Rules and regulations
There is a mass of legislation pertaining to hotels. The main areas are: health and safety rules; strict regulations on kitchens, including food hygiene requirements; and the labyrinthine employment law.
For a rundown of the main rules and regulations, you can check out Pink Booklet, which is available on a subscription basis, as part of a holistic online service which also includes 24-7 access to regulatory information, regular updates on new legislation and related features. Recent legislation covered by the Pink Bootlet covers smoking, health and safety, disability access and marketing law.
The specific regulations pertaining to your business will vary according to your location and size, and the amenities you offer. With this in mind, David Stanbridge advises contacting your local authority to find out what the specific requirements will be for your premises.
The amount you will need to do in meeting the regulations depends on whether you are buying an existing hotel or setting up a new establishment. "We were buying a going concern [when we acquired our hotel], so the regulations, such as the fire certificates, were already in place. However, we got a solicitor to check the various legal requirements were being met," says Hipwell.
Bear in mind that hotels undergo a thorough inspection each year. Any breaches have to be put right, or you could be closed down.