How to Select Your Valet Company

Valet service plays an integral role in the restaurant, event planning, and hospitality industries, though its importance is often overlooked or under-appreciated.  However, the fact of the matter is valet will be the first impression that many guests will receive of your establishment, and can set the mood for their entire experience.  Valet is also the last contact guests will have when leaving, and can be the determining factor in whether or not they will be returning. Nothing is worse than having the perfect day or night only to encounter a rude valet, or worse yet, learn that they have lost your keys, caused damage to your vehicle, or that something has been stolen. Whether you have valet service out of necessity, or to add a touch of class, choosing the right company can have a huge impact on your business. When choosing the correct valet company, there are several things that are important to look out for. Unlike many industries, in valet the bigger and better known companies tend to provide less than satisfactory service. They tend to pay their employees poorly and rotate them to different accounts. Poor pay significantly increases the chances of items “missing” from vehicles and is very difficult to actually prove, and rotation to various accounts makes it difficult to pinpoint the culprit. This is especially true since it is common for most company’s valet tickets to have a legal disclaimer limiting the liability for personal items left in a vehicle. By compensating employees well and scheduling them at the same accounts every day, the better companies not only reduce or eliminate theft,...

How to Select your Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your Kitchen Exhaust System is one of the most important services provided for your facility and is often the most overlooked as well.  Maintaining your exhaust system not only prolongs the life of your system, but more importantly it ensures that your facility is safe from potential fire.  When selecting a provider, there are a few important elements to consider. Insurance Coverage – (Liability and Workman’s Comp Insurance) Any reputable provider will carry between 1 and 5 million dollars in liability insurance.  Insurance coverage is one of the first questions that should be asked when selecting a provider.  Once your provider has completed service they are required, by NFPA 96 code, to mark the system with a certificate (usually a sticker) stating the date the system was cleaned.  This certificate holds the company liable if the system does in fact catch fire.  This also covers any of your equipment and your system in the event that any damage occurs during regular services.  The amount of insurance that the provider carries is very important when a claim is filed for damages caused by poor work.  The workman’s comp portion of the insurance is to cover the provider’s technicians if they are injured while working on your premises. Documentation Practices As referenced above, all work must be documented and certified by the provider.  Local fire departments, health departments, and insurance companies require documentation that regular maintenance is occurring in order for your facility to operate.  Besides the sticker, most companies will leave you with an invoice or form stating what work was performed.  This should be...

What are the different types of Emergency Lighting Systems?

One way of classifying the type of Emergency Lighting System is based on how the emergency light has its power supplied. The emergency light could contain its own power supply, in the form of a battery, and this is referred to as Self Contained or Single Point. Similarly the power could be supplied from a central battery source, where a battery is located somewhere within the premises and the power is supplied to the emergency light via cabling. Generally, the decision to use either a central battery or a self-contained system is likely to be cost determined. If an installation has longevity and low maintenance as priorities, then the higher cost of a central battery may be acceptable on a very large project. Typically, luminaire costs and installation costs are a major consideration, particularly on smaller jobs, and it is this criterion which makes the self-contained luminaire the most popular choice. Self-Contained or Single Point Advantages: The installation is faster and cheaper as additional power cables do not need to be run Standard wiring material can be used, as opposed to fire resistant cables required for central battery source Burn through of the mains cable will automatically satisfy the requirement for the luminaire to be lit Low maintenance costs – periodic testing and general cleaning required Low hardware equipment costs – no requirement for extended wiring, extra ventilation, etc. Greater system integrity as each luminaire is independent of the others System can easily be extended with additional luminaires No special sub-circuit monitoring is required Disadvantages: Environmental conditions may vary across the system, and batteries may be affected by relatively high or low temperatures Battery life...

EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) liability shift information

The EMV (that’s EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) liability shift will take place Oct. 1. After that, restaurants that do not have EMV-enabled payment terminals will be liable for chargebacks on counterfeit chip cards used in their establishment. Between the bank that issued the card, the restaurant accepting the card and the payment provider processing the card, whoever is least prepared to accept EMV will be held accountable. Unfortunately, the impending EMV transition has turned into a market grab. Third-party payment companies, solution providers and hardware manufacturers are using the liability shift to spread false information and scare restaurant owners into rushing purchasing decisions they aren’t ready to make. Those decisions could have harmful, long-lasting implications on their operations. While it’s important to eventually make the transition to EMV to avoid liability and minimize risk, restaurant operators should proceed with careful consideration to avoid falling for third-party scare tactics. Here are the Top 5 restaurant EMV myths, debunked: MYTH 1: EMV is required and will be enforced by a government or security agency. If you’re a restaurant operator in the U.S., no government agency or industry association requires you to implement EMV. You will not be fined if you do not integrate EMV terminals by the Oct. 1 “deadline date.” It is your decision as a business owner whether or not, when and how to implement EMV. MYTH 2: EMV is required for restaurants looking to become PCI-compliant. You do not need to implement EMV to be compliant with Payments Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). While EMV can be one component of a larger data security strategy, it is neither...