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If you’re an owner or manager of a hotel, bar, restaurant or catering business, then hospitality compliance should be top of mind. You’ll need to ensure your venues comply with hospitality rules and regulations and they affect all areas of your business.

The National Occupational Standards body in the UK provides a general framework for hospitality managers for complying with legislative requirements in hospitality. This includes general performance criteria and knowledge and understanding that managers need to demonstrate.

In this guide, we’re diving deeper into the different areas of legislation in the hospitality industry and ways to help you comply with them. The main areas of hospitality compliance we’ll be looking at are:

  • Personal alcohol licence holder
  • Health and safety legislation
  • Food safety
  • Environment health compliance
  • Fire safety regulations
  • Data protection laws
  • Trade descriptions
  • Employment laws

Complying with legislation in the hospitality industry avoids penalisation from government inspections and potential accidents that could harm your employers and customers. What’s more, you’ll also be ensuring your business runs more smoothly and team and customer satisfaction levels remain high.

How can hospitality technology help you stay compliant

Making sure your team and business are compliant requires daily dedication. Having to stay on top of so many different areas and specifications can be daunting. Even more so if you manage multiple sites or are still doing everything on paper or Excel.

Using hospitality technology in your bar, hotel, restaurant, or café enables you to monitor specific aspects in real-time, from smoke emissions, equipment cleanliness, food temperature, and many more. It will also help you maintain your brand standards and give you the confidence to know that your business is fully compliant with the law.

At MAPAL, we’ve been developing specialist hospitality back of house software for over a decade. All our solutions integrate with each other, and with your other HR, accounting or front of house solutions.

Digitises your daily procedures enabling you to consistently monitor all aspects of hospitality compliance, guarantee quality, obtain and share real-time reports and achieve our goals quickly and effectively. Your team can complete their tasks via easy-to-use mobile checklists, giving them more time to spend with customers.

 

Go to Compliance

A digital kitchen inventory and waste management software that enables you to control the traceability of all products, ingredient information, easily manage suppliers, control waste, and ensures you are always compliant with food safety regulations related to calorie and allergen information.

 

Go to Easilys f&b

An indispensable tool to ensure your equipment, fittings and fixtures are always in optimal condition. The app will help you spot minor issues before they become problems. It ensures your equipment is always ready for operation, avoids breakdowns and accidents, and is ready for inspection at a moment’s notice.

 

Go to Facilities

An all-in-one platform for employee learning. Flow will help you ensure your employees are fully trained in food safety, are compliant with the regulations that are specific to their job role, and always deliver the level of service your customers expect. Employees can complete short bite-size and engaging learning modules from their mobile, at their own pace and wherever they are.

 

Go to Flow Learning

 

Helps you generate perfect staff schedules in a few clicks, based on AI technology for accurate sales forecasting. Workforce enables you to optimise your labour resources and reduce costs while also maximising productivity at your venue. Its ability to differentiate between labour laws in different regions or countries, and control variable aspects of pay, make this a perfect solution for multi-site team management.

 

Go to Workforce

Digitises your daily procedures enabling you to consistently monitor all aspects of hospitality compliance, guarantee quality, obtain and share real-time reports and achieve our goals quickly and effectively. Your team can complete their tasks via easy-to-use mobile checklists, giving them more time to spend with customers.

 

Go to Compliance

A digital kitchen inventory and waste management software that enables you to control the traceability of all products, ingredient information, easily manage suppliers, control waste, and ensures you are always compliant with food safety regulations related to calorie and allergen information.

 

Go to Easilys f&b

An indispensable tool to ensure your equipment, fittings and fixtures are always in optimal condition. The app will help you spot minor issues before they become problems. It ensures your equipment is always ready for operation, avoids breakdowns and accidents, and is ready for inspection at a moment’s notice.

 

Go to Facilities

An all-in-one platform for employee learning. Flow will help you ensure your employees are fully trained in food safety, are compliant with the regulations that are specific to their job role, and always deliver the level of service your customers expect. Employees can complete short bite-size and engaging learning modules from their mobile, at their own pace and wherever they are.

 

Go to Flow Learning

 

Helps you generate perfect staff schedules in a few clicks, based on AI technology for accurate sales forecasting. Workforce enables you to optimise your labour resources and reduce costs while also maximising productivity at your venue. Its ability to differentiate between labour laws in different regions or countries, and control variable aspects of pay, make this a perfect solution for multi-site team management.

