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Your Responsibilities as a Hospitality Operator to Guests

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1 Your Responsibilities as a Hospitality Operator to Guests
Chapter 10 Your Responsibilities as a Hospitality Operator to Guests

2 Your Responsibilities as a Hospitality Operator to Guests
Accommodating Guests Guest Privacy Facility Maintenance Responsibilities To Nonguests Removal Of Guests

3 In This Chapter, You Will Learn:
To understand your legal responsibility to admit guests, and the circumstances when such admission can be denied. To protect the guest’s right to privacy. To operate and maintain a facility in a way that maximizes the safety of guests and compliance with the law, including Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

4 In This Chapter, You Will Learn:
To differentiate among various types of nonguests, and understand your obligations toward them. To generate the procedures required to safely and legally remove guests from a property.

5 Accommodating Guests Legalese:
Guest - A customer who lawfully utilizes a facility’s food, beverage, lodging, or entertainment services.

6 Analyze the Situation 10.1 Nicole Frost and Steve Merchand were brother and sister. When their grandfather, Wayne Merchand, was hospitalized for care after a heart attack, the two began to visit him regularly at Laurel Memorial Hospital. One Sunday afternoon, after visiting with their grandfather, Nicole and Steve went to the hospital's cafeteria for a light lunch. A professional foodservice management company operated the cafeteria under contract to the hospital.

7 Analyze the Situation 10.1 Nicole and Steve selected their lunches from an assortment of beverages and prewrapped sandwiches that were displayed unrefrigerated on a tray in the middle of the cafeteria serving line. The sandwiches were made of ham and cheese, with a salad dressing spread, lettuce, and tomato. Steve paid for the sandwiches, beverages, and some chips; then he and Nicole took a seat in the cafeteria dining room.

8 Analyze the Situation 10.1 Approximately four hours after eating lunch, both Steve and Nicole became ill. They determined that they both had suffered a food-borne illness. The two filed suit against the hospital and its contract foodservice management company. When the facts of the case came out, the hospital maintained that, as visitors, not patients, the hospital had no liability toward Nicole and Steve.

9 Analyze the Situation 10.1 The foodservice management company operating the hospital cafeteria maintained that its liability extended only to Steve since he was the only guest who in fact purchased food from its service. Management maintained they should not be held responsible for the illness suffered by an individual that they did not actually serve.

10 Analyze the Situation 10.1 Was Nicole a guest of the foodservice facility? Should Steve bear partial responsibility for the damage he and Nicole suffered, given that he purchased the sandwiches? What type of liability (from Chapter 9, “Your Responsibilities as a Hospitality Operator”) applies in this case? Why?

11 Accommodating Guests Legalese:
Transient Guest - A customer who rents real property for a relatively short period of time (e.g., small number of days with no intent of establishing a permanent residency).

12 Accommodating Guests Legalese:
Tenant - Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property for an extended period of time with the intent of establishing a permanent occupation or residency.

13 Definition of a Guest Billing format. Tax payment. Address use.
Contract format. Existence of deposit. Length of stay.

14 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Ketan Patel operated the Heartworth Suites, an extended-stay, limited-service hotel of 85 rooms. Approximately 40 percent of his guests were "extended-stay," which Mr. Patel's company defined as a stay longer than five consecutive days. The remaining rooms were sold to traditional transient guests, whose average stay was approximately 1.8 days.

15 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Bob Thimming was an extended-stay guest at the Heartworth, and an employee of Katy Highway Contractors. Mr. Thimming held the position of construction foreman for a stretch of interstate highway being repaired in the vicinity of the Heartworth Suites.

16 Analyze the Situation 10.2 His company signed a contract with the Heartworth confirming that Mr. Thimming would be given a special monthly, rather than daily rate, because he was staying in the hotel for six consecutive months as part of his work assignment. In the third month of his stay, Mr. Thimming arrived at the hotel from his job site at approximately 5:30 P.M. to find the door to his room ajar.

17 Analyze the Situation 10.2 He entered the room and discovered that his $4,000 watch, which he had left on the nightstand, was missing. Mr. Thimming contacted Mr. Patel to complain of the theft. Because the hotel was equipped with electronic locks, Mr. Patel was able to perform a lock audit and retrieved the following information for the day in question:

18 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Time Key used Key Issued To Result
6:30 A.M. 7J Guest Entry 6:32 A.M. 7J Guest Entry 1:30 P.M. 1M Maintenance Entry

19 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Mr. Thimming maintained that someone negligently left the door open, and as a result, his watch was stolen. He contacted his company, whose in-house attorney called Mr. Patel. The attorney stated that Mr. Thimming was a tenant of the hotel, and as a landlord, Mr. Patel was responsible for the negligent acts of his employee and should reimburse Mr. Thimming for his loss.

