With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, the service industry struggles to maintain any semblance of normal functioning. All venues that include social gatherings took a significant hit during the epidemic and continued to look for ways to resume operations while maintaining customers’ and employees’ safety.

Hotels, motels, hostels, restaurants, and other venues in the hospitality industry face issues of reduced travel from foreign countries and are forced to focus on domestic travellers. We’re going to discuss a few practical ways to attract local customers during these trying times.

Here are a few points you need to consider first:

• You need to provide hotel rooms exclusively for families with rooms that are blocked and sanitized for the next 48 hours post checkout.
• You need to provide attractive pricing options and keep in mind those people who are working from home and may like to have working holidays.
• You can offer an office setup with fast internet and video conferencing options.
• You can also offer various food options, including the “bring your own food” option to provide different experiences.

Now, let’s go into some more details.

Contactless Dining

This concept has been thrown around a lot lately and with good reason. The only way the hospitality industry can move on during the pandemic is to ensure that there is very little chance that their customers can contract the virus while on their premises. The same goes for their staff.

The concept of contactless dining introduces the practice of serving customers to reduce contact between each person that is a part of the process. The cornerstones of this concept include a couple of things:

-Premises sanitation
-Food hygiene
-Staff hygiene
-Regular staff temperature checks

Furthermore, the entire venue must be set up to enable social distancing for both people at different and same tables. Enough space between tables for the staff to safely pass through and enforced hygiene during the entry into the venue.

Still, these are not the only things this concept relies on. Technology has shown itself as very useful during these times, and the same is true in this situation.

QR Menu

Our smartphones are incredibly flexible devices capable of doing many things. They are essential for this approach as they allow customers to browse your menus without physically holding them.

They simply scan a QR code menu at their table, browse the many through an app on their phone and order without having to have direct contact with your staff. They also use their phones to pay for the food and service, so there is no direct exchange of currency, which can lead to contagious materials being spread.

We still need somebody to take the food to the table, but if the staff is checked regularly and upholds the hygienic measure proposed for these situations, the chance of infection is meagre. Masks and gloves help a lot too.

Check-in software for Hotels

Check-in software is nothing new in the hospitality industry, but with the changing situation, they are more crucial than ever.

The more things you can handle without meeting in person with customers, the better the situation.

The standard procedure for checking into a hotel includes a lot of contact with hotel employees. Approaching the front desk, giving your information, taking the keys, being introduced to the facilities and your room, your baggage being taken to the room, and so on.

What check-in software does is remove the need for almost any of that. Most of the booking, the payment, and the tour can be made digitally. Booking and payment are quite straightforward, while the tour can be resolved with excellent photography, video, or even VR as a solution.

As far as baggage goes, the same procedure goes as usual except the disinfection practices apply during the reception of luggage and proper safety practices during baggage delivery.

This type of self check-in hotel software also adds some functionality that helps a hotel out unrelated to the pandemic. It automates many of the processes required to run a well-organized establishment, assists with scheduling and managing vacancies and more.

Airports and ports are still considered high-risk places, and air travel, in particular, is singled out as very problematic. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was determined that the staff on plains is most likely to transfer the disease. This means that large scale air travel is far from going back to normal.

With these restrictions, most people will turn to domestic options when it comes to vacations and getaways. The only thing you need to do is ensure that they are not under risk when they are in your establishment. Make it easy for them to do everything digitally and explain the precautionary measure you have taken, and you’ll start to see an uptake in domestic guests.

Still, you’ll need to ensure guests comply with your proposed practices. It only takes one rebellious guest who “Doesn’t believe in the pandemic,” and your operation could be compromised. Most people are reasonable about safety measures, but some can be difficult.

Good luck getting your business back on track!

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About The Author

Deepak Chauhan

Deepak Chauhan is responsible for marketing and positioning of “mycloud” platform and is a veteran in the hotel software industry with over 25 years’ experience giving him a strong understanding of the product requirements in the industry. He has very rare mix of working in operations of various hotels and chains for over 10 years and then co-founding a software product and service company, servicing 5 star hotels and chains for 14 years.

Deepak has led the development and marketing of cloud based hospitality systems to meet the specific, business objectives of small and mid-size properties across the globe and has worked closely with a diverse group of hoteliers and hotel technology vendors.