Hospitality success stories to inspire your reopening
Businesses across all sectors have been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, but none more than those in the hospitality industry. Hotels and resorts depend on physical customers, so they can’t pivot to online sales and remote working like other industries. Add to that the lack of certainty about how hotels can operate in a post-COVID-19 world and it’s no wonder hospitality business owners are concerned.
That being said, there are examples of hotels and resorts making the best of a bad situation. By finding ways to give back to the community under lockdown or altering their business practices to be safe and hygienic, the hospitality industry is doing its best to fight back against coronavirus.
Just because hotels are not able to operate as they would normally, doesn’t mean they can’t still make a difference. Across the country, we’ve seen inspiring examples of small or independently-owned hotels finding ways to support their local citizens in these trying times.
In the waterfront town of St. Michaels, Maryland, one hotel has pulled out all the stops to serve first responders and frontline workers in need. The Inn at Perry Cabin independently offers 150 free meals to first responders and their families every Friday, but also has teamed up with the campaign Feed The Front to deliver regular meals to doctors, nurses and other emergency personnel.
On top of the novel pressure of the coronavirus, some areas of the country are facing the added terror of hurricane season. Luckily, hotels like the Casa Grandview are stepping up to help. Like other hotel owners in West Palm Beach, Florida, Cheryl Grantham has weathered her fair share of hurricanes, so she knows that not everyone lives in a storm-ready home. This season, however, the lockdown has left many Floridians with no alternative, so hotels like the Casa Grandview are opening up their shuttered apartments to those in need of shelter.
Preparing for reopening
As the states open up, more and more non-essential businesses are allowed to resume operation, albeit with a lot more health and safety regulations. However, with the lack of a united federal policy on reopening policy, many hotels are taking it upon themselves to draw up new operational guidelines.
The Seven Oaks Inn, in High Point, North Carolina, is one of many small- and medium-sized hotels signing onto new ways of operating. They are one part of Count On Me NC, a new public health initiative amongst hotel owners and guests to promote best practice when it comes to operating safely and healthily in a post-lockdown North Carolina. The program provides training and guidelines informed by the latest science to make sure businesses can open and—most importantly—stay open.
At the same time, many hotels are living their post-lockdown life already. Hotels are removing items handled by multiple guests like pens and minibar items, and some hotels are investing in sophisticated tech to deep clean rooms. It’s clear that these measures are giving hotel owners reasons to be cheerful. Hospitality recently saw the most significant job rebound of any industry, according to the government’s May jobs report, and major hotel chains are hopeful for a bump in business in June.
However, it’s small and medium-sized hotels that are best placed to sweep the market of returning holidaymakers. Due in no small part to the huge economic impact of the lockdown, post-lockdown travelers are expected to be seeking out the bargains that major chains are struggling to offer. Hopefully this is the break that small businesses need to get the ball rolling again.