A hot topic in hospitality is the impact of COVID-19 on lobby space in hotels. While there are those who believe that the lobby is now a redundant space, there are others who think that it is an important area that must be adapted. Imad Dajani, CEO of FEBC International, shares his observations..
The lobby has a charm to it, and it can be what makes or breaks a hotel; it’s the first area that guests experience: a place to meet, drink coffee or wait. It is one of those spaces that brings people together. The question is how can we bring people together while maintaining a safe protocol?
Our procurement team has debated this topic with some of our clients and had whiteboard sessions that have yielded some interesting suggestions:
• More reception desks to speed up the check-in process
• In-room check-ins are a must, especially for hotels that attract business travelers
• Sourcing materials that are easier to clean and COVID-19 safe
• Greater emphasis on and higher budget allocation for an effective and larger cleaning team
• Budget hotels and boutique properties could introduce a fully operational online check-in and have less furniture and minimal entrance/lobby space.
With regards to procurement, it is essential for hotel owners to hire a procurement company that begins the entire process with a well-defined strategy. The factories and suppliers that are invited to bid for FF&E, OS&E and other items must be well versed and adaptable to the market trends.
Procurement companies today should have offices and production experts in key locations where pre-qualified suppliers are stationed. The reason this is so important is to ensure that all goods are monitored thoroughly before leaving the factory and being sent to site. This set-up enables procurement companies to save their clients a substantial amount of money on travel as well as conduct value engineering, variation