Being part of the hospitality industry is indeed very challenging right now, we can't deny it. Last minute cancellations, endless refund requests, travel bans and other unprecedented circumstances that we have to face and manage at this time. Although some properties in the country have already closed to wait for this storm to be over, all the Canbe Group properties remain open in order to keep providing our services to our long term guests and new ones who are coming to spend the quarantine at our places. Of course, our number one concern is, more than ever, to keep our staff and guests safe and, therefore, we've implemented new procedures in order to follow the WHO and government advices; and help to avoid the spreading of the virus in the best way. Below we've put together all the prevention measures we are taking at our properties and that you can apply in your work place as well: have a look and let us know if you think of any additional action we could take!
1) Making our staff conscious
In light of the news regarding the Coronavirus spread in Ireland, as soon as we got the first cases in the country we called out a staff meeting - dividing the team into small groups in order to avoid many people sharing the same space at the same time. Doing so is a way of making everybody conscious about the situation and also making sure they know all the measures that must be taken now - and the importance of cooperating. Between our staff members, these are the rules applied:
- Storage spaces: only 1 staff member at a time is allowed per room;
- 2 meters distance is required at all time, no matter what! - We do love hugging, kissing and touching each other but remember: elbow bumps are the new handshakes!;
- In case of any symptoms, instructions are: don't come to work and call our management team straight away;
- When handing over shifts, make sure to disinfect everything: both the receptionist leaving and the one arriving;
- Using gloves all the time is required;
- Non essential materials removal: get rid of maps, brochures and any other object that can become a virus contamination surface;
- Make sure guests are following the new safety procedures.
2) Following that, a note to our guests
An email was sent to all our in house and upcoming guests informing them about the new procedures which must be strictly followed until further notice. If you want to rest assured that everyone staying with you is aware of the measures and is doing their best to fight the virus, this is a very important step to take, since information is more than important in our current situation. Even doing so, it's important to keep an eye and warn people who fails to follow any of the actions: we are talking about the world's health so following all the official advices is essential. Since we have different types of properties, from hostels to luxury apartments/suites, the measures can vary a bit but the logic behind all of them is the same: avoid any social interaction and practice high hygiene standards. Our prevention plan includes:
- Reception: only 1 person at a time is allowed to come in and, of course, always keeping at least 2 meters distance. Also, we asked the guests to email or call us with their requests instead of coming to reception if it's not extremely necessary to do so;
- No gatherings: Encouraging interactions is what we like to do the most as a hostel, right? Not at the moment. After all, desperate times, desperate measures. We are restricting the number of guests in our amenities in order to be able to keep the required social distance;
- Room cleansing: guests are asked to leave their rooms so that our housekeeper can go into it and do the daily cleaning;
- Guest's visitors are not allowed to enter the properties at the moment;
- 2 meters distance is required at all time, no matter what!;
- Contactless payment is preferable to reduce the risk of infection through cash manipulation;
- Guests are requested to notify our front desk team in case they have any symptoms so that we can take the necessary actions;
- Last but not least: cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Our HK is working more than ever to keep everything clean all the time and our receptionists are rocking the cleanliness as well!
3) Sticking reminders around!
In order to try to make our prevention plan more effective, we've distributed signs on the entrance of the toilets and in the common areas reminding people of the basic points:
- Effective hand-washing;
- Sneezing and coughing into your sleeve;
- Avoiding contact with surfaces!
4) Being flexible is highly appreciate
We were ready for Paddy's week: non refundable policy had been applied to all bookings so that we would avoid any revenue issues regarding last minute cancellations. This summed up to high occupancy: nothing could hold us back! Right!? -"No.", said Corona!
We understand that affording refunds to everyone is complicated and can lead you to bankrupt so what to do? Finding a half-way is the best option. At this point, there is no good scenario when it comes to revenue, instead there is a least worst one: and so far, vouchers are the best solution to the present moment. Analise the options, limit the booking window the vouchers are valid to and give your guest the option to come and stay with you in another date - don't forget to state all the terms and conditions under which the vouchers are valid.
5) Offering special weekly rate
We are still open but with restrictions, right? Yes! We can only offer accommodation services in strictly necessary cases. So, due to this, for local people and travellers who got stuck here and can't go back to their countries and are looking for a place at the moment, we are offering special weekly rates for our apartments located in different areas around the city: Five Lamps Suites (Dublin 01), Pearse Street Suites (Dublin 02) and Broc House Suites (Dublin 04). Contact us here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the deal!
After all this been said, we wish you all the best of luck to go through this hard time!
See you soon,
Gabi Hasselmann to Canbe Blog!