Uncertainty may be the ‘new normal’ for the hospitality and catering sector, but one thing employers can be sure of is that post lockdown, the greatest luxury in hospitality will be cleanliness and safety.
“There are now more cleaners working in our hospitals than ever before and their role has never been so important,” Sky News recently reported.
The reason is clear. Keeping hospitals fit for purpose is tough work – think overnight deep cleans and elevated daytime support, for starters. What’s more, this kind of cleaning isn’t just for hospitals, or for lockdown, if people-centred businesses want a future it’s going to be life for the foreseeable future.
Which, is why experts at PwC say:
“For the hospitality industry to restart successfully, the key to success is instilling consumer confidence that a hotel campus is clean, safe and secure.”
Angel Recruitment CEO Russell Crawford says in the 55 years the employment agency has been supporting hospitality & catering businesses his firm has never seen anything like this:
“Not only has the sector been severely affected by this outbreak,” he says. “But, with social distancing measures lasting for months, even years to come, we have to ask how an industry which thrives on social interaction can really get back to business.”
Which is why the recently launched All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality & Tourism has requested an enquiry into what a new normal looks like for hospitality. While the answers aren’t necessarily forthcoming, as Vaughn Tan, author of The Uncertainty Mindset, has noted:
“This is the reality: Corona time is the cycle that has only just begun.”
A new health & safety normal
So, if uncertainty is the only certainty then how can hospitality and catering employers plan for the future? HotelPlanner believe:
“Hygiene will be front and centre for 2020 and 2021 until there is a comfort level on cleanliness and delivering healthy stays / trips.”
Angel’s CEO concurs:
“Look at Singapore,” he says. “Highly effective at containing the pandemic, now they’ve responded to the coronavirus dilemma with a new certification programme – the SG Clean seal of approval.”
The aim of the Singaporean initiative is to give guests ‘peace of mind’ by way of stringent cleanliness and hygiene assessments, featuring everything from temperature screenings to improved record keeping and increased disinfecting.
“It certainly looks like higher hygiene standards will be hospitality housekeeping’s new normal,” Russell affirms.
Show you mean business
In short, cleaning staff are not just the unsung heroes of the current lockdown, they’re going to become front and centre of many a business comeback. Hotel Mogel Consulting (HMC) calls it ‘cleanliness theatre’.
As Russell emphasises, “It’s no longer good enough to simply meet hygiene and safety standards. You’ll need to show your guests you mean business.”
HMC believes this could mean extra porters dressed in PPE opening and closing doors or even manning lifts. Yet, whatever your post lockdown business looks like Russell makes it clear that Angel is here to support you in creating a bright hospitality future:
“Our NHS-experienced cleaning candidates will help you maintain a safe and clean venue, giving you and your guests peace of mind. Cleaning professionals are certain to be like gold dust as lockdown is lifted, so we’re recommending putting recruitment plans into place now.”
We have been working with healthcare industries for over 60 years and we’re proud to be supporting the industry through this unsettling time. Our Covid-19 cleaning trained workforce are ready to help you now should you need it or when you re-open. You can count on us.