As hotels begin reopening, it’s essential for management to have a COVID-19 outbreak prevention plan. Taking a multi-pronged approach can ensure best practices are followed and that every possible measure is taken to prevent infection.
Begin by educating your employees. It’s natural to assume that everyone has been following best practices to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. This is a dangerous assumption to make. Keep employees up-to-date on the science of how the virus is spread and what steps can be taken to minimize risks. Advisement is forever evolving, as more information is learned. The pandemic has gone on so long that people are fatigued and have tuned out or are confused by misinformation. People who work in the hotel industry must know the most current best practices, so keeping your staff up-to-date is a continual process.
Deep Cleaning Hard Surfaces
Every hard surface should be both cleaned and sanitized. It’s important to remember that cleaning and sanitizing are two different steps. Follow standard cleaning procedures such as soap and water to get surfaces clean, then disinfect them with a CDC- recommended sanitizer or a mixture of bleach and water. Keep in mind that bleach and water mixtures degrade quickly, so new batches will need to be made daily.
Laundering Soft Items
Reduce the number of available soft surfaces until the danger has passed. Remove upholstered furniture from your lobby or other public areas. Remove tablecloths if possible and switch to paper napkins. Any hotel or restaurant linens should be washed daily – with bleach, if possible. While there was a recent trend for guests to go a few days without changing sheets and towels, that is no longer practical.
Keeping High-Touch Items Safe
Multiple people touch electronics, touchpads, and point-of-sale devices throughout the day. They are ripe for the spread of viruses and other germs and must be disinfected regularly. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommendations. If they don’t provide guidance, most electronics can safely be disinfected with alcohol wipes or disinfecting sprays. Also, have sanitizing stations available close to these high-touch areas. People expect those stations and are changing their behaviors to look for them after engaging with a high-touch area.
Teach employees how to continually disinfect high-touch areas, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, or any public areas. Remove items that can be hard to keep up with or encourage loitering, such as self-service coffee stations. If you want to offer free coffee to guests, consider placing it behind the check-in desk so an employee can serve them.
Hire Managers Who Make Safety a Priority
The right management team has never been more essential to keeping your business safe and profitable. If you need help recruiting hotel executives and managers, contact the hotel recruiting experts at Horizon Hospitality today.