‘Lead With Care’
"Safety and hygiene have become a way of life and we cannot afford to take them for granted. Our approach to health and safety needs to be about further strengthening our health and safety procedures, enhancing tools and training, and embracing technological innovation."
As we enter an uncharted phase of recovery and planning in this new COVD-19 environment, our key goal is to alleviate concern for employees and guests, and reassure them that Four Seasons is a safe environment for all. We have an opportunity to build from the trust that all our stakeholders have in our brand.
We have re-imagined operations in both front of the house and heart of the house. This includes implementation of our enhanced global health and safety programme – Lead With Care. At Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai our singular goal is to provide guests and employees with the confidence and assurance that their health and safety is our first priority. While guests will see many of the enhanced Lead With Care procedures, behind-the-scenes measures are also taking place through employee training, additional food handling protocols, incorporating technology to provide a contactless experiencethat doesn’t compromise Four Seasons intuitive service.
We have appointed a Hygiene Officer who is focused on implementing enhancements across all the touch points of the hotel and to ensure all departments are equipped with the necessary knowledge on our enhanced health and safety protocols. Globally Four Seasons has established a dedicated COVID-19 Advisory Board, bringing together Four Seasons leadership and top experts to inform health and safety decisions based on the latest scientific knowledge, and the appointment of our Hygiene Officer is an extension of our Lead With Care programme that has been rolled out across all Four Seasons properties across the world.
Business Recovery Framework
Dining and restaurants are a key part of our social and business circles. They are places for gatherings, celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, business deals, meetings and more. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the food and beverage industry, and restaurateurs are adopting new and innovative ways to run their outlets in line with the guidelines and norms set down by local authorities.
While people may take a while to fully regain their confidence in sit-down dining, our guests of tomorrow will find reassurance in the fact that adequate safeguards are in place and enhancements such as contactless dining, digitized menus, appropriate social distancing, individual portions of food, are in effect for them to look forward to when dining out. That said, we have always taken pride in curating memorable in-room dining experiences for our guests and they can now look forward to the same dining experiences delivered with intuitive service, personalized care, and enhanced with updated protocols.
The reduced traffic to the hotel during these past few months has had an effect on revenue from F&B, weddings and the catering business. However, while the current quarter may stand impacted, I am optimistic of the rebound that we are expecting to make with our business recovery framework.
The domestic market for one is going to be a key contributor in the near future. The concept of getaways and staycations in one’s own city has surged since the pandemic and owing to the restrictions on long-distance travel. Staycations and domestic travel are surely on the radar, on the path to recovery. In line with this, we launched the Restart Your Time offer at the Hotel – a staycation package that offers solo travellers and couples the opportunity to restart their 2020 and their travel plans with us, with safe care and in the comfort of their home town. The getaway offers guests the opportunity to experience an inclusive package comprising of all meals prepared by seasoned chefs and a complimentary upgrade, at a lucrative price point. We have also introduced Day Use Office Space for professionals and business owners looking to resume work in a safe environment with the confidence and assurance that their health and safety is the first priority.
A pivot that you now see is that an increasing number of outlets and hotel brands have opened up their kitchens for delivery - an added point of sales which is becoming a part of the top line. While the pandemic may have affected revenues being generated from on-ground dining experiences, the industry has identified opportunities and new avenues to bring experience to their consumers.
Since April, we’ve been bringing home the taste of Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai through our Gourmet Specials Delivery and Takeaway Menu – a first for us as we foray into the space of deliveries. With the trend of dining with family, and celebration at home on the rise, delivery and takeaway is going to be a key revenue driver in F&B. This addition augments our F&B offerings by leveraging our own digital platforms and those of our partners to tap into the growing consumer demand for food deliveries. Since then, we’ve iteratively expanded our menu to offer a wide selection of signature favorites that our patrons and guests are fondly reminiscing, and have also launched a selection of Gourmet Fresh dips and sauces – freshly made to order, and edible hampers for celebrations at home. On popular demand, we are also bringing back our food promotions starting this month with the Streets of India festival – a celebration of the street food culture from corners of the country.
To ensure our customers can enjoy take outs and deliveries with confidence, utmost care is taken with regards to hygiene levels and we deliver all our orders exclusively through our own chauffeurs to upkeep the highest standards of service and safety.
Every area and department of the hotel has been reviewed to ensure we perform optimally within the revised cost control measures that we’ve implemented in the wake of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Technology and its applications are going to be a game-changer for the hospitality industry. As travel begins to pick up again, we recognize that the expectations and needs of the hotel experience will change, and this is where technology comes into play. At Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai a key part of this service experience will continue to be the Four Seasons App and Live Chat. As one of the few industry platforms powered by employees on property, this service will further allow guests to control how they engage with our employees. From the comfort of their own device, guests can access the App and Chat services for a contactless experience that does not compromise Four Seasons’ genuine care and signature service.
While face to face interactions may be more limited, we will remain as connected as ever to our guests aided by technological innovations.
The Golden Rule
Four Seasons’ Golden Rule is: To treat others as we’d wish to be treated ourselves. This has been our guiding factor for all our interactions with our guests, partners, investors, but most importantly – with each other. Now more than ever our Golden Rule shines a light on the key defining pillar of the Four Seasons service – our employees who are dedicated, committed and inspired to deliver. Staying connected with our team and maintaining a transparent, open channel of communication has been crucial during these times. The members of our Planning Committee and I have been hosting weekly calls and virtual town halls with our employees to keep them updated on all the developments.
We also firmly believe that good food makes everything better and our chefs have been delighting our employees at the hotel with a variety of specials at our cafeteria to raise their spirits.
Lastly we have taken up this period as an opportunity to showcase our employees learning new skills or investing into their passion at home. From arts and craft to fitness, from food to mixology, we covered it all on our Facebook community group and it has played a huge role in keeping the morale of the team up and staying connected even though some of them are back home miles away.
Starting with the heart
Through the lockdown, we have been hosting local government authorities (BMC) and medical personnel who have been operating on the frontlines to tackle the pandemic. As a reflection of our commitment towards safety and towards our community, we have been offering our guest rooms to those fighting the good fight.
We have seen countless people and organisations rise up to the occasion during these times and it serves as a remarkable reminder that we need to start with the heart. At Four Seasons Mumbai, we are deeply humbled by the medical community’s passion and commitment during these trying times and will continue to support local authorities as we navigate through this crisis together.
Preparedness for the unexpected is a crucial takeaway from this pandemic. While we can never fully be prepared for a new, unexpected curve ball that life throws at us, we can surely learn from the one we are undergoing and prepare ourselves especially when it comes to safety and having precautionary protocols in place.
Safety and hygiene have become a way of life and we cannot afford to take them for granted. Our approach to health and safety needs to be about further strengthening our health and safety procedures, enhancing tools and training, and embracing technological innovation.
Pearls of Wisdom
As the popular saying goes - “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”, and this couldn’t hold truer than in the current context of us navigating through these trying times. To stay relevant and to build a solid path to business recovery, industry leaders and partners need to be open to change, stay agile and adapt to the changing nature of the environment around us.
To our loyal clientele, I would like to provide you with the confidence and assurance that your health and safety will always be our first priority. For nearly 60 years, Four Seasons has set the global standard for excellence in hospitality and service. Lead With Care is a continuation of this high standard, building upon the strong foundation of trust and confidence we have established through decades of experience. This new programme is about safe care and service, enhancing procedures to protect our guests, while also ensuring you feel safe and reassured at Four Seasons. We can’t wait to have you with us again very soon!
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