For a hotelier, there is nothing quite like the sound of the clink of glasses from the bar, housekeeping teams moving down hallways, the laundry running, elevator bells dinging, kids at the pool and luggage carts being pulled across a lobby floor. All of these sounds mean a busy hotel and high occupancy.
As hotels around the world are opening up their doors after operating with low occupancy, or reopening after a shutdown related to COVID-19, it is great to see and hear hotels come to life again. However, the sounds of a busy lobby can now evoke fears for hoteliers: Are guests maintaining social distancing? Are staff feeling overwhelmed? Has the hotel been thoroughly disinfected?
The hospitality industry must now adjust to a new set of SOPs for hotels after COVID-19 and there is only one main goal behind them: staff and guest safety. New SOPs will be present throughout every department in a hotel, including back of house and front of house teams. Across the board, very few, if any, departments will be operating as they did before March of this year.
From checklists, to time-stamped staff accountability, and guest messaging, hospitality technology, like ALICE’s hotel software, can be a major asset in helping hoteliers manage new post COVID-19 SOPs. Last week, we detailed seven ways hotel housekeeping SOPs will be changing and how ALICE can help. This week, we’re looking at two more ALICE products that can help hoteliers manage their new post COVID-19 SOPs.
A great way to keep up with the cleaning of all of the new public touchpoints is using ALICE Checklists. ALICE Checklists enables teams to make sure that the correct areas and touchpoints have been properly cleaned and disinfected according to standards set by the Centers for Disease Control, and assures hotel management that essential tasks are not being left undone. With ALICE, digital checklists (both standardized and customizable sop templates) can be used by staff to make sure no step is missed in a multi-step process.
A few key common areas in the hotel that need disinfection are elevators, fitness areas, and vending machines. The checklists for cleaning and disinfecting these three areas, are all included in ALICE checklists.
Elevators are one of the few touchpoints that every guest is likely to interact with. Keeping these areas clean, and disinfecting all contact surfaces is important to preventing disease transmission, and also reassuring to guests and team members. It is important to use chemicals that can both disinfect and not cause damage to the surfaces. Items to pay attention to are:
- Elevator call buttons at each landing
- Elevator floor buttons in each car
- Elevator exterior doors and frames
- Elevator interior doors
- Elevator rails\handholds
- Emergency telephone, handset, and buttons
Fitness Area Disinfection List
Many municipalities are allowing fitness centers to reopen. Because of the high traffic, gyms are at a higher risk for transmission, making it essential for hotels to have very detailed cleaning procedures for these spaces. Paying attention to new requirements means making sure that additional focus is placed on key surfaces.
- TV remotes for all TVs
- Fitness scale including weight adjustments and any buttons
- Fitness equipment touch screens (remember to check on approved chemicals to avoid damage)
- Fitness equipment buttons
- Fitness equipment handles\grips\supports (anything that is touched in the normal operation of the equipment)
- Fitness free weights, dumbbells, kettlebells
- Yoga mats
- Medicine balls
- Balance balls
- Entry and exit doors including handles, lock mechanism and push panels
- All door handles\pulls
- Water station levers
- Trash receptacle areas
- Refrigerated water bottle handles
Vending and Ice Machines
Hotels with vending and on floor ice machines need to increase the cleaning of these areas. Vending machines in the past might have received a weekly or even monthly wipe down. Many hotels are turning off self-service ice and providing this service on request. A thorough cleaning on an hourly or bi-hourly basis depending on traffic is a best practice.
- Vending machine buttons
- Vending machine change return
- Vending machine payment handling mechanism
- Vending machine doors\item returns
- Vending machine glass
- Vending machine touchscreen
- Area light switch (or replace with a motion detector switch)
- Ice machine service button or dump funnel.
- Ice machine lid
- Ice machine scoop
Using checklists to make sure to address key areas in a detailed and efficient manner will not only prevent the spread of disease, it will show your guests and teams that their safety is important to you.
ALICE Guest Messaging
ALICE Guest Messaging is another way for hoteliers to use hotel technology to manage their new SOPs. Guests will not only want to know about your hotel’s new SOPs, but they will also need to be aware of them so they can follow protocols within the hotel.
ALICE Guest Messaging allows hotels to message guests on their mobile devices at any point in the guest journey: at booking, pre-arrival, mid-stay or pre-departure, providing contactless communication options for interacting with your hotel guests.
Messaging can be used to:
- Provide instructions for check-in straight to your mobile phone
- Send links to PDFs of your hotel’s website for more information
- Offer upgrade opportunities to guests
- Place an order for room service
- Gather feedback from guests
Transparent, real-time and attentive two-way communication is the cornerstone of trust and delivering a great guest experience. Don’t be afraid to communicate or even over-communicate with your guests to keep them reassured that your hotel is doing everything it can to deliver hospitality in the most safe and clean way possible.
ALICE can help you manage your new SOPs to create a safe environment for your staff and guests. Want to learn more? Download our eBook on Post COVID-19 Hotel Operations today!