Preparing hospitality for 2021

The inventiveness of the hospitality industry has been on show this year as businesses large and small have scrambled to adapt to the new world. As a productivity expert, here are some of the important things I think should help prepare us for 2021, says Simon Hedaux, Founder and CEO of ReThink Productivity.


Guests want to feel that they are safe. I’ve been reassured staying in hotels that publicise their COVID specific cleaning guidelines and I have also resorted to cleaning a kitchen myself, when staying in an apartment, with fingerprints over the units. My belief was visible prints means possible virus.

Efficiency minded venues have turned to new technologies to take on the extra cleaning. For example, some hotels are testing robot vacuum cleaners and back of house areas can use robot floor scrubbers. Application of a nano technology film to surfaces offers high cleaning standards, quicker cleaning times and fewer chemicals too. Cleaning is a significant cost, so developments that speed up housekeeping and cleaning are worth considering.

Be flexible

I’m more likely to stay at hotels that have been understanding when I needed to change my plans. When the UK lockdown prevented my planned trips, one hotel group allowed me a full refund for my COVID cancellation. A second booking with a different hotel group returned only half of my booking cost. Guess which hotel I will choose when I next need a hotel room in London? Customer loyalty has always mattered in hospitality and I believe it always will.

Match resources to workload

When cashflow is tight and the operation is changing, it’s the perfect time to look at your salary spend and team rotas. The best approach is to use a workload driven model that uses inputs like the number of rooms or tables occupied and work-study standards to plan the hours needed on each shift. Workforce management solutions offering colleague engagement modules proved an added benefit, providing businesses a two-way communication route with their teams.

Adversity also brings opportunity. Use the enforced downtime to get decorating and maintenance jobs done without losing capacity at busier times. Look to revive food and event revenues by using outside areas for drive-in or socially distanced open air and tented events. There is a pent-up demand for the new horizons that travel brings and the small treat that is eating out. Manage your business carefully now and get ready for the better times that will surely come.

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