Hotel Reception today - touch-less - contact less - hope - less?
Reception stands - for receiving someone! According to all these Corona policies it feels today like avoiding someone at all costs! Not only have they closed most hotels and restaurants again but they try to avoid contact at all! Hospitality can’t exist without social contact. Humans in general can’t! We have to provide a safe, hygienic environment without cutting on service and contact.
What do we do?
So if we introduce for the guest - the one we all want to see again - the touch-less check in - scanning the passports (disinfect the scanner all the time!) - tipping in the credit-card number by himself - great service ( disinfect this terminal all the time!) - using an app which never let us see our guest - where is the unique welcome?The personal touch? The local feeling? The experience? (the last four phrases are all frequently used by our CEO’s !)
if the guest is lucky he can say hello to the receptionist behind plexiglass wearing a mask (if we are lucky and there is a receptionist).
She or he will give us a Corona lecture including that the bar is closed, the room won’t be cleaned until we leave and any symptoms should be reported immediately! All which makes us happy and feel welcome! Touches me a little - I have been in the army - old memories - the welcome was almost that friendly!
Some of these procedures were always in place - or should have been some will not be able co exist with the hospitality our guest will also expect in the future.
“Thermal screening at entry gates
display of ‘safe’ status
app for staff and guests
wearing of masks
disinfecting hotel vehicles
disinfecting guests luggage
touch-less check-in and check-out option via official website/mobile app
disinfecting rooms are some of the common safety and hygiene measures undertaken by hotels.
In addition : Housekeeping staff would wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Delivery and clearance of room service orders would be just outside the hotel room entrance. It also started providing live kitchen access to its customers via camera.”
(Telgana Today 6 June 2020 https://telanganatoday.com/touchless-hospitality-is-the-future)
We have to avoid that a hospital Emergency unit might be more welcoming!
As hoteliers we should acknowledge that the welcome and receiving procedure in any hospital emergency unit might be more friendly, personal and care taking then what our Politicians, some CEO’s and Managers introduce and discuss right now!
We have to use new apps and technology but only to help ease the work, offer it as a choice for guest but not to replace hospitality as such.
Time to be hospitable again. It’ not hopeless! It’s our challenge and we will master it! Our politicians either forgot what that is - or - never really knew! We know better - let's do it again!
Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia