Article contributed by Prof. (Dr.) S. K. Singh, COO – Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management Haldwani (Nainital)
The Hospitality including the Food Services industry had been a service industry serving you with not only stay and food but with wonderful experience. The team within any of such organization involves workers managing a safe stay for its Guest and preparing and serving high quality food and beverages to customers in hygienic setup.
The Industry Includes:
- Hotels and Resorts
- Home Stays
- Restaurants, Cafes and takeaway food services
- Catering services
- Pubs, tavern and bars
Within the operational workplaces there are areas where workers interact directly with customers, such as valet parking, lobby check in points, reservation desk, bell desk, customer care desk, room service, housekeeping services, restaurant and bar service areas, club service desks and dining halls, health centres, spas and ‘closed’ areas such as restaurant kitchens etc.
Clean, healthy and secure stay has ever been the top most priority for organizations along with it the food safety had been a number one priority for all good food and beverage outlets, no matter the size or scale. In order to keep guests or staff safe when storing, preparing or serving food, clearly defined food safety principles must be upheld onsite and to the highest standards.
Now the hotels in India and Abroad have established health check up as another tier to their security, any guest and staff entering to hotel will now have thermal scanning at all points of entry into hotels. Methods are set in place to sanitise guest luggage coming in. Front Office team members will ensure adequate social distancing between guests and amongst them and contact less check in process have been established. Hotels will now be maintaining a complete travel and medical record in guest history files.
The hotel housekeeping department has ensured that all the public areas are kept clean and disinfected through proper sanitization and stringent room checks are carried out in an effort to ensure maximum levels of hygiene being maintained throughout the hotels. Sanitizer foggers are used to keep rooms thoroughly sanitized and all touch points are sanitized in frequent intervals to keep it safe to touch. Sanitizers are made available throughout the hotels and are also part of essential room kit.
The Hygiene and Quality Control department is going to ensuring safe receiving of raw materials, as well as quality checks of staff, food products and surfaces. Some hospitality and restaurant brands have created a new position of staff the Chief Health/ Hygiene Officer who would be responsible for creating guidelines for hygiene and sanitation practices at a corporate level and monitoring these at unit level.
Hotels and Restaurants have been following the HACCP strict guidelines in the past too and will be strictly monitoring the same during entire hospitality operations, The kitchen staff is trained to prepare safe and hygienic foods along with chef cap, gloves and face mask are now compulsory part of uniform, the food work stations and periodically being sanitized and best possible hygiene standards are being followed during operations. The food will be served to guest in covered dishes at safe temperature with minimum touch of staff, in many areas trolley service will be available till the guest table wherein guest can pick the prepared food by themselves, trained service staff will also be available for service following the very strict and high standards of hygiene and food safety.
The Restaurant Tables, chairs and side stations are being periodically sanitized and disinfected to maintain social distancing the sitting plan in the restaurants are changed and covers are reduced. The cutlery, crockery and glassware being used are being cleaned using high quality commercial grade washing solutions strictly as per health advisory guidelines. The waiting staff involved in clearance will have to wear disposable gloves which will be removed after every clearance and hands being sanitized, they along with other staff will wear the face kit for safety purpose of both guest and self. For guest staying in house the IRD service will be made available with strict safety and hygienic protocol being followed. The restaurant might start having single use disposable menu cards to avoid any infection due to multiple touches. Also we will see restaurants swapping condiment bottles for individually wrapped packets or serve condiments in single-use sauce cups. Take away any ketchup, mustard, or hot sauce bottles and alert your customers that all condiments are available upon request. Also few restaurants are going to switch reusable glasses, plates, and cutlery with single-use alternatives along with single use table placements.
Hospitality and Food Service operations are also planning to get geared up during this time to provide you touch less service from the time its plated and kept in your food trolley. Now as a customer as you sit down on a restaurant table, you will read a card on the table that states ‘Scan this image for access to our digital menu.’ Once you scan the QR code on your mobile phone, you are able to view the full menu, place an order where you can now add a dairy allergy note for the chef, and pay for the meal at the click of a button, all without interacting with a server or touching a physical menu. As soon as you’re done with your food and drink, you just can walk out. Also you can now block a table and meal from your house using the hotel or restaurant app and will be notified with your cover number along with time for service or you can fix your own time, the restaurant and food service industry is ready to serve you the best possible way without any harm to your health and still will provide you a wonderful ambience along with atmosphere to relax and enjoy the food experience better than the past.
Kindly get out of your mind block for the Hospitality and Food Service Industry they care for you more than you care for yourself. Keep reading I will keep you updated with recent practices being adopted in my next post.