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EXCLUSIVE: Your reopening checklist

Welcome to the Boutique Hotelier reopening checklist. Here we bring hospitality owners everything you need to know to get back open for business, with distancing guidelines, best practice for cleanliness and hygiene, and operational advice to reopen safely and profitably.

Next month, the hospitality industry will start to reopen and emerge from lockdown to begin forging its path to recovery. However, our long-awaited return to business as usual, will not be a “return to normal.”

Global events like the coronavirus pandemic are an integral catalyst to innovation and long-term change. The business landscape and how hotels operate will look different after Covid-19, and hoteliers will be expected to embrace new and improved standard, adopt new business policies and technology and digitise touchpoints with contactless solutions to ensure the safety of both staff and guests.

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Items and areas that have previously been seen as a nice design touch or used as to provide extra comfort will be removed to make way for one-way systems or new cleaning protocols as hoteliers adapt their businesses.

But fear not, as we have pulled together the latest and most relevant advice from the government and UKHospitality to compile a comprehensive list of what hoteliers need to consider in order to operate safely and remain in line with current restrictions.

While some of the advice might sound like good ol’ common sense, it should help to provide a framework for the measures that operators need to consider as they formulate plans to reopen.

Supporting this special checklist are companies that are intrinsic to the success of the reopening of the sector, and producing new solutions to help businesses get back on track.

They are: Rerunsi, Dormakarba, Andco, Steelite, Avion Group, Sprint Group, Profitroom, Hop Software, Yoello, Anevia, King of Cotton, Gold Key Media and Guest Talk.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “It is reassuring that the government has understood the need for flexibility, demonstrating that they have listened to businesses. The guidance is pragmatic and should a provide venues with enough versatility to suit their own unique circumstances. This is exactly what was needed to avoid restricting venues and making the job of reopening even harder.

“The emphasis is now going to be on businesses and customers to exercise some responsibility and ensuring that the guidance works optimally. Venues are acutely aware of the need to build up trust and consumer confidence, and make customers feel safe in their venues. Looking after our guests is the hospitality sector’s modus operandi, so we have plenty of experience in taking care of customers and I am confident we can rise to this challenge.

 “We have been working closely with the Government to ensure that guidance is workable and effective in mitigating risks. This will mean that more businesses stay alive and as many jobs as possible kept secure.”

1. STAFFING

The first step for any business reopening is to plan for the minimum number of people needed on the premises to operate safely and effectively.

  • Stagger arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.
  • Provide additional parking or facilities such as bike racks to help people walk, cycle or drive to work where possible.
  • Reduce congestion, for example by having more entry points to the workplace. If you have more than one door, consider having one for entering the building and one for exiting.
  • Use markings to guide staff coming into or leaving the building. Provide hand sanitiser at all entry and exit points.
  • If gloves are used, they should be changed as often as you would wash hands, and hands must be washed after gloves are changed or removed.
  • Gloves must also be changed after carrying out non-food related activities, such as opening and closing doors by hand, handling money and emptying bins.
  • Provide storage for staff clothes and bags, and request staff change into work uniforms on site using appropriate facilities/changing areas where social distancing and hygiene guidelines can be met.
  • If staff must wear face masks, ensure they are masks that you provide, not ones they have worn into work.
  • If possible, wash uniforms on site rather than by individual staff members at home.
  • As far as possible, where people are split into teams or shift groups, fix these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.
  • Consider where congestion caused by people flow and ‘pinch points’ can be improved. Using one-way systems, staggered shifts and assigned staff breaks are possible ways to minimise the risk of transmission.

2. CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

How you engage with guests and send the message that your property is Covid-19 secure, will be crucial.

  • Taking measures to make reception areas safer, with increased cleaning, keeping the activity time as short as possible and considering the addition of screens between guests and staff. No handshakes.
  • Encouraging guests to wear masks on communal corridors.
  • If staff help guests with luggage, keep the required distance apart from guests whilst collecting luggage and either take it to the room before the guest arrives there or knock on the door, step back and leave the luggage at the door. After handling luggage, staff should wash their hands or use a hand sanitiser.
  • Room service: consider using trays which can be left off the floor next to the door, or think of other ways to protect the order, for example a small light table, or a folding luggage rack both of which have been disinfected first. Staff should knock on the door and leave the tray outside the door and step away. The guest can then pick the tray up, and the staff can remove the tray stand or table
  • Lifts: consider minimising lift usage from reception, and advice for safer use of lifts throughout the hotel, can be advised in pre-stay communications and in-building signage and staff communications
  • Consider central key card deposit box placed in lobby for disinfection of room keys
  • Encourage contactless payments where possible.
  • Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded, and place markers on the floor to maintain social distancing inside the premises.
  • Make regular announcements to remind customers to follow social distancing advice and clean their hands regularly.
  • Determine if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, for example carrying out services at night.

