A lot has changed since COVID was declared a worldwide pandemic last March. Hotels and restaurants developed cleanliness and safety standards to ensure the safety of guests and employees. The question in everyone’s mind now is “What’s next?”.
I tried to research this topic and surveyed some of my hospitality friends and colleagues. Below is a summary of what I found:
Employee and guest health:
- Washing hands recommendations and hand sanitizer are not going away anytime soon. Expect to see them around hotels for a while.
- Face covering signage will stay in place, front and back of the house, until we have reached herd immunity.
- Responding swiftly and reporting to local health officials any presumed cases of COVID at hotels will continue to be a requirement for a while.
Cleaning and disinfecting products and protocols:
- New and more effective disinfecting products are coming up on the market.
- Public spaces, communal areas, guest rooms and elevators continue to be the focus of heightened cleanliness and disinfection.
- Linens, towels and laundry cleaning standards and processes are here to stay. After a year working these protocols, there is no reason to change them back to previous ones.
- Back of the house and shared equipment will continued to be disinfected after each shift or when transferred to a new employee.
- I believe food and beverage will be the area where we will continue to see major changes with reduced in-person contact, and buffet service being a thing of the past. Take out options will become more common and delivery service companies will grow exponentially.
- Recent articles also mention the importance of proper ventilation systems. Hotels will invest in ventilation systems and ensure guests are aware of these upgrades. Expect seeing more marketing around this area of safety.
- I believe the 6’ distancing will remain in place, especially when it comes to meetings and conventions. We have been programmed in the past year to avoid close contact with people, and it will be hard to believe we are safe around others for a while.
In a nutshell, all protocols that were put in place in 2020 are here to stay. A few tweaks here and there may come out, but at this time, there is no indication of new standards of cleanliness.