The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa

Case Studies
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The Houstonian and Orkin Meet Customers’ High Expectations

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa is known worldwide for its superb accommodations and unmatched service. Situated on an 18-acre wooded oasis in the heart of Houston, the 400,000-square-foot facility provides an array of amenities designed to satisfy the most discerning of travelers.

While the wooded setting allows guests to escape the bustle of the city and experience the tranquility of nature, it also requires a thorough pest management program to help ensure guests’ comfort amid this secluded retreat. The Houstonian has trusted Orkin Commercial Services as a partner since 2006 to help the resort continue to live up to its reputation as one of the finest hotels in Houston.

Orkin spoke with Houstonian Director of Engineering Greg Branum about the importance of effective pest management at a hotel of this caliber. Following is an edited transcription of that interview.

Why is pest management important to the Houstonian?

The Houstonian’s guests and business travelers from all over the world have exceedingly high expectations, which we are committed to meet. A pest sighting of any kind could be detrimental to our reputation. As a result, we have extremely high expectations for pest management, and Orkin consistently delivers.

Why did you choose Orkin?

In my 25 years in the hospitality business, I’ve learned that a solid pest control partner is critical for success. I’ve worked with some of Orkin’s competitors in the past, and the simple fact is the other companies could not deliver the results we needed. When I initially met with the Orkin team, they came to the hotel and presented a thorough program, and then they delivered the results to back it up.

What is the biggest benefit of Orkin’s service?

If we have a need or concern, Orkin is literally a phone call away anytime. In the hotel world, we’re operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and Orkin knows how to coordinate their efforts to never disrupt our business.

How does the Orkin team work with your staff to manage pests?

We truly have a partnership with Orkin. It’s great to work with people who are such professionals. The Orkin technicians come to our hotel prepared with an action plan and they know how to coordinate with our team. They not only meet with me, but they are always happy to meet with our housekeeping department, food and beverage managers and other staff if they have questions or concerns.

What has been the overall impact of your partnership with Orkin?

The Houstonian staff aims to provide the best customer service in the hospitality industry, and when we’re the customer, it’s a pleasant experience to work with people who treat us the same way – who try to exceed our expectations rather than just do the bare minimum. Orkin gets it. They value us as a customer the same way we value our customers. It’s hard to infuse that kind of thinking throughout your culture, and somehow Orkin has done it. They far outperform their competitors on a consistent basis.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pest Management Provider
  • How long has the provider been in business?
  • Are the provider’s technicians licensed and/or certified by appropriate agencies?
  • What documentation is provided with the service? How soon is it available?
  • What kind of training do the technicians receive?
  • What is the average response time to a pest-related emergency? Is there an extra charge for emergency responses?