3. RESTAURANTS AND KITCHENS

To minimise risk of infection, venues must keep to the new distancing measures and rework table arrangements, as well as track customers.

  • Operators are being asked to keep a temporary record of all customers for 21 days, to help with the NHS Test and Trace scheme.
  • Customer details must be taken for each guest on arrival.
  • Indoor table service must be used where possible and one staff member assigned per table. Tables should be situated outdoors if space permits.
  • Contactless ordering is encouraged. 
  • Individually wrapped condiments and sauces should be offered on request and put with the plated food, not left on tables.
  • Cutlery to be brought to the customer with the food and condiments rather than customers helping themselves or left on the table.
  • Develop your table plan and arrangement based on the physical distancing guidelines with no face-to-face tables.
  • Music and live performances are not permitted to mitigate the risk of transmission as it avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices.
  • Customer contact with commodities (e.g. menus, trays, napkins) should be limited to what is necessary or designed in such a way that cleaning/replacement is carried out after each use. Menus left on tables/table talkers discouraged in favour of other forms of display to the customer. Consider the use of single-use/laminated menus brought to the table.
  • Use disinfectants and sanitisers that are effective against bacteria as well as cold and flu viruses.
  • Employers should space out working areas to maintain distancing guidelines ‘as much as possible’, recognising the difficulty of moving equipment such as sinks, hobs and ovens.
  • Operators should also consider cleanable panels to separate working areas in larger kitchens.
  • Cleaning regimes for kitchens should reflect the need to reduce risk from coronavirus as well as maintaining all normal expectations relevant to a food business regarding hygiene.
  • The guidance does not forbid customers from ordering at a bar or standing indoors while eating or drinking; and also says that workplaces ‘should not’ encourage the precautionary use of PPE, unless in a situation where the risk of Covid-19 transmission is very high.

3. INBOUND & OUTBOUND GOODS

Operators need to maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, especially in high volume situations, for example distribution centres or despatch areas.

  • Revise pick up and drop off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.
  • Consider methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.
  • Where possible and safe, have single workers load or unload vehicles. Use the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed.
  • Create one-way flow of traffic in stockrooms.
  • Adjust put-away and replenishment rules to create space for social distancing. Where social distancing cannot be maintained due to workplace design, sufficient mitigation strategies should be designed and implemented.
  • Enable drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance.
  • Encourage drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice, such as preventing drive-aways.

5. CLEANING & HYGIENE

Your cleanliness routine will be under scrutiny more than ever before.

  • Consider the creation of a ‘Cleanliness Manager’ or a ‘Cleanliness Council’ dedicated to the frequent sanitization and management of public areas
  • Enhanced cleaning technologies including electrostatic sprayers and the highest classification of disinfectants, as well as increased frequency of disinfection and upkeep
  • Ongoing staff training relating to enhanced cleaning measures and protocols.
  • Frequent temperature screenings of both guests and employees for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Implementation of and action plan for event response procedures when alerted of a COVID-19 case
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer readily available at key locations such as entrances, service desks, lobby area, bathrooms, etc.
  • Increase frequent cleaning and disinfecting of regularly used objects and hard surfaces in public areas and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.
  • Removing items that are not necessary and could contain infection, such as newspapers.
  • Maintaining good ventilation in the work environment. For example, opening windows and doors frequently, where possible.
  • Wedging doors open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints. This does not apply to fire doors.
  • Towels and linens should be washed in accordance with washing instructions. The frequency of the cycle of cleaning and in-room services should be reviewed to take into account different lengths of stay.
  • Have bins for collection of used towels and staff uniforms.
  • Use signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique and the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm.
  • Set clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible. Provide paper towels or electrical driers to dry hands
  • Provide more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

Essential innovations you will need to reopen safely and securely

Sprint is racing to support the reopening of UK hospitality and catering industry

Sprint is an award-winning company that designs, installs and maintains high quality commercial kitchens, bars and servery counters throughout the UK.

In recent months, with a new managing director at the helm to assist owners Ross and Luke Ryan, the Sprint team have supported Caprice Holdings with a charitable initiative to provide thousands of cooked meals to frontline workers across the country.

Now, the Group are focused on helping the heavily-hit hospitality and catering industries as they prepare to reopen their premises in a safe way especially with many owners and managers encountering issues as they turn on equipment again.

