Change in Guest Behaviour – Post Pandemic
Article contributed by Mr. Mahendra Singh Negi, Associate Profesor, Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management
COVID 19 had impacted the whole world, it seems that the world has stopped due to the fear of Corona virus and waiting for the new normal. However life has started taking the pace gradually considering social distancing, regular hand wash, wearing mask and other safety measures. Hotel and Restaurant Industry is also geared up to open their business for public following government norms and others safety measures.
It is said that Crisis is the mother of invention therefore you will see many changes in the hotel operation to make the guest feel safe and comfort having less personal touch.
Neither buffet nor mini bar will be seen in the hotels so for social distancing and to avoid personal contact of the staff in the hotel rooms. Entire hotel operations will have a drastic change starting from receiving guest to other hotel operations. Post covid , hotels will be going for more contactless and for the same there will be sea change in the operations in each of the departments whether it is Front Office , Food and beverage service, kitchen , housekeeping other. Even the back areas work flow will also go for more contactless which will apply to vendors and suppliers , Receiving department, purchasing department, sales office to name a few who will be going to adapt these changes.
Signifiant changes will be seen in In Room Dining , many hotels have started the strategy for In room dining that steward will not enter the guest room and will leave the IRD trolley outside the room and he must be wearing face shield , mask . Guest will pull the trolley inside the room on his own. Sanitisation points will be created in every nook and corner. Even in the restaurant the social distancing will be taken care of thus reducing the number of covers resulting in increase in menu prices. some excitement coming by the year-end, there might be a lot of changes in how we operate. Even if where buffet is introduced there will be more live stations, smaller single-serve portions, and stewards serving the guests behind the counters.
If we talk about guest room the touch points to be reduced to minimum and after checkout the hotel room will entire sanitised and kept locked for 4-6 hours before allotting it to another guest. Linens playing the crucial role in the room would also be sanitised .Use of sanitisation equipments and products will be increased resulting in growth of operational costs. Diversey has even come out with pillows which can be washed, sanitised and reused
With hotels moving from ‘aesthetically clean’ to ‘clinically clean’, each team member will have to wear the housekeeping cap. As the topmost priority is moved to create awareness about hygiene. Thermal checkups, use of sanitisers and PPE by hotel staff will be the new normal. Every staff will be now a hygiene practitioner apart from doing is routine job.
Hotel will change their focus from sustainability to clinically clean.These are some of the changes which one can seen in coming days while visiting any hotels however many changes is about to be seen in near future for new normal.