How to comply with regulations for data compliance in restaurants

The digitalisation of our society is forcing us to change our behaviour and it opens a door to the world and offers infinite possibilities. On the other hand, big data in the hospitality industry also brings the responsibility of ensuring data compliance in restaurants, bars and hotels and you read more about the different areas it affects in our complete guide to hospitality compliance.

This is governed by a strict and defined legislative framework: The Data Protection Act 2018 in the UK and the GDPR, the European data protection law, aim to frame the use and processing of data by organisations, businesses, or government. This legislation applies to anyone responsible for handling personal data, and that involves the majority of your team, from servers or bar staff processing customers’ digital payments to kitchen staff placing orders with suppliers. Anyone involved in the exchange of personal information must follow strict rules called “data protection principles,” and ensure the information is:

  • used fairly, lawfully and transparently
  • used for specified, explicit purposes
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant, and limited to only what is necessary
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • kept for no longer than is necessary
  • handled in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorised processing, access, loss, destruction or damage

We’ve developed a comprehensive guide to hospitality compliance but in this article, we’ll focus on the different sources of data your team may handle and some ways you ensure it’s better protected. 

Suppliers and data protection compliance

Your supplier relationships are precious: it’s the starting point of your purchasing and production cycle. A good supplier relationship is first and foremost a relationship based on trust, which is established on the basis of three essential elements: contracts, the prices and quality.

Therefore, any data exchanged during order taking is highly confidential and must not, under any circumstances, be misused. It’s here that hospitality data protection compliance plays a crucial role in protecting our supplier relationships.

However, the paper-based systems that have been used in the past no longer stand up to this challenge. Paper can get misplaced or even lost, falling into the wrong hands. You must be able to produce evidence of proper data control in the event of an inspection, and failure to do so can result in heavy fines. A purchasing and supplier relationship management tool like Easilys f&b helps you organise your order data and supplier information in a single, centralised platform.

You can rest assured your data is safe with greater control over this crucial stage of your business, instilling trust in your suppliers and efficiency in your operations.

Your customers: data privacy compliance

Increasing digitalisation in the hotel and restaurant sector means that restaurateurs need to be super careful with their customer data. And the data can come from a variety of sources, particularly when providing customer service and experience, including customer contact details collected during reservations, visits to establishment websites, newsletters sent out, payments, etc.

Data compliance in restaurants and hotel cyber security are a top priority: the reputation of your establishment is at stake and data breaches can lead to disastrous consequences.

What’s more, if not respecting your customers' data is harmful to your business, the proper use and development of this data can, however, be more beneficial than you think: GPDR can also become a vector for consolidating your customer relations! Correctly handling data consent procedures will help to gain your customers' trust.

Your employees: data protection in the workplace

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company! Without the support of your team, production and service will disappear... and so will your business. So, protecting their personal data and that of the customers they receive is fundamental.

Like any other skills your team need to perform well, data privacy compliance training is essential to ensure they are observing the law during their busy working day. Thanks to our hospitality learning management solution, Flow Learning by MAPAL, your teams and managers can get acquainted with the different elements and best practices of this regulation, in order to guarantee data compliance in the hotel and restaurant industry.

Our data privacy modules form part of a wider compliance training collection and provide your team with everything they need to know to become proficient at data privacy compliance in the hotel and catering industry. Your teams are operational, aware and respectful of the law!

Big data in the hospitality industry is a vast subject, which offers endless opportunities while being treated with the utmost attention. Technology is your best ally and at MAPAL, we offer a full range of back office hospitality management solutions to help centralise supplier data and train your teams to guarantee data compliance in restaurants. Contact us to learn how we can help you embrace data while staying compliant.