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WHAT'S THE BUZZ IN HOSPITALITY?

A Hotel Owner’s Guide to Safely Reopening Property Amenities

Oct 20,2021

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many hotel operators closed their amenity spaces early into the pandemic. As travel restrictions ease, properties look to reopen their amenities and deliver the experiences that guests are increasingly expecting again, particularly in luxury properties.

Keeping guests happy and recovering lost revenue while simultaneously adhering to federal and state guidelines may appear to be a daunting task to hoteliers, whose labor resources are already stretched thin. However, by using the right approach and equipping cutting-edge technological solutions, operators can ensure the safe reopening of their amenity spaces.

Ensure clear communication

With new rules and guidelines likely in place, guest compliance is critical to ensuring safety and limiting the potential spread of germs. Clearly communicating new regulations before and during a guest’s stay can help ensure compliance without impacting satisfaction. Messaging can be placed on the property’s amenity reservation services, and automatic emails and text messages detailing amenity reopening rules can be sent when a guest books a stay, checks into the property, eand reserves an amenity space.

This shouldn't be one-way; giving guests the ability to easily provide feedback, ask questions or share concerns can also ensure the safe reopening of property amenities. Implementing multiple communication channels, including two-way text-messaging systems, chatbot functionality or surveys designed to improve amenity spaces can also inform guests about new amenity space expectations, as well as collect vital guest insights.

Use a reservation system

Many governments are beginning to relax social distancing requirements, but with the Delta variant still in force and the flu season settling upon us, it will likely be much longer before we see the end of social distancing. With the ability to serve fewer guests in a space than before, hoteliers aiming to reopen their amenities are challenged to make their available spaces count.

Online reservation systems designed for property amenities can be one tool used to enforce social distancing measures, while simultaneously ensuring that amenity space usage is optimized. Industry-leading systems can provide online seat reservations, wait list and venue management services, enhancing guest satisfaction and encouraging guests to access the property’s pool cabanas, gaming table seats, stadium and arena event seats and restaurant tables.

Offer contactless options

Contactless solutions have transformed the hospitality industry, particularly for front desk services. However, the convenient, safe experience that contactless solutions provide can also be utilized in a property’s amenity space to ensure a safe reopening.

Regardless of whether a guest is placing a room service order, purchasing a set of golf balls in the pro shop, buying souvenirs in retail, or ordering a poolside beverage, contactless services like mobile guest ordering can play a vital role in eliminating touchpoints and ensuring enhanced safety for guests throughout their amenity experience. Similarly, innovative payment solutions can eliminate touchpoints by allowing guests to use their own mobile devices for payments, such as scanning a QR code.

Regularly disinfect shared spaces

In-room cleaning protocols have become much stricter and rigorous than they were pre-pandemic; for a hotelier wrestling with the industry’s staff shortage, adding amenity spaces to the list may risk overwhelming already-limited labor resources. Ensuring that hard surfaces are regularly disinfected and shared spaces are deeply cleaned, however, are vital to the safe reopening of property amenities.

Technological solutions can help streamline operations and ensure regular cleaning. Mobile housekeeping functionalities can improve communications and task management with real-time visibility, helping operators meet housekeeping priorities. Activity management software can also ensure error-free scheduling, optimizing amenity usage while ensuring regular cleaning schedules are met.

Consider your space

Keeping guests engaged can be vital to their experience. Using amenity spaces to host events in a post-pandemic world can include integrating virtual or hybrid options, adjusting event sizes and placing a greater consideration on outdoor spaces.

Using activity management software, hotel operators can see availability across all outlets and venues, leverage multiple seat layouts for specified dates, holidays and special events, leverage unique layouts associated with an event and more. In doing this, operators can gain valuable insights needed to optimize the use of amenity spaces, ensure proper staffing and more.

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