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Before and after COVID

The terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) define the numerical labels of the Gregorian Calendar that is in use in most of the Western World. For hoteliers, we need to adapt this approach to the world of ‘Before COVID’, which ended in 2019, and ‘After COVID’ which is unfurling before our eyes right now in 2022.

The effects of the pandemic were of such significance that making comparisons of AC business to BC results are almost irrelevant. Given that the effects of the coronavirus can be seen as a direct result of the increasing globalization of the world, travel, hotels, restaurants, cruises and airlines have all been disproportionally afflicted. Further, changes in sectors, including retail, offices, housing, medicine, telecommunications, transportation, shipping, technology and others, have also had second-order influences on hospitality.

COVID has created a new order in which hoteliers operate. Here are the key areas in which change has been most noticeable and what you must continue to think about as you pivot operations:

  1. Technology Planning

Before COVID: Tech was something that GMs passed off to their IT manager. No rush, no worried, not important.

After COVID: Tech is vital to all operations and interdepartmental productivity gains. GMs must take a hands-on approach to building a comprehensive tech stack.

  1. Revenue Analysis

Before COVID: It was all about RevPAR, analyzing comp set rates and working on the minutia of these details.

After COVID: A strict heads-in-beds approach cannot deliver a strong topline. Now, smart decisions are based on TRevPAR, optimizing for revenue per guest across all operations.

  1. Team Communications

Before COVID: Communications was in-person and often untracked. Meetings were de rigueur which meant lots of meetings and lost productivity.

After COVID: Use of videoconferencing is fully integrated and accepted as a substitute for direct contact, while electronic documentation of service orders and tasks is mandatory.

  1. Guest Relations

Before COVID: Staff was encouraged to get close to the customer, as outlined by brand standards, SOPs and the time-honored maxim of ‘high touch’ hospitality.

After COVID: Offering contactless options are the key to customer relationships. Indeed, the guest often prefers to deal with the property in this manner.

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