Sprint Group have a team of directly employed, fully trained engineers ready to undertake maintenance and equipment checks, gas safety certificates and certifications, inspections as well as a descale and sanitisation service.

The Catering Insight’s Power Player company has also started to supply other important safety equipment to enable operators to get up and running – such as hand sanitiser stations, thermal screening, fever detection equipment and disinfectant products.

Simon Carpmael, MD, says: “We know operators will be turning on their equipment for the first time since it’s been mothballed and our team of experienced engineers are ready to help. They’re strategically located for a rapid nationwide response and carry extensive van stock to complete instant on-site repairs.”

Contact: T: 01386 555922 W: www.sprint-group.co.uk

Must-have touch-free media from Gold Key

Gold Key Media – the world’s largest supplier of media to the hospitality sector, have enhanced their digital media platform “Mediapad” to allow venues the option to update and upload their guest information directly onto the platform, providing guests with touch free and instant access to the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, games, books etc.

It also allows each hotel to promote and make available their regularly updated menus, room service offerings, regulation changes, directly to guests digitally.

Each platform is a bespoke design and personalised to your property’s identity and imagery. Content is selected relevant for your clientele. Guests don’t need to download an app, nor is any guest data collected or retained.

Access to the platform is simple via a QR code or URL and no passwords are required. Guests can access the platform directly on to their mobile device too. The system also allows your guest to download the publication to read later if they’re checking out.

The intuitive and globally recognised Mediapad platform is a perfect solution for hotels preparing for re-opening where priorities are to provide a touch free, simple to access digital solution. https://www.gkml.co.uk/digital-media-publications/

Contact: For a demonstration video or a live trial please contact Sally Ingram on Sally.Ingram@gkml.co.uk

Keep in touch with GuestTalk

GuestTalk is a communication platform that helps you keep in touch with guests and staff from anywhere.

Guests can make requests via SMS, email and social media which you can manage in your universal inbox, limiting face-to-face contact with staff. Wi-Fi keys and door codes can be automated, so guests receive important information without queuing.

You can also send personalised marketing, and smart-web surveys. GuestTalk can help you adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines when you re-open while still delivering the service you are known for.

Contact: guesttalk.co.uk

The tools and technology you need for safe reopening

As hotels across the UK re-open, it is crucial to ensure that the processes, tools and technology required to maintain guest safety are firmly in place.

Social distancing, contactless communication and food safety procedures will be critical factors to consider while preparing to welcome guests back during the ongoing pandemic. 

Hop can support you through managing these new challenges and help you to re-open your hotel safely, smoothly and successfully.

Hop ensures that your hotel has the right technology in place to operate safely and continue to deliver exceptional guest experience, through our new contactless features:

Hop Text – Send Branded, Automated and Bespoke SMS with Hop Text.

Hop Shop – Manage food takeaway and delivery, and room service with our click and collect feature.

Hop App – Check guests in remotely with the Hop App, reducing the need to check-in via front desk.

Hop offers a lot for the smallest price, with amazing features including PMS, Booking Engine, Channel Manager, CRM, Event Management, Central Reservation System, Real-Time Reporting, & Revenue Management, seamless integration with other hospitality applications and 24/7 UK customer support.

Its specialist hospitality digital marketing agency, Hop Digital, can also manage your re-opening marketing campaigns and communications. The company works with hotels across the UK, providing them with a full range of digital marketing services including website development, PPC, SEO, social media, content creation and email marketing, helping them to achieve their goals and increase direct bookings.

Contact: T: +44 345 301 0034 E: sales@hopsoftware.com W: hopsoftware.com/our-platform/

Former hotelier launches innovative products to help businesses resume operations safely

Our way of life since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed.  The very nature of the hospitality industry, where people come together has been immensely impacted by this global pandemic.

Government guidelines along with health and safety regulations are changing considerably to reflect our new world with the ever-looming threat of a viral outbreak.  Now more than ever, business owners and senior management must adopt preventative strategies with a greater emphasis on hygiene and health & safety.

Avion Group has introduced a range of non-contact solutions & technology products to help you resume business operations and ensuring appropriate security and protection measures are in place, whilst creating an even safer environment.

Be recognised as an outstanding and compliant employer and gain the confidence of customers, whether you are a large corporation or a smaller business enterprise. 

Owners and management are expected to implement a responsible health and safety at work policy.  Through recognising the threat and adapting quickly, operators can protect their workforce, protect their customers and protect their future.  

