It’s the holiday season again, which is likely when you’re going to be making the lion’s share of your business and earnings, as things usually go in restaurant and hospitality land.
But with all the private parties and constant inflow of seasonal travelers comes a higher risk of a little-known but major problem that managers of restaurants and hotels need to be aware of.
Bed Bugs Can (and Will) Hide Anywhere
Yes, many restaurant GMs are looking at this and scratching their heads right now. Bed bugs? My restaurant doesn’t even have beds!
The problem is, bed bugs don’t care. Most of the time, they’re just looking for a place to stay, which means if you have a restaurant with carpet or seats upholstered in fabrics, you are on their radar for the bed bug version of a bed and breakfast.
And with the expected higher volume of foot traffic into restaurants and hotels, you’re going to have people coming into your hotel or eatery carrying them, usually unknowingly. Hopefully unknowingly, or else that would just be weird.
You may have read the news story from last year where a Phoenix airport was forced to replace giant sections of seating in the waiting areas after bed bugs were discovered hiding in the seams and crevices of chairs and seats.
But it’s not just Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor Airport that’s susceptible to these unwelcome guests. Bed bugs can literally show up in city council meetings, at movie theaters, on airplanes themselves, at schools, and of course, 5-star hotels (and 1-star motels just the same).
No surprise then that bed bugs are also a national emergency level problem in France, as bed bugs exercise their frequent flier miles in an effort not to lose them.
Restaurant Managers Need to Maintain an Emphasis on Cleanliness
One of the top complaints among restauranteurs is that the restaurant is not clean, and has issues with unsanitary conditions. While this is immediately off-putting, it shows that restaurant managers still have to maintain a constant vigilant eye on the details which many who have been in the business for decades would view as mundane or beneath them.
Remember, all it takes is one guest getting bit and looking down at their seat, seeing little creepy crawly bed bugs running around after they themselves enjoyed a meal at the expense of one of your patrons, and then leaving a 1-star Yelp review that turns your restaurant into a haunted house.
So even if you have to roll up your sleeves and check seating sections yourself, or send lazy servers home and give the lesser servers a chance at greater responsibility and larger sections, then you must do what needs be done to ensure that your restaurant does not become the next thing on the menu for bed bugs.