From shimmering hotel lobbies to bustling restaurant kitchens, the Horeca (Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés) sector thrives on sparkling surfaces and impeccable hygiene.
But in 2024, the tools of the trade are getting a cutting-edge upgrade. Gone are the days of relying solely on bleach and elbow grease. Hospitality hygiene is undergoing a metamorphosis, embracing innovations that redefine the very meaning of cleanliness and guest experience.
Spotlight on smart cleaning
Imagine sensors embedded in guest rooms monitoring air quality, detecting spills, and even tracking housekeeping patterns. This is the world of smart cleanliness, where hygiene transforms from a reactive chore to a proactive science.
Data gathered by these sensors is analysed to predict cleaning needs, optimise resource allocation, and even personalise housekeeping services, such as a hotel room that greets you with a sanitised surface you requested or a restaurant bathroom alerted on low soap levels before inconvenience strikes.
Automation eases the burden
From autonomous floor-scrubbing robots effortlessly navigating hotel corridors to AI-powered room service assistants, robots are stepping into the hospitality scene. These marvellous machines tackle repetitive tasks, freeing up staff for more personalised guest interactions and experiences.
Sustainability becomes a guest magnet
With environmental consciousness reaching new heights, sustainable cleaning practices are no longer a niche but a necessity. This shift not only benefits the planet but also resonates with guest values, attracting eco-conscious travellers and diners.
Non-toxic, biodegradable green cleaning chemicals derived from plant-based ingredients, water-saving cleaning systems, and energy-efficient equipment are becoming the norm. For instance, a hotel can promote its use of organic cleaners, or a restaurant can highlight its water-saving dishwashing technology, further enriching the guest experience.
Air quality management
Recognising the importance of indoor air quality, hospitality establishments are investing in advanced air filtration systems. Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of ventilation systems are being prioritised to prevent the spread of airborne contaminants.
This helps remove pollutants, allergens, and odours, creating a healthier environment for both employees and customers.
Hospitality hygiene goes high-tech
From touchless check-in kiosks to robotic vacuum cleaners and UV-C light disinfection of public spaces, technology is playing a crucial role in enhancing guest safety. Innovations such as self-sanitising door handles, automatic air purifiers neutralising airborne contaminants, or robot food delivery all help reduce contact risks. These innovations showcase an unwavering commitment to guest wellbeing.
Training redefines upskilling
Technology advancements are nothing without skilled humans to operate them. Hospitality businesses are investing in comprehensive training programs to equip staff with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the changing landscape of hygiene. These include:
- operating smart cleaning robots
- understanding data insights
- implementing sustainable practices
- proper hand hygiene practices
- effective cleaning techniques
- correct usage of personal protective equipment (PPE)
These training initiatives empower staff to become hygiene ambassadors. Imagine a hotel housekeeper not just cleaning rooms but explaining their eco-friendly cleaning practices to curious guests, fostering a more conscious hospitality experience.
Certifications, such as ServSafe and HACCP, are becoming increasingly important to demonstrate a commitment to safety and hygiene.
Establishments are recognising the importance of transparent communication with their customers regarding their cleaning and hygiene protocols. This includes displaying visible signage about cleaning practices, providing hand sanitising stations throughout the premises, and sharing information about the steps taken to ensure a safe environment. Open and honest communication builds trust and reassures customers of their safety.
These cutting-edge trends will see hospitality hygiene move from a behind-the-scenes operation to a visible feature of guest comfort and safety and a value proposition that elevates the guest experience.