COVID-19 Brand Spotlight: Hilton’s Gold Standard for Proactive and Preventive Pandemic Response in the Hospitality Industry


Under normal circumstances, hotels will typically promote their new cuisine and opulent amenity upgrades. The rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus worldwide has led to a shift in priorities for the hospitality industry.

In the age of COVID-19 mitigation, Hilton Hotels redefines the industry standard with its proactive pandemic response plans for hotel cleanliness, hygiene, and safety measures.

As one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, Hilton has successfully tapped its network with partners and suppliers in the industry to provide hospitality and support to communities in need worldwide.

COVID-19 BRAND CAMPAIGNS BY HILTON HOTELS

Hilton’s CleanStay with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic

The global hotel giant partnered with RB, the manufacturers of Lysol, and consulted with the Mayo Clinic to create a new industry-defining standard for hotel cleanliness.

The program, entitled Hilton CleanStay with Lysol, is based on existing cleaning protocols and the responses to daily consumer surveys that Hilton executive team received regarding consumer expectations on hotel safety and cleanliness.

With the same quality brands that consumers trust at home, Hilton’s CleanStay program implements rigorous cleaning protocols and industry-leading hygiene practices to keep their hotel guests safe.

Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection will incorporate RB’s trusted scientific approach to cleaning practices. Experts from the Mayo Clinic’s Infection Prevention and Control team will also advise and aid Hilton Hotels in enhancing hygiene and disinfection protocols. 

Details of the program are still in development. However, several cleaning standards are expected to be announced such as:

·   Hilton CleanStay Room Seal

The room seal will add an enhanced level of assurance on hotel rooms that will convey to Hilton Hotel room guests that their room has not been accessed since it was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

·   10 High-Touch, Deep Clean Areas

This cleaning protocol provides extra disinfection to frequently visited areas inside the hotel room, such as the light switches, door handles, TV remotes, thermostats, etc.

·   De-clutter Paper Amenities

Hilton Hotels will remove the pens, paper, and guest directory inside the hotel room. Instead, they will provide a digital supplement that will be available upon request.

·   Focus on Fitness Centers

Hilton Hotels will implement rigorous guidelines for disinfecting their hotel’s fitness center. They are set to implement strict hours for daily cleaning and disinfection, including limiting the number of guests allowed inside the facility.

·   Guest-Accessible Wipes

Hilton Hotels will provide sanitation stations at primary entrances of their establishment, including key high traffic areas such as a station at the elevators to allow the guests to wipe the elevator button before pressing it.

·   Contactless Check-In

Hilton Hotels will increase the use of its Digital Key technology for selected guests who wish to have a contactless arrival experience. They are also planning to expand their Digital Key capabilities to common doors and access points in the hotels.

·   Disinfection Technologies

Hilton plans to explore new sanitation technologies, like electrostatic sprayers, which use an electrostatically charged disinfecting mist and ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and objects.

Hilton is expected to roll out these protocols across their 18 brands by mid-July worldwide.

They will implement their CleanStay program from check-in to check-out with several safety protocols on the following:

·   Online

Before their check-in at Hilton Hotels, guests will be redirected to the CleanStay landing page to indicate the new cleaning protocols and procedures that will be implemented in the hotel.

·   Lobby

Guests who chose the contactless arrival experience can check-in, go to their hotel room, unlock their door with a Digital Key, and check-out using their mobile devices through Hilton Honors app. For guests who desire the traditional check-in experience, social distancing measures will be implemented to move through the check-in and check-out process more safely.

·   Guest Room

The guest room will be presented with the Hilton CleanStay seal on the door as proof that the room was thoroughly cleaned. Disinfecting wipes will also be provided in every room for the guests.

·   Housekeeping Service

The hotel rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in between guests. Housekeeping services during a guest stay will be based upon the guest’s preference. Additional amenities such as linens and toiletries will be available upon request and delivered in protective packaging at the guest room door.

