Russian hoteliers discussed how to manage risks in hospitality industry
During the business breakfast "Expanding the boundaries of hospitality" held in St. Petersburg on 11 April 2018 Russian hoteliers discussed risk management issues. The event took place at The State Hermitage Museum’s Official Hotel in St Petersburg uniting directors, owners and senior managers of small and large hotels of St. Petersburg.
When opening the event, Peter Hvidberg, Global Head Travel and Hospitality Solutions at SGS, made an overview of the risks faced by hospitality market players today. He emphasized the fact that hotel owners and managers often do not know to what extent their site has been protected from potential hazards. Peter Hvidberg shared the data collected in the course of the 11’000 audits conducted throughout 2017 by SGS in hotels around the world, highlighting the most frequent non-conformities. Namely, the key issues identified have been building safety, water safety and food safety.
A panel discussion was organized afterwards focusing on national peculiarities of risk management in hospitality industry. The debate was animated by Konstantin Krivoshonok, Chief Sanitary Doctor of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia; Rene Detzen, Deputy General Director of Astoria Hotel (Rocco Forte Hotels); Eduard Babayev, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum’s Official Hotel in St Petersburg, and Svetlana Akhapkina, Food Audits Operations Manager at SGS in Russia.
The panel discussion participants agreed that risks should be managed on a proactive manner and not when it is too late, though this is often the case in Russia. It is important to identify risks in advance, outline an action plan and then follow it, allocate responsibility within the team, train and motivate each employee as well as build proper relationship with suppliers and contractors.
For the first time in Russia, this event featured the HX - Hospitality Experience Program launched by SGS in November 2017 to provide the market with a single international standard for quality and safety in hospitality industry. This program is based on national legislation, a number of international standards, including ISO 9001 and HACCP, as well as world’s best practices.
Thanks to HX audits hotels get an independent and unbiassed assessment across the four pillars: risk management, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and quality of service. As a result, the hotel receives valuable information on areas for improvement and areas that need corrective actions. At the same time, when a certain number of points (from 65% and above) are reached, the hotel can use the SGS mark (Silver, Gold or Platinum, depending on the audit results) for its marketing purposes, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in the market.
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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.