Since the spread of COVID-19, hoteliers have had to reassess how they operate their F&B outlets, especially with the introduction of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Stay Safe guidelines, which recommends replacing room service with contactless delivery and limiting buffet service.
Some hoteliers have chosen to shutter F&B operations temporarily; others are taking advantage of the lull in traffic to innovate and adapt while focusing on deep-cleaning.
Regardless, all owners and operators need to be prepared to welcome back guests with new and updated procedures that minimize the spread of COVID-19. And that’s particularly important in the F&B arena.
So, how can hoteliers innovate while still following social distancing rules?
Create a Takeout Menu
If you’re a full-service hotel, why not have your restaurant create a special takeout menu for guests? You can take it one step further and open it up to locals, too.
This menu could include several “quarantine-focused” items such as family-style meals, to-go cocktails, bottles of wine, and large salads and sides. Additionally, hoteliers can jump on the opportunity to offer guests more personalization by giving the option to order pre-arrival, with food delivered to guestrooms upon arrival.
Partner with Neighboring Restaurants
The idea of outsourcing F&B isn’t new, but it’s worth revisiting during this time of social distancing. Hotels that are located in city centers should have an easier time with this one.
If your hotel is located on the outskirts of town, consider implementing a “grab-and-go” option in the lobby. Another option could be to create a personal grocery shopper program by partnering with a delivery app such as Instacart. This would work particularly well at extended-stay properties where guests tend to stay for longer periods of time and are typically in need of the essentials.
Create Additional Seating Areas
Whether your hotel creates a special takeout menu or decides to outsource F&B, your guests will need additional places to enjoy a meal since fewer tables are allowed in dining areas due to social distancing restrictions. Make sure that when you do set up additional seating, you follow the guidelines, too (i.e. remove the extra items from the table, no condiment bottles, etc.).
Of course, not every area of F&B is ripe for innovation. Some things will remain status quo but require additional investment and attention during this time. For example, hand sanitizer will need to be available in more places in a hotel’s restaurant and breakfast areas. Hoteliers may also need to purchase face masks for employees who will be handling food in addition to cleaning supplies for food prep areas.
If you’re finalizing your hotel’s reopening plan and need to stock up on hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, face masks and more, Pineapple has COVID in-demand items ready to ship. For more information, please feel free to email CEO Ray Burger. (email:[email protected])