8 Ways Hotels Have Adapted to a Post-Lockdown World
Hotels range from cheap and cheerful, all the way to immense five-star establishments which can offer free spa sessions, curated theatre tickets, and sumptuous suites. But even the top-end hotels have had to make changes to the way they operate in order to survive the industry-crippling coronavirus pandemic. Let us take a look at eight ways hotels have adapted post-lockdown:
Tightly Controlled Personnel
Post-Lockdown hotels often made sure that there were extra staff members on hand should room service suddenly get busy, or a nearby conference mean that rooms were suddenly filled to capacity. Today, staff rotas are more tightly monitored, with no allowance for 'on call' staff. This is partly to cover the shortage of hospitality staff: some of whom have retrained while unemployed due to the panic, while others have moved to Europe, following Brexit. But it is also to reduce contact and the potential spread of disease amongst staff – and it also has the benefit of reducing costs!
2 More Cost Cutting
As well as reducing staff costs, many hotels have had to look for ways to reduce costs, from putting smaller bouquets in suites, no longer putting chocolates on pillows all the way down to buying 'wonky' vegetables and perhaps buying a cheaper cut of meat than they would have done before. Most hotels will try to ensure that these measures do not impact too much on the guests' enjoyment of their stay in order to encourage guests to return later.
3 Restricted Communal Areas
Whereas as pre-pandemic, restaurants, bars, even gift shops, were all open long hours and guests were encouraged to spend as much time (and money) as they liked in these communal areas, they are also vectors for the transmission of viruses. Hotels now tend to have booking systems that allow for social distanced eating and drinking. These restrictions also carry over to the sporting facilities which now need to be booked, whether it is a half-hour session on a spin cycle, or a pool-time slot to get your lengths in. There is also a greater emphasis on ventilation and on cleaning, especially in these more social spaces.
4 Offer for Penalty-free Cancellations
Finding out that you have been in contact with someone with an infectious disease in the days before you travel can be a dilemma. Should you cancel your holiday and lose a lot of money and your days of leisure? Or should you go ahead and hope that you are not infectious? Today, the decision is tipped towards common sense. When you know you can cancel your booking without losing too much money, it is easier to do the right thing and stay at home until you feel better or are certain that you don't have the infection.
5 Boosted Marketing
Given the dramatic loss of business over the last two years, hotels are doing all that they can to get guests back in their beds! Marketing budgets have been increased and there is an edge of hyperbole to most holiday advertisements as hotels try to coax virus-wary guests back through their doors.
6 Discounts and Special Offers
Following on from the above, hotels are offering internal experience days to boost their income. From learning how to make floral arrangements to taking cooking lessons from top chefs, hotels have learned how to diversify their income streams in many creative ways!
7 All-Day Room Service
Room service used to have quite strict set hours, often in line with the opening hours of dining rooms. Today, hotels have found it expedient to offer all three meals as a room service option, widely spread over the day. This means that guests can stay safely in their rooms at meal times and reduce the number of people with whom they come into contact. Even London apart hotels are offering a more widespread service to protect staff and guests from excess contact with guests.
8 Go Contactless
Hotels have transformed many processes into contactless or people-free systems. Booking is done online, payment taken the same way, and check-in and check-out can all be done using touchscreens or apps. One or two hotels even have robot concierges who can deliver snacks and towels amongst other things, so people can have a slightly surreal no-contact stay in a hotel if they want to!