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The order of the day: New hygiene standards in the hotel

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Gradually the hotels are opening their doors again – following new rules. While in the past shaking hands, mini-bar and a well-filled breakfast buffet were a sign of appreciation for the guest, in the days of Covid-19, this has now changed. But how will hotels deal with the new challenges in the future?

The experts must get to work

Hilton Hotels shows how professionally a hygiene concept can be developed. Together with the Mayo Clinic and RB, a manufacturer of disinfectants, they have put together a package of measures that gives both guests and employees a high level of safety. CleanStay, as the program will be called in North America, includes rooms, restaurants, fitness and other public areas. And is subject to strict rules.

The Golden Hilton Rules

CleanStay Seal: The sign by which the guest can recognize that no one has been in the room since the last cleaning.

Hygiene points: Areas that are frequently touched by guests require special cleaning. Such as light switches, door handles, TV remote controls and heating thermostats.

No paper: Pens, writing paper, guest information in the rooms will only be handed out to the guest on request or replaced immediately by digital media.

Fitness centre: Rooms are closed for disinfection several times a day and only a limited number of guests are allowed to enter.

Cleaning intervals: Public areas are cleaned much more frequently.

Disinfection: Disinfection wipes are available, especially in the entrance and in areas that are particularly heavily frequented. For example, to clean the buttons in the elevator.

Check-in and check-out: Contactless check-in, contactless opening of the room door and check-out with the smartphone via the Hilton app.

Innovative disinfection technologies: Electrostatic spray and ultraviolet light are used to clean surfaces and objects.

The anti-corona hotel

The first anti-corona hotel, which is expected to open in Berlin in June 2020, is taking a similar approach. Originally planned as a normal apartment complex, the hotel is now adapting to the changed conditions. In the entrance area, the guest already notices that the clocks tick differently – because there is a disinfection shower with an aerosol mixture as a welcome, an automatic machine dresses the shoes in overcoats and an automatic fever scan checks the guest’s state of health. Similar to Hilton, the concept extends into the rooms: contactless taps and toilet flushes, disinfectant dispensers and waterproof, washable mattress covers. In general, the hygiene standards of German hospitals should apply here. It will take a while before tourists can move through the hotels without any pressure. Until then, the focus will be on business travellers, who will then be able to use their rooms as home offices. But well thought-out hygiene concepts go one step further and include the kitchen. Even if for many guests the room is more important than the hotel kitchen, breakfast, snacks and small meals are sales generators and should be given corresponding attention in the hygiene concept.

New kitchen standards

The greatest possible distance between personnel, suitable masks and disposable gloves are then just as much a part of the basic equipment as hygienic work clothing and close cleaning intervals for workwear. The working materials should also be cleaned more frequently with hot water. And at Rational, the specialist for thermal food preparation, they have found that a cotton nose-mouth protector can be disinfected very easily in their combi-steamers. The effort involved can therefore be quite manageable. In addition to hygiene in the kitchen work area, however, it is still just as important to pay attention to the hygiene of the food itself. Intelligent cooking systems that store HACCP data, clean themselves automatically and deliver hygienically perfect food have already proven themselves in the past. Rational has gone one step further and, in addition to the intelligent cooking system, also offers a digital hygiene management system that takes into account the entire flow of goods in the kitchen.

Digital hygiene management

Digital solutions, such as ConnectedCooking, offer free services such as automatic HACCP documentation of all cooked food, where data is collected, displayed and stored. It is also possible to manage user profiles to prevent improper operation of the cooking system. However, since the kitchen is not only about cooking, but also about merchandise management, refrigeration and washing up, third-party providers should also be integrated into a network.

Connected Cooking Hygene in Hotel kitchen CoVid19

Usage of Connected Cooking on a Laptop in hotel kitchen | Image: Sapori & Vino

Hygiene for commercial kitchens

For example, with the paid upgrade to ConnectedCooking Pro, additional areas of a hotel can be integrated and individual adjustments can be made.  Above all, businesses with several branches or individual operations with more than 1,000 meals per day can benefit from this concept, if temperature sensors are used to document the temperature values of the individual foods from goods receipt to the guest. Checklists and checkpoints with work instructions, corrective measures and push notifications ensure a smooth process. And for control and documentation purposes, the data is automatically recorded, analysed and clearly displayed as a download or in the dashboard. So there seems to be no lack of supporting measures for a successful restart.

And that’s a good thing, because one thing is clear: In the future, guests will have higher demands on hygiene and will take a critical look at the hotel’s measures. But it is also clear that hotels will not be left alone with the new challenges.

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