The study shone a light on the implementation of technology as well as operational procedures used by businesses to enhance safety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It revealed challenges being faced by hospitality executives when trying to keep up with constantly shifting COVID-19 operational procedures and mandates of state and local governments. The number of adjustments, they found, remains in flux and is being updated on an ongoing basis.
As a result, it has been difficult, if not impossible for hospitality providers to find their industry’s “new normal.”
With this in mind, here are 5 ways in which the hospitality industry can discover their path forward in the face of these rapidly shifting times.
Safety vs. comfort
When staying in a hotel, an obvious major consideration is a comfort. Creating a comfortable, welcoming, social atmosphere is crucial to the appeal of a vast majority of hospitality establishments, and that’s not an easy thing to do with social distancing stickers on the floors and hotel staff following guests around with bottles of disinfectant.
Bed and breakfast establishments, in particular, have struggled with this, but it’s been equally challenging to more traditional hotels as well.
Yet however difficult it may be at times to balance safety and comfort, we all know that for now, safety must take priority.
All appropriate guidelines must continue to be followed until the virus can be brought under control, and your guests know and expect this to be the case. The key is communication and transparency about the steps you’re taking to keep your guests safe. The more they know, the more they’ll appreciate your efforts, even if it means foregoing that well-appointed buffet or crowded happy hour.
An important factor in finding your new normal as we continue to fight the virus is identifying exactly who’s traveling and why.
If people are traveling right now, it’s a safe bet they’ve got a good reason to be doing so. If you reopen with a focus on tourists, it may be well into next year before you see any significant numbers of guests walking through your front door. But if you find out who’s traveling now and why they’re doing it—for business, family visits, and other more essential travel—you can adjust your marketing accordingly to welcome those travelers to your rooms.
Before letting anyone back into your rooms, job one is to learn, follow, and stay up to date on both CDC and local government safety guidelines. It’s important to check those sources frequently to be sure that you’re using the most up to date procedures. Generally speaking, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep and maintain a sufficient supply of special cleaning equipment, sanitizers, masks, and gloves
- Arrange to temperature check all incoming staff and guests
- Execute a variety of maintenance tasks, including more frequent air conditioning service to help prevent infection spread
- Arrange for proper social distancing throughout your facility
One of the most effective ways to protect both staff and guests is to make a concerted effort to provide a “contactless” service throughout your hotel. From using mobile devices for check-ins, payments, and unlocking guest rooms, to using contactless solutions in your dining facilities.
OneDine’s solutions can help you offer contactless dining service while maximizing your labor resources to efficiently and quickly serve guests in a way that keeps everyone safer.
Patrons can use their mobile device to order without waiting for a team member to get to them. They can easily pay, split the check, or pay per item, and have the ability to charge the purchase to their room. They can do all this on their schedule and from the convenience of their table, their room, the lobby, or the pool.
There are a vast array of tech solutions that can help you provide the safest possible atmosphere for both you and your guests.
In addition to the OneDine solutions mentioned above, other tech solutions standing by to help you in your COVID defense quest include advanced air filtration systems, AI-based contactless guest communication technology, and even robots.
Finding a “new normal” can be an elusive proposition in the best of circumstances. The more quickly you can define that strategy, and the nimbleness with which you can keep up as it continues to shift in the COVID wind the better positioned you’ll be to come out on top at the other end of the tunnel.