As we have slowly reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic, there are changes being made to hotels to ensure safety. Some popular practices must be postponed, like the buffet breakfast. New protocols are also introduced to ensure that travelers and employees feel safe and protected. Here are some ways the hotels will and have adapted.
Many hotels implement additional measures, for instance frequent cleaning of the most common areas and “contact points” such as elevator buttons and door handles. Many domestic workers wear gloves for their work, which is not really uncommon. In the food and beverage department, employers have scheduled and monitored hand washes, and many have changed their food service protocol. For example, instead of allowing customers to serve themselves, employees serve food in places where there is usually a self-service option.
Checking In Guests
The hotel also implements protocols for guests who arrive at check-in who show symptoms of a virus or report to the property that they have tested positive for a virus and wish to be quarantined at the hotel. Some hotels have made the difficult decision to reject these guests. Others have chosen to allow guests to register and collaborate with local health authorities to manage this situation.
Changes in Hotel Restaurants
As social distancing has become the new norm, guests can eat in their rooms to avoid public spaces such as public hotels or restaurants. Hotels that do not yet offer room service should take this into account. Guests should have the option of receiving contactless room service when food at the door.
It may also be worth expanding their offer, hotels don’t want guests to tire of their standard offer too soon. Hotels can offer a reservation service at a local restaurant that guests can access using a QR code on their device. So if you’ve eaten your burger multiple times, you can switch between local restaurants in Thailand, Italy, and China.
All this can be charged to the guest’s account and sent to their room by their employees with a service fee. This is a win-win-win situation: Hotel guests have an extraordinary choice, they beat Uber Eats on the part of food revenue, plus 100% alcohol (which is a high margin) and the local restaurant gets additional income.
All major hotel chains and many other independent hotels train their executives on the protocol to treat patients or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. Those with positive family members are concerned about the disease and the return of affected areas abroad. Many recommend self-isolation to interested employees.
To protect employees and guests, hotels must have personal protective equipment and cleaning products, including respirators, goggles, disposable gloves, and N95 sanitizing solutions. All touch-sensitive surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the day, especially the reception desk, door handles and doors, elevator buttons and all general hotel areas. Also, leave windows and doors open as much as possible to increase air flow.
It doesn’t seem intuitive to us in terms of friendship, but it’s now safer for everyone to reduce personal interactions between employees and guests. As we promote contactless and keyless check-in with the mobile app or kiosk, here are some other helpful COVID policy tips to keep the guests safe
- Remember to give your employees face masks or place a protective shield (sneeze guard) between employee interaction areas, e.g. reception and concierge.
- Show recommendations for recommended public health guidelines for guests and employees, including social distance, handwashing, coughing and sneezing, and avoiding contact.
- Also consider the signs to tell guests what you are doing to ensure their health and safety.
- Until vaccines against this type of coronavirus are available, health measures such as social distance should become the norm worldwide.
- Depending on the country, hotels may need to follow certain public health standards. To provide additional security for your guests, you can also consider the following:
- Provide non-contact hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the hotel, particularly in high-traffic areas such as lobbies, restaurants, or meeting rooms
- Mark the social distances in your public areas to check the check-in lines, etc.
- Redesign the lobby, restaurant, and meeting room to ensure there is enough space for guests to sit.