Hygiene and sanitation: the brand differential of the future for the hospitality industry

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No one can predict whether social distancing will work or how useful it will be, but the need of the hour is to adopt and adapt to the new norm as soon as possible.

Covid-19 has been one of those innovative paradigm shifts that occur every couple of decades and the service industry, characterized by close contact with customers, has been negatively affected. The usual operating method of the hospitality industry will see a drastic change and we must prepare to absorb the New Normal; the sooner the better. Our priorities have changed significantly in the last four months. Compliance with hygiene and sanitation will be the new brand differentiators. I’m not saying that service and branding standards have a background, but sanitation, hygiene, and the importance of a safe contactless experience will be at the forefront and the parameters that will help brands create their differentiation. No one can predict whether social distancing will work or how useful it will be, but the need of the hour is to adopt and adapt to the new norm as soon as possible.

As a responsible multinational company, we are predestined to have a certain advantage over our competitors in implementing world-class cleaning standards. In this time of uncertainty and crisis we have a duty to safeguard the well-being of all stakeholders. The implementation of the new cleaning standards that are being implemented will manifest itself over time; is a responsible investment for the future that creates confidence in our brand. If we don’t change now than when? If we don’t have enough mental agility to adapt to the changing environment, we will all face the same fate as the dinosaurs millions of years ago; nor did they manage to adapt to changing circumstances.

The winners of this race will be companies that bring speed to the market and accept the wind of change. International companies will have an initial advantage, customers will vote with their feet: the next six months will be about compliance and adaptation. Facial masks and hand sanitizers will be ubiquitous in hotels and restaurants. The customer of the future will base his patronage on hygiene and sanitation standards, followed by pricing.

The era of large crowds is coming to an end (at least in the foreseeable future) and we all have to make painful adjustments to the seating arrangements in bars and restaurants. As places are reduced, revenue will also be reduced, a vicious circle. Undoubtedly, the current COVID-19 crisis offers a perfect opportunity for our industry to examine our past business model and reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and how we can improve and succeed. The focus will shift from increasing sanitation paranoia to improving efficiency and sooner or later the new economic paradigm that has been imposed on us will dictate the same staffing levels we have seen in Europe and the United States. . This raises the question of whether our clients will accept the next change and perceive us as adopters of US habits and management style to the detriment of service delivery!

His verdict is still out, but painful adjustments need to be made; it is time to be resilient, critical and thoughtful.

Once the lockout is lifted, I’m sure we should quickly return to healthy business levels, for example, increased international demand and positive cash flow. You need to continue the business, serve the customers, satisfy the investors and pay the salaries. India is one of the largest consumer markets in the world and once the airline industry is up and running, employment levels will rise, restaurants will be visited and meetings will be held, albeit initially at a lower level. Expected demand will inevitably come with depressed rates.

The amount of “accumulated demand” that has accumulated in the last four months is colossal and must be met. It is our responsibility to meet this demand. In my opinion, it will take 12 to 18 months before we see emerging business patterns to pre-COVOD-19 levels. A crisis of this magnitude will bring out the best and the worst in people. There is definitely more than a ray of hope on the horizon and yes, we will travel again.