 

Go to Workforce

Hospitality regulations on alcohol licensing

As explained in the UK government regulations, all hospitality businesses that want to sell or supply alcohol must have a licence. These are usually obtained from a licensing authority, usually a local council. Every venue must have a designated premises supervisor over 18 years of age and holds a personal licence, but you can read more on how how to comply with alcohol licensing laws in the UK in this article.

Flow Learning offers a range of learning resources to ensure your staff are always up to date, and includes our module on alcohol licensing. There are different modules depending on which country your business is based in:

  • Licensing (England & Wales)
  • Licensing (Scotland)
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol (Republic of Ireland)

This isn’t intended to substitute the licensing authority permission that every business needs to obtain. But the module does offer all the necessary information you and your team need to apply for that licence. The module will ensure your learners will understand licensing law and responsible service practices to work on licensed premises. They will be guided through the essential training they require, including legislation, drug awareness, social responsibility and dealing with conflict.

Hospitality regulations in the area of health and safety

Around 1.7 million people in Great Britain suffer from work-related illnesses. All workplaces are subject to health and safety regulations, but those that involve kitchens and food services present a higher risk. And the risks your employees face depend on their job role: kitchen staff will be subject to different risks than those working the bar or serving food. It’s your responsibility as a business owner/manager to ensure that they are aware of those risks and how to prevent them, to avoid harming themselves, other team members or your customers.

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is an invaluable source of information, but we’ll summarise the main areas below:

Measures you can take to improve health and safety in the workplace

  • Keep the workplace clean and tidy: you can reduce the number of workplace-related accidents by maintaining a clean and organised workplace. It’s essential to perform daily checks to comply with hospitality regulations but this can be time-consuming if it’s all done manually. Compliance by MAPAL enables your team to do this quickly and efficiently with digital checklists and upload photos of any deviations. Area managers or head offices can monitor compliance levels at a glance and resolve any issues fast.
  • Ensure equipment and electrical installations are in good working order: keeping on top of equipment maintenance prevents accidents and avoids unnecessary downtime, saving you money when issues arise. An estimated 10% of equipment undergoes maintenance or repair every month, reflecting on your bottom line. Using a maintenance management system such as Facilities by MAPAL will help you keep repairs and maintenance to a minimum, monitor them in real-time and control all SLAs and suppliers in a single app. Suppliers will be automatically notified of scheduled maintenance and when replacement parts are needed.
  • Uniform and adequate clothing: most multi-site restaurant businesses supply a uniform for their team. It’s essential to ensure that each uniform is appropriate for the job role in question to protect them from any possible hazards. It’s critical for your brand image that staff are well-presented, wherever they work.
  • Workplace ergonomics, according to the HSE, ergonomics is the science concerned with the “fit” between people and their job roles. Having the right tools and equipment for the job goes without saying. Still, there are other factors that employers need to consider for improving workplace safety and reducing accidents: the job/task in quesiton; the individual’s physical and psychological characteristics, and the organisation and social environment.
  • Optimal shift planning: Overworked staff or irregular shift patterns can lead to burnout, inability to create a work-life balance and demotivation. It’ll come as no surprise that this will, in turn, leads to lower productivity. Using technology enables managers to create shift plans that suit both the company and the employee, saving time, reducing costs and improving productivity. MAPAL Workforce generates perfect schedules in a few clicks with the help of AI, taking labour laws, staff preferences, and business needs into account: a win-win for everyone!

Health and safety training in hospitality

All employers must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). This law requires them to control substances that are hazardous to health and prevent or reduce workers’ exposure to them.

Your teams also need to be fully aware of the risks they are exposed to in their roles. Flow Learning provides health and safety modules which are accredited by several national UK bodies.

  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH): learners will discover how to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their guests. They’ll learn how to reduce the risk of injury and illness by carefully following in-house procedures and manufacturing guidelines. He will practice thoughtful, planned cleaning and food preparation procedures to prevent accidents and keep the workplace safe.
  • Health and Safety Level 1: helps learners identify and practise measures to protect their colleagues and guests from harm. This module helps teams learn how to maintain a safe workplace and is perfect for lower-risk workplaces such as cafés.
  • Health and Safety Level 2: This resource details how learners can keep their workplace health and safety compliant, and they will practise managing risks, preventing fires, responding to emergencies, and reporting accidents. Perfect for higher-risk areas such as kitchens.
  • Legionnaire’s disease: This resource will help learners define the severe effects of Legionnaires’ disease in their workplace. It will prepare them to work with their manager and teammates to apply the correct measures for protecting themselves and their guests.

