Search
The Caterer

Hotel operators to return to ‘a very different market', where trust will be ‘paramount'

12 May 2020 by
Hotel operators to return to ‘a very different market', where trust will be ‘paramount'

Building trust between the hotelier and customer will be "paramount" when operators return to "a very different market", according to Russell Kett, chair of consultancy HVS London.

With much of the UK's hotel sector still closed for business, the industry faces a huge challenge to rebuild consumer confidence once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions start to lift later this year.

Kett said operators "will be coming back into a very different market to previously, with a new set of consumer concerns and requirements… Building trust between hotelier and customer will be paramount, with businesses operating and presenting their services in a way that makes the guest, and the staff who take care of them, feel comfortable, confident and protected".

Ongoing hygiene and cleaning protocols will be top of the agenda, according to HVS, with global operators Marriott, Hilton and Accor already launching programmes designed to communicate and promote high standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

HVS also said operators will need to consider how best to protect guests and staff at each interface, such as screens at check-in and a remote check-in/out option; social distancing in public areas such as restaurants, corridors and lounge areas; controlling the numbers of people using lifts at any one time; as well as how guests can, and should, make safe use of leisure facilities, pools, gyms and spas.

"Hoteliers will need to rethink almost every part of their business, focusing on all areas that are accessed by guests as well as considering the safety and protection of staff. The traditional buffet breakfast is likely to become a thing of the past – at least for the time being," Kett added.

HVS expects most hotels to reopen gradually, adding rooms and rehiring staff when demand improves. This might result in the need for furloughing schemes to be continued for some staff while hotels implement this ramping up.

In light of this, Kett said prematurely curtailing the furlough scheme could "sound the death knell" for many hotels. Likewise, he added that kitchens will need to consider a pared-down menu that can be produced by a smaller team with what could be limited supplies, and room service may need to be stepped up as some guests may perceive this as the safer option.

Government confirms 'ambition' to open some hospitality venues, including pubs and hotels, from 4 July >>

Chancellor: No 'cliff-edge' to the furlough scheme >>

Photo: Shutterstock

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.