Hospitality compliance is the process of ensuring your company’s management and employees follow the laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to your industry and company.
Effective compliance covers governmental laws as well as internal policies.
As such, at its most basic form, hospitality compliance was born out of a need to meet the standards of Australian business laws, and in this particular industry, there are three primary areas to consider:
- The Fair Work legislation deals with the employer/employee relationship, and the rights of the employee.
- The food and beverages regulations are for the protection of consumers.
- Quality management for ongoing customer satisfaction and consistent service delivery, specifically in companies providing hospitality services.
Let’s look into what each of these three areas means for your hospitality business.
The Fair Work Legislation
The Fair Work legislation caters for the terms and conditions between employee and employer. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of all parties with regards to employment, and ensures compliance with the Act.
Over and above these guidelines, the Act also provides both employee and employer fair terms and conditions through the Modern Awards and National Minimum Wage, and National Employment Standards (NES) – all of which have their own specific requirements.
As an example, in the case of ensuring hospitality compliance, it’s easier implementing a best practice standard like AS4801 instead of attempting to make sense of it all yourself. This health and safety standard assists companies to:
- Create, fulfil and maintain an effective Occupational Health and Safety management system.
- Have peace of mind that the business conforms to the Occupational Health and Safety regulations.
- Grant evidence of conformance to interested stakeholders, including future clients.
- Indicate control over all possible workplace hazards.
Minimum Requirements for Hospitality Compliance
While standards like ISO 9001 (the international benchmark for quality management systems) are complementary to hospitality companies, they aren’t always required by law. However, there are minimum requirements that hospitality businesses must satisfy to operate legally;
Documented procedures, including:
- An Occupational Health and Safety Management Manual.
- Health and Safety Management Policy.
- Responsibilities of key personnel.
Mandatory procedures, including:
- Analysis of potential hazards and risk assessment.
- Driving communication and consultation of Occupational Health and Safety.
- Recording and documenting management processes.
- Internal audits.
- Methods for emergency situations.
- Methods for monitoring and management.
- Incident investigation, as well as corrective and preventative actions to prevent the same mistakes.
- Employer/employee entitlements.
- Penalty rates.
- Performance management.
Evidence of fulfilled obligations, such as:
- Managerial reviews.
- Audit reports.
- Maintenance of equipment.
- Hazard and risk assessment and evaluation.
Food and Beverages Regulations
Food and beverage regulations are in place to protect the consumer.
There are five food safety standards:
- Interpretation and application
- Food Safety Programs: this is a document developed to demonstrate how the company plans to control the safety hazards associated with the food handling parts of the business.
- Food Safety Practices and General Requirements: this standard governs specific controls related to food deliveries, storage, handling, displaying, packaging, transportation, disposal and recalls.
- Food Premises and Equipment: comprises what’s needed in the design and construction of premises where food is kept and handled, as well as the fixtures, fittings and equipment.
- Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons: if your company provides food to vulnerable people, like the elderly or hospital patients, this standard outlines specific food safety requirements for them.
ISO 9001 is a well-known international standard for quality management systems, which is a set of policies, processes and procedures needed to plan and execute the very core business area of a company.
While not legally required, ISO 9001 implementation has several key benefits to hospitality companies;
- Enhanced credibility and reputation: ISO 9001 is a highly regarded quality management system and many times, larger companies use it as a requirement to do business with you, because they are assured of the standard of quality you provide when you’ve implemented ISO 9001.
- Increased profit, as you improve customer satisfaction. The happier your customers, the more money you will make as they return, and as they become brand ambassadors for your company.
- Better process flows eliminate waste, so it also helps you save money in the long run.
- Streamlined, more effective processes for a better service experience.
- Improved decision making because of the ability to measure data.
- Continual service improvements: the system helps create an ongoing service improvement culture in the company.
- Employee engagement increases because staff understand exactly what’s required of them, and they feel as if their contribution towards efficient processes, is of value.
The hospitality industry is one of the industries that benefit most from implementing ISO 9001.