As the world becomes more and more focused on health, it becomes more evident that public hospitality spaces, like hotels and restaurants, need to meet the demand to ensure guest confidence.
Typical Cleaning Procedures
Pre-pandemic cleaning and disinfecting procedures in shared hospitality spaces are no longer enough to alleviate customer concerns for their safety and the safety of their families and friends.
The days are long, and the closing tasks at the end of the day may get tedious, but they become even more important now. An increased commitment to everyday disinfection routines in a business can make all the difference for your patrons’ and employees’ health and safety.
New Disinfection Methods
Since the beginning of the pandemic back in 2020, the CDC has come out with stricter regulations around how public buildings need to be cleaned to meet expectations. They have also begun to emphasize the difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting”.
- Cleaning: Removes contaminants and debris from surfaces.
- Disinfecting: Kills microorganisms including germs and viruses.
This distinction became important to let businesses know when each method was appropriate. If COVID-19 was suspected to be in an area, cleaning would not be enough. An EPA-approved disinfectant would be necessary to remove the contaminant.
How to Move Forward
The CDC outlines a simple 2-step plan to help with the spread of disease. Here are the steps they define:
- Develop a plan of action.
- Implement your plan to clean high-touch surfaces while maintaining safety protocols.
While you’re developing a plan to clean your restaurant, hotel, store, or other hospitality space, think of the things your guest use most often.
If you own or work in a restaurant, you will want to make sure that high-touch surfaces are not only disinfected frequently but that dishes are washed appropriately to remove potentially harmful microorganisms. In a setting where patrons come to enjoy meals prepared for them, cleanliness has always been a top priority. Nowadays, your guests may be more inclined to eat at home (or in another restaurant) if they suspect proper cleaning and disinfecting guidelines aren’t being followed.
Make sure to:
- let your guests know about your commitment to their safety.
- use the proper water temperature and washing procedures to properly sanitize your dishes, cooking utensils, silverware, cups, etc.
- wash any cloth napkins and other laundry items properly to ensure patron safety while having staff wear protective equipment to protect them as well.
- disinfect registers, menus, door handles, tables, chairs, and any other high-touch surfaces.
Remember, these safety protocols are not only to protect your guests but you and your staff as well.
When someone comes to stay at a hotel, they expect a clean space to rest for the duration of their stay. Because shared hospitality spaces have high guest turnover and see a revolving door of people, cleaning and disinfecting need to become a daily routine instead of a reaction to a crisis.
See how the Hilton has established stronger cleaning protocols for guests since the pandemic.
Along with your regular cleaning, laundering, and disinfecting protocols administered by cleaning staff, consider other avenues to ensure guest safety without the need for extra manpower. New technologies have emerged to make disinfecting easier. These may include:
- Ultrasonic waves
- UV light
- LED light
- Electrostatic spraying
- Fogging & fumigation
The CDC does not recommend spraying and fogging/fumigation as a safe method of disinfection due to higher risk factors. On the other hand, the use of light to disinfect is still being tested for full effectiveness against COVID-19 and other viruses. However, many companies are turning to UV light to disinfect their hospitality spaces because it reduces the hassle of manual disinfecting, is environmentally friendly, and can be run continuously to disinfect a space.
The importance of disinfecting high-touch surfaces in public hospitality spaces is the same no matter the venue. Your guests expect a certain level of safety and so do your employees. Make sure to create your own plan that can be easily absorbed into daily cleaning procedures for your employees. You should also look deeper into recommended disinfection for your specific industry.
Overall, cleaning is no longer enough. Businesses in the hospitality industry need to make an increased effort to clean and disinfect spaces for both guests and employees. This will increase guest confidence and help you and your employees stay safer as well. Start creating and implementing the correct cleaning procedures now and you’ll start seeing positive results.