t always be easy to organize, thanks to the surprise nature of inspections. But if possible, introduce the inspector to key members of your team who are on-site, such as the Director of Sales, Head of F&B, General Manager, etc. Having that personal touch, allowing them to put a face to the hotel, can positively influence your score.

Make sure front desk staff know how to handle their arrival

There’d be nothing worse than an inspector showing up and announcing themselves to a brand-new staff member who’s on their first shift, and has no idea what to do. 

Make sure that, from their very first day, all of your team members know exactly how to greet an inspector and where to direct them. 

Keep relevant documents and information on hand

The inspector will need to review certain paperwork during the audit process, so it’s important to have it on hand at all times. Keep your certificates, paperwork, and any other essential documents up to date and easily accessible. Multiple staff members should be aware of what the inspector will need, just in case the General Manager is off sick or on leave when the audit happens. 

One thing to remember is that scoring well on a quality assurance inspection isn’t thanks to the work of a single person—it’s because the entire team worked together. 

It’s important to celebrate your staff following the inspection and thank them for their hard work even before you get an inspection score. No hotel is perfect, but at the end of the day if you feel as though every staff member has given 110%, then you know you’ve tried your best. 

HelloShift is an integrated, all-in-one platform that allows hotels to digitize everything from housekeeping, guest communications, and internal messaging. Everything is in one simple interface that’s easier to use than Facebook. 

As we face uncertain times in the travel and hospitality industry, HelloShift is committed to bring teams together to tackle new demands head-on. 

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