As an employer, you must also appoint a team member who will be responsible for:

First Aid Awareness: This resource will emphasise the importance of responding in the first few minutes of an accident or emergency and how learners can best respond. They will understand ways to safeguard the workplace and be guided through the basic emergency first aid response procedures.

Food safety for restaurants, bars, cafés and hotels

With food safety laws becoming more controlled than ever, it’s vital to ensure your team continues to meet the hygiene  standards required by legislation in the hospitality industry. This applies to kitchen staff, and all those in contact with the food and drinks served to your customers.

Food can become contaminated in many ways, and could lead to food poisoning or worse, a customer’s death. This kind of incident can lead to penalties, closure or damage to your reputation.

The three main types of hazards are:

Microbiological: harmful bacteria

Chemical contamination

Physical: objects getting into food

To safeguard your business you must develop your own procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, a UK law implemented as a result of the EU regulation (EC) 854/2004.

But when you have an entire chain of restaurants, hotels, cafés or bars, putting this plan into practice can be time-consuming and complicated. What’s more, if you’re doing all that on paper, this risk of non-compliance and error is even higher.

With Compliance by MAPAL, you can easilydigitise your entire HACCP plan into one simple app. Teams can perform daily checks quickly via mobile. Your operations departments can monitor completion rates in real-time and get the reports they need. Spot issues and act swiftly, and in the event of an incident, your team can quickly consult the app to discover what to do next.

Everything your team needs on mobile

Digital checklists with Compliance mean that your team sees what they need to do, when they need to do it. You can also include documents explaining the reasons behind these tasks, in case they’re asked during an inspection. Compliance gives you the option to include this through a clickable link alongside each checkbox.

You might even want to guarantee your team is fully aware of the reasons behind any of the checklists they complete. For that, you can also author your own learning modules on our Flow Learning platform and make them compulsory.

Food intolerances and labelling

Ensuring that the food you serve is safe for your customers’ consumption to a certain extent also depends on your supply chain. Nowadays, many people suffer from food intolerances such as gluten, nuts, dairy and a whole host of other ingredients.

The recent introduction of Natasha’s Law (The Food Information (Amendment) England Regulations 2019), following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, brought home the sometimes severe consequences of inadequate food safety procedures in hospitality businesses.

Controlling every ingredient and tracing them through your supply chain can seem like a huge task. But with the aid of a specialist yet simple app like Easilys f&b, this becomes automatic and ensures your food labelling is always impeccable.

And it doesn’t stop there: the software also helps you control food costs, automate menu engineering, effortlessly control stock and measure and reduce waste. Your team can access our user-friendly mobile app wherever they are, and even your chefs will love it!

Remember: smartphones, tablets, touchscreens and other mobile devices can also carry bacteria and viruses and pose a risk for cross-contamination. They should be constantly cleaned and disinfected to reduce this risk. This should be included and documented in your HACCP procedures.

Hospitality compliance auditing and reporting

Your team needs to perform many daily routines and procedures to ensure your facilities and equipment are safe. And with the high staff turnover typical of our sector, this can be a constant struggle.

Food safety training for your team

Having these procedures in place is the first step, but you also have to ensure your team is fully aware of the risks.

Offering this training through a consistent learning programme available to all via a simple and engaging mobile app will ensure your team (and even new hires) are up to date. Flow Learning offers the following accredited learning modules delivered in a compact and engaging format your team can complete at their own pace and from wherever they are:

  • Food Safety Level 1: Exploring the most effective methods for controlling and preventing food contamination and food poisoning, learners will discover their role in ensuring food safety and will practise implementing these key actions. Perfect for front-of-house or occasional food handlers.
  • Food Safety Level 2: This resource will enable learners to follow the food journey. They will learn how to spot the safety risks and the causes of food contamination and food poisoning while also practising what they can do to control it. Additionally, they will brush up on prevention and cleaning techniques to help keep their kitchens clean and safe. Perfect for anyone involved in preparing, cooking and storing food.
  • Food Allergens: This resource will enable learners to follow the food journey. They will learn how to spot the safety risks and the causes of food contamination and food poisoning while also practising what they can do to control it. Additionally, they will brush up on prevention and cleaning techniques to help keep their kitchens clean and safe. Perfect for anyone involved in preparing, cooking and storing food.

Fire safety in hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés

The main causes of fire in restaurants and takeaways are kitchen appliances (25%) and cookers (23%), followed by electrical distribution problems (17%). Hospitality employers are responsible for fire safety of their workers and must appoint a “responsible person” (or fire marshal) in each venue they operate. The employer, together with the person responsible, must:

  • Do a fire risk assessment and review it regularly
  • Inform staff or representatives of the risks identified
  • Implement and maintain the appropriate safety measures
  • Plan for an emergency
  • Provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

Each local fire and rescue authority will visit the premises to check that fire risk assessment and prevention measures are appropriate and help you comply if they are not. Failure to comply can result infines of up to £5,000 or even prison in the case of major incidents.

