15 Sep Changes to the hotel space as a result of COVID-19
Changes to the hotel space – COVID-19
One hot topic around the hospitality space is the impact of COVID-19 on the lobby space in hotels. There are those that are of the opinion that the lobby is now a redundant space, and there are others that think that it is an important area that must be adapted. Another key conversation is how will COVID-19 impact the role of procurement companies and their efficiency on projects.
The lobby space has a charm to it and it could be what makes or breaks a hotel. It’s the first area that guests experience. It is also where guests meet to plan, drink coffee, wait and get some privacy to name a few examples. It is one of those spaces that brings people together. The pressing question here is how can we bring people together whilst maintaining a safe protocol?
Our procurement team have debated this topic with some of our clients and had some white board sessions that have yielded some interesting opinions:
- More reception desks to speed up the check in
- In room check ins are a must especially for hotels that attract business travellers
- Sourcing materials that are easier to clean and COVID-19 safe
- Extra emphasis and spend on an effective and larger cleaning team
- Budget or Boutique hotels could do with almost a fully operational online check-in with less furniture and a minimal space in the entrance / lobby area
On the topic of procurement, for hotel owners it is fundamental to hire a procurement company that begins the entire process with a well-defined strategy. The factories and suppliers that are invited to bid for FF&E, OS&E and other items must be well versed and adaptable to the market trends. The procurement companies in this day and age should have offices and production experts in key locations where pre-qualified suppliers are stationed. The reason this is so important is to make sure that all goods are monitored with thorough checks before leaving the factory to site. This set-up enables would enable procurement companies to save their clients a substantial amount of money on travel as well as conduct value engineering, variation, critical management without delay.
The lockdown contingency is another factor that must be considered. Teams now must have the versatility to work in all circumstances. The use of technology along with business continuity plans have become essential for procurement teams in order to work effectively in a to remote set-up.
In addition, during a time of total or partial lock down, the ability of a procurement company to react immediately to pull out goods from the country of origin and park them for a period of time in a country that is not yet affected is a must. We believe that especially during these times hotel owners are viewing the procurement process as arguably the most important part of the hotel project cycle.