Safe Dining Options
Dining out has always been a pleasurable experience for people, to ensure that guests feel safe while dining out, hotels and restaurants are taking numerous safety measures to make them feel relaxed and at comfort.
The pandemic has arguably disrupted everything from our daily lives to day-to-day business operations across sectors. In our country, people love celebrations that mean a gathering of people and celebrating the occasion with delectable food and beverage. Dining out has always been a pleasurable experience for people, to ensure that guests feel safe while dining out, hotels and restaurants are taking numerous safety measures to make them feel relaxed and at comfort. As owners of multiple hotels operating under different brands, we are taking stringent measures to ensure safety and hygiene at our properties. Our priority has now shifted to the utmost safety and health of our guests, employees, and community at large.
Here are some of the factors that will drive a safe dining experience in the new future:
Training of staff in hygiene and disinfection has undergone a great deal of change. Now every associate is expected to know the chemicals used to disinfect the surface, frequency, dosage, and the likes. Many hoteliers including the hotels that come under us have realigned the standard operating policies by following the new normal. While doing this we have ensured that we have included the Government and WHO guidelines regarding the cleaning and disinfection. Every associate has to undergo mandatory training to familiarize with the new processes. We have leveraged the expertise of our hygiene partners to train our associates both in theory and practical. The industry is coming out with various informative digital training modules, which readily engages the associates. We encourage the use of online platforms to keep our associates abreast of the latest developments and learning to ensure that one stays updated and equipped with the right information.
Along with the hygiene measure comes the importance of Social Distancing and hoteliers have incorporated that with immediate effect. Setting up Smart Visual Cues at critical touchpoints in a guest journey to remind the patrons on the significance of social distancing has already been implemented by many in the industry. Common areas like lobby and elevators will have clear demarcations to maintain distance between people. The layouts of the restaurants have been reconsidered where a distance of 1.5 meters has become common practice. The reservations at restaurants will be effectively managed to avoid crowding, which will regulate the timings of each reservation and will have a cap in place concerning the number of guests at any given point of time. Hoteliers will look at Alfresco dining with a cabana set up as an ideal option under the current context providing a feeling of safety whilst enjoying an outdoor ambiance. QR codes will replace the traditional menu and this will aid the contactless experience while dining. Future dining spaces will encompass a show/ live kitchen where fresh food will be dished out in front of the customer’s eyes. Table d'hôte menus and packaged dining options will be more favoured over the traditional setup. Going forward we will get to see a lot more hand washing and sanitizing stations within the restaurants. There is sensitivity training across the teams, and modified body language models to include maintaining a healthy distance.
Technology and Contactless Solutions
Hoteliers including us are exploring the new technology in areas like disinfection of rooms, luggage, and vehicles. There are quite a few interesting solutions available including UV technology, electrostatic spraying, and we as companies are evaluating the feasibility and practicality of these products. Contactless solutions in touchpoints like the menu, sanitizing & disinfecting, payment, etc. are being implemented across the industry. To maintain seamless operations, hoteliers are collaborating with solution providers to ramp up the use of cleaning chemicals. Laundry processing is an area that will leverage the use of technology and minimize manual intervention.
Effective Implementation and Communication
Given the current situation, it becomes imperative for hoteliers to communicate effectively, educate guests about the steps undertaken in this direction and get them engaged. Under the new normal, the position of a Hygiene Manager gains greater significance and this particular role will look into the compliance of the measures taken. The position will also have ownership to implement processes to ensure safety and hygiene. With the Hygiene Manager in place, introducing safety decks that will proactively be shared with all stakeholders and build confidence amongst guests becomes a seamless exercise. Having mandatory PPEs for the associates to ensure the safety of patrons and making it readily available for the guests is of equal importance as well as continuing to invest in the associates to provide them with robust training will go a long way in ensuring complete safety. Enhanced cleaning chemicals are brought into use to ensure effectual disinfection. The frequency of cleaning will be increased, which will be thoroughly monitored and at the same time temperatures of the associates will be checked frequently.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the hospitality industry but this will pass as well, just like ones that came before COVID-19, and the hospitality industry will bounce back to serve its patrons, just like it has been doing for eras.
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