How can hotels meet the new safety challenges presented by the current pandemic
Let’s face it, people are still nervous and anxious about this whole COVID-19 situation, these feelings won’t go away so quickly, not even after the lockdown ends. If we want tourists to travel, stay, and dine in again, it is our responsibility as industry leaders to ensure our facilities follow the most strict cleanliness standards.
Let’s show our guests how we are proactively tackling all areas of cleanliness, hygiene, and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels or restaurants in the near future again, they feel calm and safe because of our commitment to health, cleanliness, and safety.
Safety for our guests and associates must be a top priority, starting at the lobby, hotel rooms, and the food and beverage departments. That is the message that needs to be shared and advertised across all channels, to encourage locals to travel again, and once the boarders reopen, to invite international guests to experience Australia and its many wonders, welcoming them back to a safe and clean environment.
Rely on your team:
On the other hand, it’s equally important that our associates know the changes we are making to help safeguard their health as they serve our guests.
Here are a few tips to achieve this:
Create a Cleanliness Council to tackle the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic at the hotel or restaurant level. A group of people focused on developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviours that are designed to minimise risk and enhance safety for consumers and the internal team.
Disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate wellbeing all need to be re-evaluated taking a thoughtful approach to set an even higher bar of cleanliness and develop new guest interaction protocols.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to take a holistic approach, to not only combat disinfection across the hotel, but to take care of our guests and associates, especially in areas of high foot traffic like the main lobby, restaurants, and obviously hotel rooms.
In regards to the restaurant area, people will have higher expectations than just an appealing food presentation. Covering the food is precarious to ease people’s fears of contamination, a great way to do so is with bakery cabinets, and chafers with a transparent window on top so that they are able to see the food without having to open the lid.
Consider placing hand sanitiser stations across all hotel areas: lobby, lifts areas, gym, spa, and hallways. People should be able to easily find a hand sanitiser station every few meters, or at least on every floor.
This is an investment, that would become the new normal for hospitality venues as soon as our doors reopen, see this opportunity as a competitive advantage, those who implement these measures and advertise them first would gain the approval and recognition of the public, resulting in future sales once tourists start traveling again.
None of us were expecting a pandemic, this is a learning process and as industry leaders we will have to adapt and change our strategies along the way in order to meet our guests’ needs, but if we keep our objectives clear and make our customers our priority, we will be able to revive the hospitality industry and bounce back together successfully.