By Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine (www.kalkine.co.uk)
UK hospitality has been facing challenging times for the past 18 months now.With Covid-19 restrictions in place, the hospitality sector suffered badly hit.Things start- ed changing drastically after the complete removal of restrictions, but there is another challenge, the shortage of staff and staff isolation, which led to the staff being increasingly exposed to a long time away from homes.
Confusion over foreign travel resulted in a boom in domestic travel, with travellers pouring, making the staff reach their tipping point.With the booking from domestic tourists bumping up by roughly 300 per cent, the hospitality sector has struggled to meet demand.
But with more people pouring in, there has been an increasing number of cases of staff abuse by holidaymakers.The UK has some of the most diverse hospitality facili- ties and nightclubs and is often considered one of the best throughout the world. After a year of the pandemic that saw the sales drop, the last thing the industry cannot afford is the unhappy staff serving the customers.
Both hotel staff & customers critical
In the present situation, the hotels and restaurants must manage their staff well both physically as well as emotionally.They need to keep the checks and balances in place in their hotels to ensure that not only do they gain business, but at the same time, no holidaymaker misbehaves with the staff.
Also, with new vaccine passports set to be implemented from the end of September, the customer’s patience could well be a little shaky. Nightclub goers would require a vaccine passport from the end of September, which has been confirmed by the official spokesman of the Prime Minister recently.
The customers would expect a quick and faster delivery process after standing in a queue to gain entry to the bar.The industry needs to gear up with such challenges and need to constantly conduct mock tests to ensure that the staff are up for them. At the same time, regular training sessions are required to be given to the staff to ensure that they know how to deal with such an odd situation.
Besides, they can also hold team bonding sessions, considering there will be an increasing number of hours that the staff is away from their homes.The team bond- ing session often cheers up the mood of the staff. Mental health has become a critical aspect, and it’s essential to realise that post the pandemic, there is an increase in impetus that one lays on an individual’s mental health.
Maintaining hygiene would be critical.
One thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought us is the sense of better hygiene.With most of the joints operating under the new standard rules, one of the critical aspects that one tends to forget is that many of them are now more aware of hygiene.The Covid-19 has highlighted the sense of hygiene in public places. Most customers prefer to visit the place frequently if the hygiene protocols are in place, which has been more evident today than earlier.
While the government has been quite prompt about the mask protocols, the hospitality industry, on their part too should take care of it to ensure that the joint does not face any legal issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic violations.