Policy changes

I constantly attend hospitality conferences to listen and learn about best practices in the industry and where I can apply change in my hotels. Recently I was at a conference for resort owners and operators where I was able to come away with some great ideas. One topic was the recent struggle of job recruitment at hotels and resorts.

It is becoming much more difficult to recruit top talent in both the front and back of the house at restaurant operations. It seems as though certain policies, such as dress codes and drug testing, that have been “grandfathered” into hotels and resorts over the last number of years have caused the industry to lose many talented restaurant staff to independent restaurants. A colleague recently raised the point that restaurant operators laugh at hotel and resort operators for their antiquated policies regarding tattoos and drug testing. Generally, the hotel sector does not allow visible tattoos, and the majority still conducts drug tests.

When this topic was discussed at the conference, I — as well as many others — were surprised at how many resort operators had stopped drug testing, and how many now allowed tattoos for back-of-the-house staff. Many felt resorts and hotels will have to adapt to the changing times and allow front-of-the-house tattoos (that are non-controversial) in the very near future to compete with independent restaurants.  

This month, CNN Money posted an article about Starbucks changing its dress codes and policies, which includes allowing tattoos and easing up on uniforms. Looks like many industries are starting to rethink their policies.

What are your thoughts on this? Are tattoo bans and drug testing going away in the hospitality industry?