Flow Learning has the perfect resource for you to ensure that those responsible for this area in each site understand and excel in their role:

The Fire Marshal: Learners will discover how to describe the relevant fire safety legislation in the workplace and their roles and responsibilities. They will also practise preventing and responding to fire instances to ensure the safety of their colleagues and guests

Equality and diversity in hospitality regulations

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society, whether it is implied directly or indirectly, through harassment or victimisation. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:

  • Age
  • Gender reassignment
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant on or maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

As an employer, you must ensure fairness and non-discrimination in the treatment of all employees and customers. However, to achieve that, you need to ensure you train your teams in this area to foster the culture you aim to achieve. For this reason, Flow Learning has included this as part of our basic compliance suite:

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: this resource defines what these terms really mean, and your learners will discover how to make a difference at work, to make colleagues and guests alike feel welcome, included and valued. They will learn small yet powerful ways to contribute to all three while adhering to legislation.

GDPR compliance in the hospitality industry

Personalisation is an increasingly important marketing tool for personalising the guest experience, building customer loyalty and differentiating businesses from the competition. Thanks to technology, we are now able to collect personal data in bulk and explore exciting opportunities to understand and drive customer behaviour,

However, data regulation is increasing, and customers have more rights over what happens with their personal information. This means all businesses have to be extremely careful when handling that data and have systems in place to avoid breaching the Data Protection Act 2018, and the heavy penalties this could incur.

Flow Learning offers learning modules at two levels:

Data Privacy Foundations: suitable for employees who occasionally process guest data

Data Privacy: perfect for more senior employees, especially those who handle staff and guest information.

Consumer protection and trade descriptions compliance in the hospitality industry

Most businesses are not allowed to mislead customers when describing their goods or services, and this is governed by the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. On the other hand, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 protects customers against misleading pricing information.

But for companies selling food or providing accommodation, such as restaurants, cafés or hotels, the situation is more complex. These businesses are also governed by the Price Marking (Food and Drink on Premises) Order 1979, which is enforced by the Prices Act 1974.

Marketing: Websites, brochures, flyers, websites and any other online material that promotes your venue must contain accurate descriptions and pricing.
Pricing: Prices cannot be increased after the guest has received a quote or hotel booking. Any additional charges that affect the guest’s final bill must be clearly outlined. This also applies to menus and apps; you must honour the price the customer was given.
Menus and labelling: All of the information you provide to your customers regarding food and drink must be accurate and not misleading. It doesn’t matter whether the information is on the menu, on a chalkboard or passed on verbally by a staff member. You must be particularly careful with allergens after the recent introduction of Natasha’s Law – The Food Information (Amendment) England 2019) in the UK. Also, catering establishments and food retailers are now obligated to provide details of the calorie content in foods following the new calorie labelling regulations from April 2022.

Hospitality rules and regulations: employment law and working hours

The Working Time Regulations is the UK legislation governing the maximum number of hours employees should work. Hospitality is a fast-paced and fun industry, but it often involves longer or unsociable hours.

As an employer in the hospitality sector, you’ll need to be aware of the following main areas:

Maximum weekly hours: The regulations stipulate that no one should have to work over 48 hours a week unless they want to. It also sets out the rest periods employees are entitled to daily and weekly.
Opting out of the 48-hour week: If employees are happy to work more than this maximum limit, they must confirm this in writing.
Flexible working: While this isn’t always feasible in some hospitality roles, all employees have the right to be considered for flexible working and employers must genuinely consider if it’s possible.

Keeping track of working hours and creating schedules across multiple stores is one of the most time-consuming tasks a manager has to tackle. It can be a real headache with split shifts, part-time staff, night-time working, flexible working and absence and leave.

Moving to an intelligent digital workforce scheduling solution like Workforce will enable managers to generate perfect schedules in a few clicks. Workforce takes employment laws, contracted working hours and employee skills into account, providing you with rotas that optimise productivity, reduce costs and stay within the law. Managers will be able to grant team preferences more often, improving their satisfaction and work-life balance. And HQ will be able to track hours worked with an in-app clock-in and out system or through a physical in-store SmartHub clock-in device.

Contact us if you’d like to know more about how MAPAL’s suite of technology solutions can help you meet legislative requirements in hospitality businesses.