BENGALURU: A handshake followed by a business card. Typically the protocol in the hospitality industry, the pandemic has changed this norm. On Monday, when ITC Gardenia, ITC Windsor and WelcomHotel re-opened, even as some others are yet to decide to do so, they did so with caution. Cars with sanitised interiors and separations, markings on the floor of the hotel to enable safe distancing, a separation between front office staff and guest, elevator markings with only two pax permitted, have been put in place.
The position of a Hygiene Manager has gained prominence at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel where he will look into the compliance of health measures. “The layout of the restaurants will include a gap of 1.5 metres between tables. There will be a cap on the number of guests at the restaurant,” says general manager Shibil Malik.
As hotels make elaborate arrangements to win back the confidence of customers, ITC hotels in Bengaluru have launched a new experience called ‘WeAssure’ initiative that includes digital ordering, e-payments, and rooms being allotted after 24 hours between each guest. “We have been working on the new procedures over the last few weeks,” says Amaan Kidwai, general manager, ITC Gardenia. “Whether it’s pens, documents, cash or keycards, anything handled by two people is put into a drop box after which it is sanitised in a UV sanitisation device,” he adds.
Check-in formalities have been changed too. “Documents have to be sent the previous day, which will ensure that only a signature is required during the physical check-in. Once done, we check on the guest over phone,” Kidwai says, adding that room service will now be ‘knock and drop’, where the butler will place the order outside the suite. Directories, menus and price lists are at the click of a QR code. “We’re opening the restaurants in a staggered manner. We’ve reduced the seating capacity from 122 covers by half [at Cubbon Pavilion], and have done away with buffets,” he says.