Back Of House With Bill

A Series On All Things Hospitality

A “Post-COVID” Environment Doesn’t Exist

I was in a meeting earlier in the week where an executive asked me to explain how our process would assist in a ‘ Post Covid ‘ environment. This statement focused me even more on the true challenge of this virus within the hospitality and travel industry….an understanding of the reality we are facing.

It is my measured opinion that there will not be a Post Covid environment, the virus itself and the protocols that accompany it will be with us for a long time, certainly many months, maybe many years and possibly forever. Our business strategies need to be centered around the realistic objective of controlling the spread as best we are able, not eliminating it from our place of business and certainly not acting now in the hope that it will simply go away. This effort is going to require a great deal of work and an greater amount of diligence and control.

“Due to a spike in cases, we want to wait until the increase in numbers stabilizes” or “we really need there to be a vaccine before we can move forward” or “we really aren’t sure now is the right time with everything else going on”  are a few more of the narratives I continue to hear from organizations across the public and private sector when discussing how FreemanGroup services can perhaps help in this virus environment.   

Some organizations continue to be completely influenced and governed by the numbers, deciding preventative actions solely based on fluctuating numbers, with a hope and commitment to only act when the number of infections decrease. This, it seems to me, is an oxymoron and represents false hope. These numbers will only continue to increase and inaction now, will only continue to perpetuate and magnify the problem.

The numbers continue to spike in part because guests/customers and residents alike are more adventurous, willing to increase their frequency across the service industry as restrictions soften. Simply put, more guests/customers result in the potential for more cases. Secondly, our independent research at www.freemangroupsolutions.com  tells us that the vast majority of service outlets fail to introduce a sustainable and actionable process to ensure frontline employees that have been trained are actually adhering to basic technical and behavioral standards which prevent the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, research shows when these organizations fail to monitor or correct bad service habits, these behaviors negatively impact the guest/customer perception of safety, we know this because we have asked a large number of guests/customers.

Last week our research colleagues recounted their recent evidence of three bartenders who within thirty minutes NEVER washed their hands between drink production, NEVER washed their hands after touching their faces, and continuously used and placed an unwashed ice scoop in common ice bins when preparing drinks. Additionally, when asked about enforcement of social distancing guidelines or PPE use, all three bartenders shied away from any conversation which required a demanding or tough message.

That is the real challenge right there, controlling the environment and addressing tough conversations, across every staff member, with every Guest, during every shift, every day. Think about the hundreds of interactions occurring within just a single restaurant? From the host stand, to the server, to the kitchen, to the bartender, include the other guests, and other staff.

Think about the literally thousands of interactions occurring in Hotels, Restaurants, Retail Outlets, Airports, Hospitals, Casinos, Cruise Ships and all Service Industry Outlets during the course of a 24-hour period.  

Do you finally see it? Can you now comprehend the magnitude of the issue confronting us? Do you perhaps now understand how critical daily mentoring, training and coaching is?

In reality, COVID-19 will continue to spread far more rapidly without actionable daily activity. A single training session or emailed list of updated protocols or providing PPE to Staff, will never be effective nor demonstrate the attention needed to control of the spread of this virus. It may check the box but will never change the behaviors.

Our responsibility as service providers is to ensure we control our environment. Control can only be achieved through diligent daily monitoring within each travel sector and hospitality outlet, combined with a diligent daily testing and tracking process. Implementation of these processes dramatically increases the odds of controlling the spread of COIVD-19. Waiting for numbers to simply level off organically is a flawed and potentially dangerous strategy, which places the safety of our team members and customers in serious jeopardy.

FreemanGroup has defined an all-encompassing process. This approach and process we believe is the only process of it’s kind available and in alliance with www.safer-tourism.com prepares, tests, trains and tracks frontline Staff’s abilities to consistently deliver in this new environment.

Let us help you prepare, monitor and control the spread of COVID-19 through an actionable daily process within each of your departments.

Bill

 

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