SALT LAKE CITY—Food safety may not be top of mind for travelers, but it should be for any hotelier worth their salt. A failure to have a brand standard in place for food hygiene and occupational safety can put a hotel property at risk of being the latest subject of a Twitter rant or critical review online.
“The days of not having a defendable brand standard and compliance are over. If you’re hoping your Excel spreadsheets are enough to make sure all of the remote locations are living up to expectations, you’ll have a painful rude awakening when social media takes off,” said Frank Maylett, president and CEO, RizePoint, a provider of brand, quality and safety management software. “We help companies protect their brand.”
The 20-year-old software company started out as a “body shop” deploying people, clipboard and pencil in hand, to do audits for large hotel companies, such as Marriott International, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and Motel 6. There are hundreds of brand standards, and clients were soon asking for technology around the service, noted Maylett.
“That was the genesis of RizePoint. We are now a software-only company and we provide SaaS technology used by many of the biggest brands in the world to audit compliance to a brand standard,” said Maylett. “The company is doing well and the biggest measurement is retention. A benchmark in the software industry is 90% of customers sticking with you year to year. If you achieve that, you’re onto something special. Our retention is 97.5% and these customers see value in what we deliver. We bring insights involving operations to make them better companies.”
RizePoint focuses on specific areas in hospitality such as food and supply chain corporate responsibility, helping them audit the supply chain to ensure factories around the world are using proper labor and safety standards. The software technology operates on mobile devices such as iPads or smartphones, which enables auditors to go to remote sites and gather data.
“A typical audit will have 500-800 questions on employee standards, cleanliness and food safety. If you’re an InterContinental or Holiday Inn, you’re probably serving food and they use our technology to audit the safety of the food as well as the safety of the facility swimming pool,” he said.
Once the data is collected by the auditors, RizePoint runs it through a data analytics engine to identify trends in the hotel sites or potential areas for improvement. Maylett explained the company digs deep into the data to look for common threads.
“For one site, if food safety keeps coming up short on the audit results, we ask, ‘Is it just that site or is it happening across the enterprise, and what can the company do to train against those deficiencies?” he said. “Our software will provide corrective action plans for that site. We gather the information and act early to avoid any issue within their organization.”
Maylett noted that it’s important for hoteliers to take responsibility and work proactively on improving the daily operations or they may suffer the consequences. “Every company has to take this element of brand protection very seriously. We’re the biggest player in helping to gather the data, analyze it and correct the problems before it becomes the latest Tweet or Instagram post,” he said. “Regardless of size, you need to put plans and processes in place to take care of this now because it’s not going away.”