We’re Only Human: Thinking Through Hotel Security

Every 90 seconds, perhaps one hundred pedestrians, a dozen crowded city buses, sightseeing coaches and hundreds of commuters, shoppers and sightseers spill out from the tube exit to cross the intersection of London’s Marble Arch at Hyde Park. With 1,000-plus rooms overlooking the intersection of Oxford Street and Park Lane, a conference and leisure hotel stands among the capital’s biggest, obviously with one of the largest hotel security teams. One glance inside the lobby indicates that security is a massive, sophisticated technological and labor-intensive undertaking.

Whether a property’s number of rooms is in the tens or the hundreds, well-thought out hotel security is a necessary investment. Yet, the simplest of all faux-pas is being completely overlooked at this hotel’s breakfast room, and possibly at its front desk as well.

A man walking into the backlit hotel floor. Walking in the light... Switching the rooms...Going out...

During a recent stay, a breakfast queue of 20 or 30 guests formed most mornings. As each guest or party reached the hostess desk, the greeter requested a room number. She then ticked that off a list and announced the guest’s name, looking up for an acknowledgement. Grrr. From that moment, it becomes general knowledge that Miss Smith in Room 123 is dining alone and out of her room (and that her handbag is in that room) for the next half-hour, that she is likely a solo guest and that she will be returning to that room shortly. How simple it would be for anyone to knock on Miss Smith’s door after breakfast, saying, “Hotel management, Miss Smith. We have a delivery for you.”

The hotel’s breakfast room procedure is as sloppy as announcing a guest’s room number when handing over the room key at front desk check-in. It should never be done.

Coyle Hospitality Group provides intelligently designed mystery shopping programs to the world’s top restaurants, hotels, and businesses that value the customer experience.  To find out how Coyle can help your company gain actionable customer insights, contact us today.

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