Is the hospitality industry ready for reopening?
While most states still have some sort of coronavirus restrictions in place, we're seeing businesses gradually open up. This week we zoom in onto the hospitality industry and see what pre-emptive measures hotels, resorts, restaurants and other facilities are taking to prioritize safety, while minimizing the dent on their revenue.
A lot of people are wondering if it’s even safe to stay at hotels right now, but experts say it should be perfectly fine as long as hotels are implementing safety measures and following CDC guidelines.
Some of those safety measures include installing plexiglass, decreasing occupancy and frequent disinfecting. Many hotels are also requiring 24-hour vacancy between guest departures, digital check-in and digital room keys and, of course, social distancing.
When traveling, the CDC recommends guests wear masks in common areas, take the stairs to avoid riding in elevators with others, and minimize time in spaces where it’s hard to stay 6 feet away, like the dining room.
Mobile ordering platforms, such as FanFood, can allow guests to avoid congregating in the common areas and dine from the safety of their rooms. The SLS Brickell Hotel in downtown Miami has partnered with FanFood to provide cashless and contactless F&B delivery and pick-up for its guests, whether they’re in the room or hanging out by the pool. FanFood also has white-labeling solutions to preserve the hotel’s branding in its online storefront. Situated in a popular travel destination, SLS Brickell has been able to give their guests the peace of mind while providing a frictionless, convenient guest experience.
With an easy-to-use yet powerful technology platform like FanFood, hotels can get started within days and trial it for free. FanFood’s specialists will also help each hotel strategize the implementation plan to ensure a successful rollout.
Besides offering pick-up and delivery, restaurants have found a lot of unique ways to welcome guests back.
For eateries that have opened for dine-in, offering outdoor seating has become very popular to minimize risk of spread. This method should be safe for customers so long as tables and chairs are sanitized and kept at least six feet apart, servers are wearing protective masks and gloves, and there is space on the sidewalk for passersby.
While indoors, the CDC recommends reducing capacity and changing restaurant layout to accommodate social distancing. Another risk factor restaurants are going to have to consider is their menus. CDC guidelines suggest using single use menus to avoid contamination, but printing out paper menus is costly and not environmentally friendly. Instead, establishments are adopting QR code-based digital menus.
Customers can pull up your online storefront on FanFood by scanning a QR code, which automatically opens the touchless menu in their browser.
Offering dine-in customers an “order ahead” option can help to limit time spent in the dining room, and mobile ordering platforms have this capability. According to projections from QSR Magazine, mobile ordering will account for 10.7 percent of sales for the sector by 2020. On FanFood, your customers can order ahead of time for scheduled pickup or delivery so that you have more time to prepare the orders, and can also better predict inventory. In Chicago, FanFood’s partner Manny’s deli often see customers ordering up to days ahead of a gathering or family celebration. Some food trucks using this functionality have been able to break even before they even open for business!
An added bonus? Mobile ordering can increase the basket size since customers are more likely to put more items in the cart on the phone. FanFood’s partners have seen up to 40% increase in average order size. FanFood also keeps payment cashless and touchless, which follows another CDC guideline.
As some casinos are taking a gamble and reopening their doors, there are CDC guidelines to help them welcome guests safely and responsibly as well. For example, casinos are advised to operate at reduced capacity, have guests and staff engage in frequent hand-washing and wear face coverings.
Casinos will also have to disinfect shared objects like dice, card shoes, shufflers and more. In Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel has blocked off every other slot machine to promote social distancing. Additional measures include closing for cleaning, and checking temperatures of patrons at the door. Plexiglass gaming barriers have also been installed to separate guests from each other and staff.
Restaurants and bars operating within casinos should follow the same protocols outlined in the considerations above.