How COVID-19 is altering brand standards


Source: Hotel News Now
By A.J. Singh (Opinion)

July 8, 2020

A seminal paper published in 1943 by Abraham Maslow, an American Psychologist, established a theory of human motivation based on a hierarchical classification of five human needs, which drive human behavior.

As a human enterprise, major hotel companies have understood these physiological and psychological drivers in establishing brand standards, related to their facilities, amenities, service standards, guest experiences, socialization platforms, loyalty programs and design elements. In keeping with Maslow’s hierarchical paradigm, the companies understand that guests are looking for hotels to take care of their basic needs (base of the pyramid) before they will pursue higher level needs.

4) Operational practices and implementation

While all hotel companies have established quality, benchmark-based programs, the operational practices and implementation of these programs are difficult to determine. However, a review of the programs did provide confidence that some of the companies were thinking about implementation, such as those who assigned an extra level of supervision or inspection, required employees to undergo training, or identified a key position within the hotel to oversee the program, such as a “Hygiene Manager” or a group of “Cleanliness Champions.” In addition, some companies indicated that they engaged companies specializing in sanitation, bio-risk and infectious diseases to accredit their programs. Furthermore, several third-party management companies supplemented brand and industry association initiatives with their own proprietary safety and cleanliness operational practices. As the hotel industry is heavily skewed towards a franchise model with individual owners operating their hotels based on specified brand standards, it was not clear from a review of these programs whether the franchise companies merely provided guidelines and recommendations or enforced the operational practices. Given the sensitivity of the current environment and cash flow issues, it is suspected that the brands will encourage the franchisees to implement these programs and provide support where needed. Major industry associations, such as AHLA, AAHOA, NABHOOD and LHA, have endorsed these protocols. It is expected they will serve as influencers for the hotel ownership community.

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