As products are a big part of our household so are the services. And providing services to the best of their capability by the hotels, restaurants, lounges, etc is known as hospitality. But the pandemic has changed everything. From the fact that hotels and restaurants are being closed for months to the current scenario that we are still not sure when they will open? Along with the questions that arise with them, even if these services get started, would the services and practices be the same as before? Or the common population is going to think that every space, things, food, the venue are safe for them to enter.
Here are some of the major departments where hospitality serves its major role and we all know it’s going to change. But how?, When, gradually or fast?
The practice of Social Distancing
As we are practicing social distancing considering it is the only measure that we have come to know from the moment we have heard about the pandemic itself. We are also aware of the fact that it is not just the necessity of the time but a practice that is soon going to make enough space in our lifestyle and is not going anywhere soon. If it is changing the way we live, it is sure to change the hospitality department everywhere.
You are looking at that extra care and concern in your houses and offices. Though shopping malls and other facilities are not open yet, we know it is not going to be the same as we know it.
HOTELS, RESORTS, AND LOUNGES
Remember those great summer afternoons which we preferred to spend in the swimming pools of our favorite resort. We are sure during the COVID -19 era. Noone would be able to even think of doing it. Not only forgetting those leisure times. The hoteliers and the pool owners might have to install more sensitive filters to check the water for any kind of bacterias and viruses all around. The question again arises, Do we have that kind of sensitive technology and filters of those kinds? Scientists and researchers are still figuring out the kind of virus coronavirus is. And before any kind of information stating that we have an immune filter and making corona free waters would be too much hurry.
Understand all those rooms where thousands of people not only have stayed but have spent hours and the kind of bacteria, viruses, and other germs that are still surviving in those rooms. For a common person like you and me, is it safe to consider that we are going to stay in the same rooms freely, the way we used to without giving it a second thought?
Luxury hotels, resorts, and lounges are investing huge amounts of funds to make sure that the hospitality does not get hindered and the people traveling by various means should not worry about the cleanliness of the area as it is subjected to various residents and on goers. This step can be very helpful in winning the confidence of the people who post a pandemic period. But we are still talking about the luxury spaces which invest crores in their businesses at the times when traveling is almost nil. Neither there are international flights available or domestic flights are taking off on any runways.
Even if we all these spaces spend crores of funds sanitizing the whole institution, we are still not sure of the timings when the business would take off. And whether people would be apprehensive about taking space at these hotels and resorts etc.
Minimum Occupancy Instead of Maximum Occupancy
Remember the times when one complete hall would be divided into several sections to use them for multipurpose objectives. If the east wing has a business gathering going on, then there is a marriage ceremony going on in the north wing at the same time. A DJ would be conducting a birthday party in the west wing So the south wing would be in charge of the fooding department. Hence to take care of the catering throughout the halls. But this is the pre-pandemic story. I understand when people say they are not inviting any guests even if they conduct any parties.
However, there are certain events where the guest line is finalized even before the arrangement of the events and it can’t be compromised at any cost. So can’t the vent. In this fast-growing population in the countries, where residential spaces are compromising, we need more spaces to conduct events post-pandemic. The hospitality industry gets affected the most that have to cater to every necessity and every demand of not only the people but the situation as well. Practicing the norms of social distancing now and then gatherings need to be arranged accordingly to make sure that people must feel safe, hygienic, and in a protected environment in all sorts of ways.
Effect on Event Planning
Who arranges the hospitality department? What to be served first and what would be last? What needs to be placed first and in what order? Planning is always required no matter what you do before you start serving any of your guests. And event planning needs to take care of that factor. Specifically, in the pandemic era where they need to place wipes, hand sanitizers, scanners, temperature detectors on every spot where they feel is necessary. Considering all the major events being canceled since the outbreak of the virus, this business is still waiting to pace the things a bit better.
Hospitality arrangements are going to be the biggest challenge for an event planner. Considering most of the events are conducted in closed spaces. Making people seated together practicing the norms of social distancing and conducting every operation during the event with utmost cleanliness and safety are other challenges which this department is going to face.
Airlines were the first to make changes to make sure they were ready for a pandemic. From placing the seats at a distance in economic class to making the arrangements at the airport. Airline hospitality was the first one to take action on the decisions to be made around pandemic. There are still some other changes that airline hospitality has been facing. Social distancing among the seats and the different ways through which seats can be arranged so that they would be socially distanced as well as occupying the same number of candidates at the same time is a big task. Though many airlines are already following different algorithms to make sure the norms are followed but also to make the passengers seated carefully. The precautions while serving the food in the plane, regular sanitizing napkins given to the passengers are some other practices that are being started in the planes.
However, for all those people who were never happy by the airline hospitality even though airlines promised to give their best to them as possible, such practices are still a question. Luxurious airlines like Etihad airlines and others provide safety cabins for each of the passengers traveling with them, and that should be the practice for each of the airlines right now. But it would also burn a hole into the common man’ s pockets. Some would not be able to afford them while others would not find it reasonable. Soon there would be days when one has to choose between paying the luxury travel tickets or paying the hospital bills.
Wining and Dining
We loved the buffet system, and why not? It used to give us the freedom to choose anything which we want and anything else to reject which is not in the menu served in front of us. But it gives a similar option to all the people available in the venue. You know this practice is not going to be the same post-pandemic. As all the wine tasting events are being canceled in the wake of the pandemic and so are all the restaurants, clubs, and lounges who offered these kinds of hospitality to their beloved guests. But is the buffet system closed for the future? Or do you think it would return by all means given many people prefer these kinds of practices more as compared to waiting at the tables?
We are still not sure what practices are being followed by such kinds of hospitality businesses but ideas are always welcome. What do you think they should do? Would you like to dine at aaa venue where the buffet is served? Let me know in the comments for the same. Also, let me know what other hospitality sections that are going to see a big change in their regular work post-pandemic.