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What will hotel stays post-covid-19 look like - will the new normal mean the death of the buffet?
As the world starts to come out of lockdown and airlines and hotels start to recommence services what will the hotel industry look like in a post-covid-19 world? In this article, we’ll take a quick look at current ideas being proposed.
Will it mean screens, sanitizer and maybe the death of the buffet?
Cleanliness is/will be the core concern of hotel guests and hotels alike and there are is a plethora of initiatives being drawn up by both individual hotels and industry bodies alike and below are some highlights of those.
Clean, clean, sanitize: the use of hospital grade cleaning products has been flagged by many chains as a new purchasing norm and repetitive deep cleaning of high touch areas such as door handles, lift buttons and so on. Multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout hotels is also likely to be a prominent feature.
The Hilton Clean stay program proposes that a room seal will be placed to show guests that no one has entered the room since a deep clean after a previous check out has been completed.
Space, more space and even more space: the reduction of human interaction may seem a strange idea in the context of hospitality but in the new normal it’s an issue of high concern.
Check-ins will now most likely involve a screen between check-in staff and guests, mask-wearing throughout a hotel is also likely to be a requirement. Some chains like Marriott and Four Seasons are concentrating on developing technology for contactless check-in and check out’s and room entry using their mobile apps.
Marriott are proposing to remove lots of furniture in common areas such as lobbies to reduce the number of people coming into close proximity and they like other hotels and chains propose reduced capacity in bars and restaurants.
The death of the buffet?
Most people would have a serious hygiene concern with the process of buffet eating- lining up, open food containers and so on. Initiatives relating to buffets however are quite mixed and there isn’t yet a unified approach but here are a couple of likely scenario’s.
The buffet experience will be turned on its head whether it be in hotel’s restauarants, airport lounges and so on, in the short term at least buffet’s as we know them will have been put to rest.
Option one: Pre-packaged food items – this will probably be adopted for breakfast sittings.
Option two: Counter service where food is screened off and hotel guests wearing masks and gloves serve the food items.
Option 3: table service of buffet items by hotel staff
Option 4: Disposable menu’s for an a la carte experience
Over the next few week’s we’ll be keeping an eye on developments and will update this article as new information becomes available.