By JOSE PINTO*
Following my previous Part 1 article on New Hospitality Era, I’m taking the liberty to further provide YOU, all Colleagues , Owners, Operators and all the interested stakeholders in granting a NEW NORMAL ERA in Hospitality, Hotels/Resorts and large superficies, with more about the readiness to the “hopefully” very near return to our activities.
I see Hotels, Hospitality and other large businesses that cater to different customers, guests etc., in Albania and all over the World anxiously waiting for the Governments to come up with their decisions on minimum required rules and regulations in regards to the NEW NORMAL ERA in order to start getting prepared and open to the public.
Being euphoric in most cases within our industry and business is a sign of being or getting ready to be back into action, and resume together, Owners, Operators, associates and employees being properly trained, inducted and having thereafter all operative stages ready, and safe.
But I wonder. Are we really ready to re start the NEW NORMAL ERA?
I notice that hotels are publicizing different articles mostly looking into Customer / Guest health and safety, social distancing. BUT IM very much CONCERNED that these actions, postings and announcements are individual and perhaps isolated and are not also covering their associates and moreover they do not cover the totality of the so vast and detailed subject which is an Hotel/ Resort /Restaurant operations.
Guest/Customer and Employee Health, Hygiene and Safety rules and regulations are not only to provide masks, gloves, gel, social distancing and training to employees, it’s much broader than that. There are so many areas to be covered regardless the size of the property.
Behind the first view (front of the house) are “theater backstage” that if they are not well taken care , the actions that we take on Front of the House become meaningless. These areas are where any virus can proliferate and spread faster, therefore ;
We should be sealing with specific protocols the sanitation and disinfection and get quick adapted to the new reality, if we want to continue having a steady and sustainable safe business ready to welcome any visitor, guest or customer. Be convinced that it will NEVER BE like before, and that half-done will no longer be accepted by who travel and wants to enjoy new experiences.
Most of the International Chains and Tourism Authorities are preparing their new ERA required Health, Safety and Hygiene Drafts to be implemented in order that together they will be ready for the NEXT BUSINESS REALITY.
We must not forget that our the Country, State , Area or our Village depends very much how we as Hospitality perform and project our business to our patrons , and that we all depend of each other, therefore a cohesive action plan and set of requirements are tremendously important.
We must do the right thing from the initial NEW BEGINNING. I mean we must do it TOGETHER , Tourism Authorities, Hotels, Airlines, Airports, National and International , Tour and Travel Operators, Transportation and all involved in such operations.
OTHERWISE and as per my experience in the different continents and countries as well as in different pandemics, extreme weather conditions, terrible earthquakes, we will jeopardize all past and present IMAGE.
We must not forget that a large portion of travelers or tourists will no longer be relaxed and trust locations as before , they will DEMAND that we ensure to them that all services , from their origin to the final destination are certified or have gone through inspections, verification, testing and finally are Certified by Health and Safety companies, as well as by the Local Health Authorities. Certification must be done by a three party teams (Property fully certified person or Outside Company appointed by the Owner, Health Authorities and Tourism Authorities), After evaluation, a certification should be presented to each unit.
Further spots check or mystery inspections must be done in order to guarantee that all is going well. I recommend that Tourism Authorities lead this and be stiff on their decisions and reviews.
We must preserve the Health and Safety of the travelers, associates and team members, and we must comply with and generate deep confidence in our society’s, visitors, customers and agents.
This process, must include a thorough revision of the operations (Front / Back and superficies, guest rooms, beach and all facilities, outlets (in our out property).
Thereafter full implementation to all specific protocols must be implemented, starting by induction and training to all employees , and operations teams, this must again be done by an Health , Hygiene and Safety expert individual or Company.
My advice is that we ensure that a certified individual expert or company is called to develop and implement a very comprehensive and straight forward plan and check lists setting step by step what must be done area by area. This should include the procedures that are to be followed to implement and guarantee that each and every employee follows to the maximum extent all Safety, Hygiene and Security required Standards set by the Authorities and Three party inspector’s teams. Only this way you can assure that the protection of both guests/customers as well as the associates are complied.
Once this is developed, we must also reinforce procedures for food safety and space mobility adequacy, among others parties like suppliers, operators of any type that provide services to us. They also need to be trained to adhere to all processes. Once again, my personal recommendation is that, in order to guarantee the consistency and success of the program, periodical verifications must be done by mysterious auditing formed by the Ministries and or by an official third party. These audits are to ensure and guarantee the certification and the continuity of the established rules.
Re adapt the customer /guest experience
Additionally to the above mentioned, and simultaneously we must work on redesigning the customer / guest experience by ensuring to all parties involved that not only social distancing is in place, but all Authorities’ NEW ERA protocols and instructions are met, thus all the traditional processes – from the airport pick up to the property registration, luggage handling, check-in and other service protocols including the guest room cleaning, disinfection, lounges and the typical table and buffet concepts revised.
Within all this processes revision , the digitalization must be taken into consideration and must play a major role, not only in making the actual provision of services more agile, but also to avoid or reduce HAND TOUCH of elements during the stay.
I also and as per my previous experiences, I STRONGLY recommend that YOU ask for a full inspection of your water cisterns and containers as well as the Cooling towers or air cooled units , the Hot Water and Individual A/C units and Systems.
All must be checked, including water, air sampling testing. The LOCAL HEALTH AND SAFETY LAWS and minimum required standards must be observed. Bacteria and air transmissible virus hides on equipment’s, filters, fins, disturbing pipes and other elements, when all equipment’s are stopped or even when they are not constantly used . This is to also ensure that your property is FREE OF LEGIONELLA BACTERIA. For more please read and get acquainted by clicking ((www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/legionnaires) or consult the country Health and Safety guides or a specialized consultant company for prevention and control.
Finally I also strong recommend that all members of your property receive detailed training and preventive medical evaluation controls in each of the hotels, restaurants, etc. The PPE’S AND OTHER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENTS and products must be available according to Authorities recommendation for each sector or activity. The wellbeing and safety of all protagonists of your company are the ultimate asset of your business continuity plan, as well they are the Country and your business image.
*Founder of JPHOSPITALITY.EU