*More products and PPE offered online

*Bulk and singular orders will be entitled to an Introductory Special Discount of up to 30% valid until 31 July 2020

Contact: W: www.aviongroup.uk

Reliable and secure mobile access solution

As lockdown restrictions are eased, hotel owners will have to transform their business to comply with the distancing measures. Tech innovations rolled out before the pandemic will now likely become necessities. dormakaba mobile access solutions enable this transformation smart and securely by replacing all traditional mechanical keys, cards and fobs with a mobile app. Utilising dormakaba’s electronic access systems will enable hoteliers to have guestroom, back of house and perimeter access systems operating in real-time as a turnkey solution.

dormakaba’s next generation Ambiance Access Management Software meets property’s complete access control needs using the latest web-based technologies. This highly configurable software can manage guests via the native client or interfaced through the Property Management System (PMS).

A reliable and secure mobile access system must:

-Communicate with guests’ smartphones

-Integrate smoothly with hotel’s property management and loyalty systems

-Deliver secure mobile credentials

-Provide guests with a seamless check-in/check-out experience throughout their stay.

Contact: W: www.dormakaba.com/gb-en E: info.gb@dormakaba.com

The Potters Collection from Steelite

Steelite International offers an array of covered and single serve concepts that will help execute your vision with additional measures for safety and hygiene. The Potters Collection is just one of them. Designed by the Australian potter Robert Gordon, the brand was developed over 70 years ago, and three generations. The Potters Collection stands for craftsmanship and quality, key attributes for all tableware in today’s ever-changing dining environment.

With an extremely strong and durable porcelain body, the Potters Collection stacking plates and bowls are ideal for serving stacked individual dishes or sharers to tables and great for stacking back of house. These trendy straight sided round trays make the most of the plating surface, perfect for every presentation. With the added benefit of being freezer, oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe, these stacking items are the perfect solution for any hotel dining environment.

Blending heritage with innovation, the two colours feature a distinct finish, with Pier encompassing a neutral taupe and Storm using an intense blue.

Designed to work with the smallest Potters Collection stacking bowl and plate, the new Rantang carrier provides a new way of delivering food to the table or to individuals. With applications in conference room dining, in-room dining, patio/outdoor dining, tapas and sharing, the Rantang carrier allows for up to three bowls to be stacked and served at any one time. This is not only a solution that looks great, but it is practical and versatile too.

Contact: E: marketing@steelite.com W: www.steelite.com/tableware/porcelain/robert-gordon/potter-s-collection.html

Stay mobile with innovation ordering system

Yoello provides a first-in-class mobile ordering solution for hotels. The white label platform allows you to create a bespoke profile page with digital menus that can be accessed by your customers by simply scanning a QR plaque with any smartphone and without needing to download an app.

The high spec QR plaques are bespoke with your branding and can be attached to every bed-side table for guests to access products and room services through the convenience and safety of their personal device.

These plaques can also be placed in your bar or restaurant area for app-less Mobile Table Ordering and can be integrated with most EPOS systems.

Yoello’s unrivalled mobile technology improves the customer experience through self-service and is proven to increase revenues. The platform is also designed with Covid safety in mind as a perfect social distancing measure to make sure your venue is Covid secure.

Unlike other Mobile Ordering solutions on the market, Yoello is the only FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated payment provider. This means payments are processed securely inhouse, making payments quicker and with an all inclusive transaction fee from just 1.25%.

Yoello was recently recommended with a 5/5 rating in the Publican’s Post review of the best Mobile Ordering platforms.

Pricing starts from as little as £1.30 per day with no set-up fee required.

Contact: W: www.yoello.com

AndCo is making hybrid space a reality

Co-working could add an interesting experiential function to many hotels that are looking to become mixed-use. Digital technologies open up possibilities to operate space in smarter and more efficient ways than before. Ten years ago, the financial crisis acted as a catalyst for the platform economy. Tech companies like Airbnb and Uber delivered cost-effective accommodation and transport by programming overcapacity in homes and cars. Why was there no alternative option for co-working? AndCo have begun shaping the urban living rooms of the future by transforming temporarily unused space in hotels into co-working hubs for collaborating and creating. 

AndCo is an outsource software solution for the hospitality sector to participate in the growth of micro co-working in non-traditional workspaces, sponsoring local neighbourhoods and breathing new life into high streets. The platform matches supply and demand of workspace, instantly changing the hotel lobby around the corner into a co-working bubble at no costs for venues. AndCo’s subscription model offers the “Workplace as a Service” — members have access to co-working at a wide variety of venues in the city and beyond. Anytime, anywhere. 

