There was a rawness evident during our hotel leadership webinar last week surrounding two hoteliers who survived and operated their respective hotels in two of the hottest COVID-19 hot spots- New York City, New York and Wuhan, China. These two warriors, Chris Horn from Sixty Hotels and John Png from Frasers Hospitality, battled their way through a war of sorts and 67+ Days of lock down in their respective cities.
Did they have training for this type of battle—not really. Both of these samurais have been Hospitality mavens working for some of the best.
I guess in Asia some can compare elements to the SARS pandemic and here on the East Coast and in New York specifically, you may hear rumblings from hoteliers comparing occupancy and some financial struggles to post 9-11. Was it the same experience—heck no.
Did they push back when faced with this adventure? Nope—they went to battle. Pushing ahead to serve the front-line workers in New York, visitors from around the world who were in China & New York and longer-term residents in Wuhan. They never also gave up on the common under current of safety - the fact that both properties had Zero staff infections throughout goes a long way in proving this!
While I may be a biased attendee of the session being that I helped set it up, there were many lessons to be learned on the obvious recovery and steps these two gentlemen took during the heart of the matter but most importantly—a lesson on commitment. Commitment to Safety Commitment to Serve and Commitment to Hospitality. Isn’t that what our industry is about?
My 5 solid takeaways from the session:
- Invest in staff safety by putting practices in place for Temperature checks, PPE and hygiene guidelines and compliances. This helps also keep morale up by educating and enforcing.
- Hold rooms unoccupied for 48 hrs. (or what makes sense for your property) between stays to ensure your level of cleaning compliance is met.
- Implement and evolve strategies for when a guest isn’t comfortable with room cleaning protocols or routines. Be flexible. Rely on technology.
- Ensure that you update your filtration systems in the rooms and common areas to the most updated filters and models thereby ensuring that there is no contamination from either interior or exterior air circulation and ventilation.
- Invest in technology to assist with the revised guest journey - This could be a webinar in itself and bravo to the many vendors who are diligently working to evolve their offering and commercials to help. This could include kiosks in the lobby to help evolve frictionless check in, a service optimization platform to evolve with the changing cleaning sequence or Maid Bots to help with delivery of amenities.
Watch webinar recording here (worth the 45 minutes)
We will also keep tabs on Chris and John’s journey in Wuhan and New York. Stay tuned for more…