Amaris Hospitality has invested £600,000 in health and safety measures across its 30-strong hotel portfolio, with signage and PPE the biggest cost outlays.
"There is quite a significant cost to making sure you are Covid-safe," said chief operating office Paul Harnedy, speaking to The Caterer. "When you multiply it in our case by 30 hotels it does become a significant investment."
However, having opened its Hilton Garden Inn Dublin on Monday, he said clear signage and communication had been key to positive guest feedback and will be carried over as Amaris prepares to open its 23 England hotels tomorrow. Ten of its hotels have achieved Shield Safety Group's ‘Safe to Trade' accreditation ahead of reopening.
Harnedy said: "The team have done a fantastic job and the guests have reacted well to the changes in service style and requirements… Feedback from our guests is that it's been very clear how you move around our property, what services are available, and how to address certain things if they're unsure."
The group's Dublin hotel has varied between 30%-50% occupancy since opening earlier this week, and it is anticipated properties in England will open at around 30%, increasing to around 50% of pre-Covid rates in the coming weeks, with an even balance of leisure and business guests.
Harnedy added: "There is a general feeling that the people of the UK want to get back to either business or enjoying some leisure time, and that can only be good for the hospitality industry. We all need to be realistic about what those business levels are going to be for some time, but we know that hospitality will bounce back – it's just going to take us a good chunk of time to get back to where we would like it to be.
"These are very challenging times for the whole hospitality sector and, like everyone else, we're going to have to manage our costs and resources in line with trade and business levels. Our immediate priority is to get the hotels open, and the health and wellbeing of our team and guests as well. We are continuously reviewing our plans, as all businesses will be… and will adapt to whatever the new environment is."
Amaris Hospitality also restated its commitment to investing more than £21.7m across its Edinburgh, Islington, Oxford, Bristol and Dublin properties.
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