The Quest for Quality

by Egi Gaisie

We had a huge doze of ‘new normal practices’ in our last two posts and we are on the verge of going to a different area to continue our exploration. We began our exploration of new normal practices in hotel engineering and maintenance operations, then moved to security operations. We then climbed down to this huge plateau of hotel housekeeping new normal practices.

With the experiences of hotels since the coronavirus pandemic, we have been hearing ‘along their corridors’, particularly the top hotels, about SAFETY ASSURANCE.

Our chat with the Executive Housekeeper sent me doing what I do best, dig deeper! I have therefore been looking out for and reading about safety assurance programs in hotels.

ALLSAFE; the Accor group of hotels.
Includes Movenpick Hotel, Ghana
COMMITMENT TO CLEAN; includes Marriott, Ghana
WE CARE CLEAN; includes Atlantic Hotel, Takoradi

… and the list goes on.

When I receive this much information and I don’t use any, I feel edgy. Perhaps that is my reason for interrupting our exploration for a pep talk. Hopefully, you will understand where I am leading us to.

‘Quality assurance’ has been drummed into my ears from my early days in the hospitality profession, beginning as a front desk clerk (hotel receptionist) here in Ghana, through my student days, pursuing hospitality management, doing summer jobs in the industry and after graduation, holding permanent job positions. Then when I became a trainer, I found myself drumming ‘quality’ into the ears of others in the industry.

Quality assurance transformed my approach to work…any work; at home, at work, at church and even seeping into hobbies and leisure activities. I remember taking my two sons (not yet in their teens then) out to a restaurant. I drew their attention to something which was not quite right about the food. I told them I was going to ask for the cook who prepared the food (sounds ridiculous to me now); the youngest of the two imagined I would create an embarrassing scene so kept saying, ‘mummy don’t, mummy don’t, mummy don’t. I did ask for the cook, but we had an amicable conversation, discontinuing the intended correction (which may have been petty, according to my boys).

Since then, sometimes I take trips to an imaginary world of hotels. Within this world is ‘GANA’ hotels, where I see all that goes on. In my imagination I have a great influence on their operations, but may not with Ghana hotels.

I purposefully created GANA hotels to reflect the hotel world in Ghana, where the majority, 74% is budget (no star rating), about 5 %, guesthouses, 14%,1-star and 6%, 2-star. This leaves 1% to be shared between 3-star to 5-star hotels.

In July, this blog showcased the efforts of small hotels towards reassuring their guests of their safety. These were within the 2 and 3-star range. The hotels we have been exploring currently are 4-star and 5-star rated. As the world adapts to COVID-19 safety measures, the questions I have been asking are:

  • How can GANA Hotels assure its guests that it is safe?
  • What could be put in place to have GANA hotels hooked into a structured program which can be implemented consistently to ensure safety and to reassure people wanting to patronize them?
  • Should we be talking about raising safety bars when the majority of hotels have not recovered from the coronavirus hard hit?

My contribution to GANA Hotels (STAY SAFETY)

COVID-19 Safety Measures Checklist

Hotel Sanitization & Hygiene

  • Use high-quality disinfectants for hotel sanitization
  • Deep-clean every room upon check-out
  • Sanitize public areas every hour, with special attention to high-risk spots (e.g. counters, door handles)
  • Re-organize lobby areas to create extra safe space for guests
  • Properly and carefully segregate linen and disposable trash

Check-in Safety

  • Mandate body temperature checks for everyone
  • Ensure receptionists and hotel staff is equipped with PPEs at all times
  • Maintain strict social distancing at the front desk
  • Equip front desk and other parts of the hotels with hand sanitizers

Guest-On-Stay Safety

  • Implement strict restriction for outsiders
  • Provide in-room sanitization kits 
  • Post safety infographics and reminders across the hotel and in rooms
  • Impose social distancing via clear signages for everyone to see

Hotel Staff Safety

  • Conduct proper training for COVID19 safety and how to handle an emergency  
  • Ensure staffs stay inside the hotel during and off duty to maintain social distancing and safety. 

Hotel Self-Checks

  • How has the guest experience in the hotel changed?
  • What measures have we taken to ensure an ongoing safety and cleanliness of guest rooms?
  • How can we be sure of the safety and hygiene of the guest rooms?
  • What measures have we taken to ensure safety and hygiene practices in hotel common areas?
  • What measures have we taken to ensure safety and hygiene within hotel facilities?
  • What measures have we taken to ensure ongoing safety and cleanliness of food & beverage venues?
  • Are these measures also being considered in back-of-house areas of food & beverage venues?
  • What measures have we taken to ensure safety and hygiene during meetings and events?

Having released the above from my system, I can confidently lead us towards our next destination for exploration, the HOTEL FRONT OFFICE!

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