The hospitality industry is one of the industries heavily affected by the disruptions caused by the pandemic. The lockdowns that ensued after the pandemic had disastrous effects on hotels and bed and breakfasts. Hotels and bed and breakfasts require significant capital to operate. This capital is usually acquired through loans. If there are no guests, how can these hotels pay for these loans?
Some hotels, even upscale ones such as the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, have closed their doors due to the financial crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Experts predict that more hotels will not survive the crisis. Data shows that one out of four properties in the hospitality industry is already struggling.
Needless to say, running a business in the hospitality industry in these trying times is challenging. However, there were small inns and bed and breakfasts that stayed afloat despite the challenges. Some reinvented themselves and provided other services to stay relevant.
Some experts also suggest that more private lodging is safer than a big-scale hotel. You will more likely run into more people in a hotel than in a small bed and breakfast. Since transmission of the virus is mainly caused by contact with an infected person, the lesser people you bump into, the better.
If you are a bed and breakfast owner and have plans to reopen, know that your operation will never be the same. Additional measures must be taken to ensure the safety of your employees and your patrons.
Level up the cleanliness of your bed and breakfast.
You may have to invest more in the cleanliness of your establishment in the time of the pandemic. The way you cleaned your establishment before the pandemic will not cut it. Hire a reliable coronavirus sanitizing service to ensure that even the high-touch surfaces in your establishment are safe and clean. Common areas such as the lobby, dining hall, and common restrooms must be constantly cleaned and disinfected.
When your patrons see how you keep your bed and breakfast clean and protected, they will be at ease and are more likely to return. Your employees will also be safer working in a sanitized workplace.
Aside from the usual contents of your welcome kit, you can add disinfecting products such as alcohol, sanitizers, and wipes. You can also throw in some reusable face masks with your logo, which they can use even after going home.
Reduce your capacity.
While this may not be in your best financial interests, reducing your capacity ensures that safe physical distancing protocols can be applied properly. When customers see that you follow the strict guidelines imposed by health authorities and are even going beyond, they will trust you more. That trust is important in building your name and your brand.
Reducing your capacity reduces the chances of interpersonal interaction between customers and your employees. This reduces the risk of virus transmission within your bed and breakfast, making it a safer option.
Establish a COVID-19 action plan.
You must have a concrete action plan if an employee tested positive for the virus or had close contact with someone who tested positive. Your employee must inform their immediate supervisor or your COVID point-of-contact person. You must immediately inform your local health authorities as well. The employee concerned must undergo home isolation and the employees who had close contact with them. They cannot report to work until they complete the required isolation period and are no longer experiencing the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus.
If a customer displays signs and symptoms of the virus, you must also have a response in place. The customer should be separated and tested if needed. Identify the areas that need to be closed off for at least 24 hours until it can be cleaned and disinfected.
Ensure that there is sufficient ventilation.
One way to reduce the risks of contaminants and viruses in indoor air is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in. It can help reduce the concentration of bacteria and viruses in the air. Make sure that your HVAC and their filters are well-maintained and working properly. If possible, open the windows and doors in common areas to let fresh air in.
Deploy different working shifts.
One of the recommended ways to limit the exposure of your employees is to divide them into different working shifts. If an employee belonging in a shift becomes positive for the virus or displays signs and symptoms, only those employees in the same shift will need to undergo home isolation. Your business may continue with the other shifts.
The lesser the interaction, the better.
Since the transmission is mostly passed from person to person, establish processes that will require minimal contact from guest check-in to check-out. Instead of having meals in the dining hall, your guests can have them delivered in their rooms. Although bed and breakfasts are known for their warm accommodations, you may have to ease down with your guest interactions.
While it may not be the most profitable period, your bed and breakfast can offer refuge and relaxation for people who want to escape the confines of their homes, even for a weekend only. Make sure that you abide by health and sanitation protocols for the well-being of your customers and employees.