20 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Mr. Patel replied that Mr. Thimming was not a tenant but a transient guest, and thus was subject to a state law that limits an innkeeper's liability in such cases to $350. The attorney disagreed, based on the six-month “lease” signed by Katy Highway Contractors for Mr. Thimming. He demanded that the watch be replaced and threatened to file suit if it was not. Mr. Patel contacted his attorney, who offered, based on his view of the complexity of the case, to defend the Heartworth Suites for $3,000, with a required retainer (down payment) of $2,000.

21 Analyze the Situation 10.2 Was Mr. Thimming a transient guest or a tenant? Why is the distinction important in this situation? What should Mr. Patel do in the future to avoid the expense of litigation such as this?

22 Admitting Guests Legalese:
Public Accommodation - A facility that provides entertainment, rooms, space or seating for the use and benefit of the general public.

23 Admitting Guests Legalese:
Segregate - To separate a group or individual on any basis, but especially by race, color, religion, or national origin.

24 Search the Web 10.1 Log on to the Internet and enter Select: Plain text version of the Constitution, under the heading The United States Constitution. Scroll until you reach the Fourteenth Amendment, and read it carefully. Are women specifically mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment? How does the wording of this amendment impact admission policies in the hospitality industry? Do you believe the amendment prohibits “ladies only” or “men only” nights?

25 Denying Admission to Guests
The individual cannot show the ability to pay for services provided. The individual has a readily communicable disease. The individual wishes to enter the facility with an item that is prohibited. The individual is intoxicated.

26 Denying Admission to Guests
The individual presents a threat to employees or other guests. The individual does not seek to become a guest. The individual is too young. The facility is full.

27 Guest Privacy Expectation of privacy Right of entry by innkeeper
Guest records

28 Analyze the Situation 10.3 Jessica Bristol and her two young children checked into room 104 of the Travel-In motel at 9:00 P.M. on Friday night. She produced a credit card issued in her name as a form of payment, and requested that she be given the room for two nights.

29 Analyze the Situation 10.3 On Saturday afternoon, a man identifying himself as Preston Bristol, Jessica Bristol's husband, presented himself at the front desk and asked for the key that she was supposed to have left for him at the front desk. He stated that he was joining his wife and children at the motel; they were visiting relatives, but he had to work the day before.

30 Analyze the Situation 10.3 The desk clerk replied that no key had been left, and proceeded to call the room to inform Jessica Bristol that her husband was at the front desk. There was no answer in the room. Preston Bristol then produced his driver's license for the desk clerk, which had the same address that Jessica Bristol had used on her registration card.

31 Analyze the Situation 10.3 Mr. Bristol also produced a credit card issued in his name with the same account number as that used by Jessica Bristol at check-in. As the clerk perused the license and credit card, Mr. Bristol offhandedly referred to a picture in his wallet of Jessica Bristol and his two children. Based on the positive identification, the clerk issued Mr. Bristol a key to Jessica Bristol's room.

32 Analyze the Situation 10.3 At approximately 6:00 P.M. on Saturday, a guest in room 105 called the front desk to complain about a loud argument in room 104, Jessica Bristol's room. The desk clerk called room 104, but got no answer. The clerk then called the local police. When they arrived, they found Jessica Bristol badly beaten, and her children missing. A description of Mr. Bristol's car quickly led to his arrest and the recovery of the children by the police.

33 Analyze the Situation 10.3 Jessica Bristol recovered from her injuries and completed the divorce proceedings she had begun against her husband. In addition, she filed assault and battery charges against him. Jessica Bristol also sued the motel's manager, owner, and franchise company for $8 million, stating that the motel was negligent and had violated her right to privacy. The motel's position was that it acted reasonably to ensure Mr. Bristol's identity, and added that it was not an insurer of guest safety and could not have foreseen Mr. Bristol's actions.

34 Analyze the Situation 10.3 Did the desk clerk act in a reasonable manner? Did Mr. Bristol have a right to enter the room? What should management do in the future to prevent such an occurrence?

35 Important Areas in Hotel Liability
Swimming pools Spas Workout areas

36 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III
Under Title III of the ADA, any private entity that owns, leases to, or operates an existing public accommodation has four specific requirements: Getting guests and employees into the facility. Providing auxiliary aids and services so that people with disabilities have access to effective means of communication.

37 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III
Modifying any policies, practices, or procedures that may be discriminatory or have a discriminatory effect. Ensuring that there are no unnecessary eligibility criteria that tend to screen out or segregate individuals with disabilities or limit their full and equal enjoyment of the place of public accommodation.

