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Active Shooters In The Workplace: Is The Hospitality Industry Ready

An armed gunman just entered the lobby of your hotel. He announces he is taking your front desk employees and nearby guests as hostages. An image on a security camera reveals that the gunman is a former bellman who was fired last week. What is the first thing you and your management team do?

  • Does someone call the police?
  • Do you run? Fight? Hide?
  • Is there a security guard? What does he or she do?
  • What do your employees do?
  • Do you know the precise, step-by-step actions that you would take?
  • Do you have a system in place to minimize the likelihood of a catastrophe?

Hospitality Businesses Could Be Easy Targets

Hotels, restaurants, and other workplaces in the hospitality industry present unique security challenges because they are – and by their nature must be – easily accessible by the public. A shooter likely will not have to knock down a locked door, struggle with a security guard, or otherwise breach a security threshold to obtain access to your employees and guests. Now is the time to address these issues.

No perfect response is currently available, but you should begin taking steps to avoid violent situations and minimize the risk to your property. Rather than take a reactive approach to workplace violence, you should consider acting proactively in an effort to avoid these incidents. We recommend implementing a pre-mortem analysis of “what could go wrong” instead of waiting for a “what-went-wrong” review after the fact.

Consider adopting some of the following measures in the September issue of the Hospitality Update  to protect your business from disgruntled former or current employees, irate or unstable guests, and others.

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