It gives venue operators the ability to easily increase revenue, manage the available number of seats and tables, and to get insight into the characteristics of the co-working audience. More than spatial redesign, platforms and smart technologies will be the driving force behind the hybrid urban spaces — and communities — of the future.

Contact: W: www.andco.life Venue Page: www.andco.life/partners

Free virtual channel licence for rest of 2020

This year, health and safety are at least as important as price and location. Communication is paramount for two reasons: To make guests aware of safety recommendations and rules – and provide reassurance to give them the confidence to book; To promote extra services – such as restaurant, room services, spa, etc. – to increase average spending per guest.

How can hotels leverage their TV screens to communicate their safety messages to protect all guests and staff in the hotel – and also promote extra services to increase average spending per guest?

Anevia offers two options: To help hotels rebound, the company is offering hotels a free virtual channel licence throughout 2020.

This allows you to create your own internal hotel TV channel in three simple steps: (1) Create the video file; (2) Create the TV streams; (3) Add the streams to the TV service. You will get help with file formatting, equipment installation (you will need a Flamingo headend), and setup.

Or use Anevia’s Dual HDMI encoder module integrated in the Flamingo headend. Not sure how to create a video file? Just create a Powerpoint slide show that you can beam to the TV screens in your hotel using our HDMI encoder.

Contact: W anevia.com. E: sales-enterprise@anevia.com

Insurance security you can rely on

Rerusni understands how difficult it is to run a business at these challenging times, which is why the company is providing this fast and pro-active step to help businesses cut overheads and improve cash flow.

Rerusni offers a comprehensive range of Hospitality Insurances with absolutely nothing to pay for the first three months and interest free monthly instalments from month four, meaning the company can help you relieve the pressure on your cash-flow.

The company is there to help you shape your insurance cover – to make sure you are fully covered for every eventuality that may or may not happen. Just about every business needs insurance and Rerusni can arrange insurance for just about every business. The core products include:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Products Insurance
  • Employee Liability Insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Goods in Transit Insurance
  • Premises Insurance
  • Contents Insurance
  • Business as Usual Insurance
  • Directors & Officers Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Cyber Insurance
  • Data Insurance

Contact: W: www.rerusni.com

COVID recovery package to drive direct bookings

Profitroom, a leading provider of hospitality booking solutions and direct marketing strategies, looks to maximise hotel revenue streams and increase profits.

Involving no set-up fees, no monthly fees and no commitment for a 3-month period, the crux of it is that Profitroom won’t charge for its services while you don’t earn. And if the 3-month period ends and you’re not convinced? That’s where the no commitment comes in.

So then, what’s included? In short, all Profitroom solutions or just one. The choice is yours.

The Profitroom Suite offers all-in-one solutions, aligned sales processes, guest loyalty management, centralised reporting and more.

Highlights include:

Bookings – Unified online and offline

A conversion lead online booking engine, guest messaging and offline quoting and sales tools. This is all housed on one easy platform, with PMS integration and lots of nifty tricks and conversion tools.

Marketing Automation – Guest relationship management

Automated communication doesn’t mean poor quality emails. Newsletters, campaigns and promotional activities stand out, visually representing direct channels, while database segmentation tailors content to guest preferences, synchronising with active offers and packages.

Online presence – beautifying your direct channel

Your direct booking channel, i.e. your website, needs to be more attractive than any OTA’s.  Profitroom’s tools allow you to create, build and repeat in minutes, offering independence from OTAs and agencies. Automatically syncing with the booking engine, you’ll also benefit from a seamless user journey.

Contact: T: Product expert, Samantha Williams on 07900 002080 E: samantha.williams@profitroom.com

Covid proof bedding from King of Cotton

King of Cotton is best known for high-quality bed linen and towelling ranges including, robes, slippers and toiletries. The company also carries a comprehensive range of bedding protection.

Arriving very soon, to add to this range are these state-of-the-art protective mattress covers and pillow covers. Manufactured to the highest standards they are made from white 100% polyester which offers anti-mite and anti-bacterial properties. The active substance is C14 Dimonium Silan which kills all known bacteria.

The 0.02mm thick Polyurethane (PU) film allows the material to be both waterproof and breathable. The skirt on the mattress cover is suitable for mattresses up to 32cm deep, the pillow protectors have a side zip for ease of use, these protectors will support 20 washes at 90 degrees and remain fully effective.

Contact: T: 020 8332 7999

For the official reopening guidelines from UKHospitality, click HERE

Tags : Exclusivehotelsinsightreopening
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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