38 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III Priorities
Priority 1: Accessible approach and entrance Priority 2: Access to goods and services Priority 3: Access to rest rooms Priority 4: Any other measures necessary

39 Five Steps to Facility Evaluation
Plan the evaluation. Conduct the survey. Summarize recommendations. Plan for improvements. Document efforts.

40 Search the Web 10.2 Log on to the Internet and enter Select: Technical Assistance Materials Select: ADA Technical Assistance Materials Scroll down and select: ADA Regulation for Title III Browse through the standards established for accessible design and answer the following questions. How many rooms with a roll-in shower are required for a hotel with 800 rooms? How many rooms in the same size hotel must be designed to accommodate the visually impaired? Explain the term “Equivalent Facilitation” as it pertains to room charges for disabled guests.

41 Responsibilities to Nonguests
Guests of Guests Invitees Trespassers

42 Responsibilities to Nonguests
Legalese: Invitee - An individual who is on a property at the expressed or implied consent of the owner.

43 Analyze the Situation 10.4 Walter Thomas was visiting Jeff Placer, who had registered as a guest at a newly opened Lodger-Inn hotel. The hotel was located off an interstate highway exit; it had been open for only three days. When Mr. Thomas left Mr. Placer's room in the evening, he was assaulted in the hotel's parking lot.

44 Analyze the Situation 10.4 Mr. Thomas contacted an attorney who threatened to sue the hotel for the injuries. Lashondra Tyson, the attorney for the hotel, replied to Mr. Thomas's attorney that the hotel was not responsible for the acts of third parties, and that the hotel had no history of criminal activity taking place on its grounds, thus it could not have foreseen any potential problem. In addition, Mr. Thomas was not a registered guest in the hotel.

45 Analyze the Situation 10.4 Mr. Thomas's attorney replied that many hotels experience problems in their parking lots, thus the hotel should, in fact, have anticipated potential problems. He also stated that Mr. Thomas was an invitee of the hotel and thus the hotel was required to guard his interest in the same manner as that of a guest.

46 Analyze the Situation 10.4 What was the legal status of Mr. Thomas?
Why is the distinction important in this situation? What records would Ms. Tyson need from the hotel's manager to give her the best chance of winning any potential lawsuit?

47 Removal of Guests Lack of Payment Inappropriate Conduct Overstays
Accident, Illness, or Death

48 Removal of Guests Legalese:
Eviction - Removal of a tenant from rental property by a laws enforcement officer. An eviction is the result of a landlord filing and winning a special lawsuit known as an “unlawful detainer.”

49 Removal of Guests Legalese:
Small Claims Court - A court designed especially to hear lawsuits entailing relatively small sums of money. They can provide a speedy method of making a claim without the necessity of hiring a lawyer and engaging in a formal trial.

50 Removal of Guests Legalese:
Overstay - A guest who refuses to vacate his or her room when he or she has exceeded the number of nights originally agreed to at check-in.

51 What Would You Do? You are the Area Vice President of franchising for a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) company that serves a unique grilled chicken product, which has become extremely popular. Because of a strong marketing effort and solid operating results, your company’s growth has been very rapid. In your five-state area, the company is considering purchasing a small chain of 15 units that sells a comparable chicken product.

52 What Would You Do? Those units, consisting of older buildings in excellent locations, are to be converted to units owned and operated by your company. Your immediate supervisor, the company President, has asked you to respond to the following:

53 What Would You Do? How will you determine which units are not in compliance with Title III, ADA requirements? What criteria will you use for prioritizing needed improvements? How will you document a good-faith effort to meet Title III, ADA requirements? Draft answers to your President’s questions.

54 Rapid Review Identify at least four types of guests who could and/or should be denied service, and the reason for denial in each case. Explain how a guest’s room in a hotel is similar to his or her home for purposes of a legal search. Create a 10-minute training program to be used to teach new employees the importance of, and procedures for, cleaning up dining room spills and slick spots as quickly as possible. Include a testing device to measure the effectiveness of your training.

55 Rapid Review List the four priorities established for ADA compliance, and explain why you agree or disagree with the prioritization. Using the checklist provided in this chapter, evaluate the ADA compliance of a public restroom in your local library, museum, or art gallery. Exculpatory statements (described in Chapter 2, “Hospitality Contracts”) are often posted in recreational facilities, exercise rooms, pools, and spas. Explain their purpose and identify their limitations.

56 Rapid Review Contact your local small claims court administrator to determine: a) The location of the court b) The maximum dollar amount of judgment the court can order c) Any fees required to file a claim d) The forms required to file a claim Develop a one-page checklist of actions that should be undertaken by a hotel staff to remove an extremely ill or deceased person from a room.

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