Five Questions to Ask Your Hotel Inspector

1. Tell me how the data you collect is shared with hotel management?

There are still hotel inspectors out there whose ideas of value is dropping an 80-page tome on your desk.  In our opinion, data should be dynamic, flexible and timely. If your hotel inspector reports are only provided as static email attachments or in hard-copy form, it is simply too clunky to have your managers take action using the information. At a minimum, hotel inspection data should be in stored in on-line environment that allows your decision makers to instantly get what they need whenever they need to get it. More importantly than that, data should be flexible allowing users to sort, mine, and search the way THEY want to. Telephone calls should be recorded and catalogued.  And photos should be tagged and archived for easy retrieval.

2.  How will I be able to use the findings?

It isn’t terribly difficult to go into even the finest hotel and point out shortcomings. A typical two-night stay can have more than 2,000 guest moments of interaction.  In addition to objective detail, top hoteliers want the ability to identify areas of action and to implement a management action plan based on a report.  Your hotel inspection company should be able to articulate exactly how they facilitate this for clients.  Bottom line, it should be easy for you to implement a plan and follow-up after a hotel brand inspection.

3.  What other similar properties has the inspector evaluated?

For a hotel inspection to be useful, there needs to be perspective and context. A smiling concierge does not mean they exuded confidence or handled an inquiry with discretion. Only an evaluator with excellent inspection experience at similar and competitive properties can report those moments of truth in a way that guarantees an effective coaching moment for your management team.

4.  Where do your inspectors come from?

Everyone wants to be a hotel or restaurant inspector. The fact is that very few applicants have the ability to fit-in, role play effectively and then report in unfailing objective detail.  We warn our clients to be wary of inspectors who are born and raised in the industry.   We assume that you already have experienced hotel managers walking your property every day—do you really need us to tell you your parking lot is cracked? An effective hotel inspector has your guest’s perspective in their heart.

5.   Are there any hidden costs?

Some quality assurance firms overcharge for travel. As you know, travel costs can really ratchet up the overall cost of the assignment, sometimes even doubling it. A hotel inspection company that cannot cap their travel fees at $250 or less with 90-days notice ought to be viewed with suspicion. This typically means they either don’t have the scale to cover your account or they have no idea who the next inspector will be or where he/she is coming from. A hotel inspection company with your interests at heart can put a highly qualified inspector on property while keeping travel costs reasonable.

Hint: Determine if you are covering expenses for a guest and what the tipping policies are upfront, before engaging an inspection company

© 2024 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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