Hospitality Laws & Regulations

Instructor: Vericia Miller
In this lesson, you will learn more about hospitality laws and the regulatory bodies that govern them. You will be given examples for clarity of hospitality laws and how they are used to protect you in public accommodations.

A Night Out

You decide to go to one of your favorite take out restaurants. You order the Chow Mein noodles with a side of Kung Pao and orange chicken. Hours later you feel terribly ill and are having sharp pains in your belly all followed by vomiting throughout the night. You decide to go to the emergency room where blood and stool samples are taken for diagnosis.

After a short wait, the doctor diagnosis you with food poisoning. Once at home, you turn on the television and on the news you see that 10 other people have complained of symptoms of food poisoning after eating at the same restaurant. Though for most, food poisoning is not a serious illness, it is not one that anyone should ever get after eating at a restaurant.

There are laws and standards that every restaurant must abide by when serving customers. Restaurants should always serve food that is edible and safe for consumption. Outside of their moral obligation to prepare quality foods, it is their legal obligation to ensure that patrons are not getting sick from eating in their establishments.

Hospitality Laws

Hospitality laws were created to ensure that restaurants, hotels, motels, and other public accommodations are providing safety measures within their establishments to ensure the well-being of their patrons. People are expecting to eat good foods when they visit a restaurant. When lodging at a hotel or motel, people are expecting a good night's stay free from any type of harm. They should be protected from any type of criminal activity, such as robbery or assault. What protects us from harm are the laws in place to lessen the chances of these things occurring.

There are many different types of hospitality laws, but one thing they all have in common is the protection of the customer's rights and safety. They also protect customers from being misguided, deceived, or duped by any public establishment. But for the sake of creating a lesson that is to the point, we'll only focus on two hospitality laws: Hotel Motel Fire Safety Act and the Truth In Menu Law.

Hotel Motel Fire Safety Act

The Hotel Motel Fire Safety Act is a federal law passed in 1990. It requires that all lodging facilities three stories or higher have fire extinguishers and a sprinkler system in each room. Naturally the purpose of this act is to protect guests from losing their lives in case of a fire. Also, the law mandates that no federal employee is to stay at a hotel/motel that does not have a proper fire safety plan. This is a type of hospitality law because it attempts to regulate the ways in which lodging facilities implement their safety plans. If properly implemented, it can most definitely save lives.

Truth In Menu Law

Many restaurants are guilty of presenting food on menus dishonestly. For example, some restaurants may make claims to how they prepare their food or where they purchased their food when in reality, it's not true. If you claim to be an organic restaurant, that means you are preparing food without chemicals. If you are claiming to be an all vegan restaurant, that means you are not using dairy products in the foods you serve. If you claim to only sell antibiotic-free chickens to the grocery store, that means that your chickens were never given bacterial fighting drugs any time before slaughter. Whatever you make claim to on your menu or website has to be true. If not, you can be sued for misrepresenting a product.

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