·   Public Spaces

Hilton Hotels will impose strict cleaning protocols in public areas. Amenities and equipment will be appropriately adjusted to adhere to physical distancing measures. Pool areas will be frequently cleaned throughout the day. Hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes will be available in key high traffic areas.  

·   Food and Beverage

Restaurants at Hilton Hotels will be spaced out to ensure proper physical distancing. Disposable utensils will be available upon request. For breakfast, restaurants will offer grab and go options, pre-plated covered items, a la carte, and assisted services.

·   Meetings and Events

Hilton will launch its EventReady with CleanStay program to set a new standard for meetings and events at Hilton Hotels. The program will deliver cleanliness, flexibility, safe, socially responsible solutions, and creative food and beverage that will adhere to safety standards and sustainable practices. 

KEY TAKEAWAY:

Hilton’s CleanStay program sets a gold standard for the hospitality industry when it comes to implementing stringent disinfecting solutions in their establishments. By using innovative solutions such as digitizing its check-in process and even partnering with established brands like Lysol and the Mayo Clinic, Hilton Hotels elevates their guest’s hotel experience.

This program’s launch also indicates an added level of assurance for guests that when they decide to travel for vacation this year, they can expect high standards of cleanliness from hotels like Hilton. By marketing new disinfectant protocols with the CleanStay program, Hilton Hotels can remain the top-of-mind brand in the hospitality industry for travelers this year, 

Hilton’s Hotels for Heroes with American Express

First responders and healthcare workers are isolating themselves from their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Medical professionals are working under the most challenging circumstances today amidst the pandemic. To acknowledge their valiant sacrifice, Hilton Hotels and American Express are launching its Hotels for Heroes campaign.

Hilton announced that it would donate up to one million hotel rooms to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in need by partnering with American Express to “foot the bill.” Hilton Hotels will offer the rooms “at or below cost” in partnership with individual property owners in the US.

Hilton also partnered with ten professional organizations for medical workers and first responders to help connect individuals in need with rooms across the United States. Hilton and American Express will provide first responders and medical frontliners with a place to rest, recharge, and keep their loved ones safe while in isolation.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

Hotel occupancy since March has reached an unprecedented low due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the hospitality and travel industry has been hit indisputably hard during this time. Despite these events, Hilton is determined to repurpose their unoccupied rooms with acts of kindness for medical workers and first responders.

Frontliners who are working tirelessly will now have a safe place to rest without fear of infecting their loved ones while they are on isolation. Families of the healthcare professionals will surely remember this gracious offer from Hilton Hotels and American Express once travel becomes safe again. 

Hilton UK’s partnership with Open Kitchen

Photo retrieved from: Waste Not Want Not: Hilton Supports Fight Against Food Surplus and Feeds Those in Need (2020). Available at: https://newsroom.hilton.com/corporate/news/hilton-helps-feed-those-in-need-with-food-surplus (Accessed: 10 July 2020).

Hilton Hotels have partnered with social enterprise Open Kitchens in the United Kingdom. The company is opening up its kitchen space to accept deliveries of up to 10 tonnes of surplus food per week. This will support the initiative to provide 50,000 more free meals a month to people in need of food that would previously have to be thrown away.

Open Kitchen previously had no choice to turn down vast quantities of food due to their lack of storage capacity. In response, Hilton has turned its high-capacity hotel kitchens, which usually cater to large-scale conferences and events into regional Kitchen Hubs, accepting surplus food deliveries weekly.

The new Kitchen Hubs will store food before it is delivered to local restaurants for preparation and distribution. The new model will empower Open Kitchens to feed an additional 50,000 people each month, taking its services into communities close to these cities. Previously, a lack of nearby storage space for bulk deliveries had prevented it from operating at scale.

Hilton’s participating Kitchen Hubs are Hilton Birmingham Metropole, Hilton London Metropole, Hilton East Midlands Airport, Hilton Nottingham, and Hampton by Hilton Sheffield. In addition, Hilton London Metropole, its largest hotel in the UK, will be used as a community kitchen. Chefs from Hilton’s London Metropole will prepare up to 1000 meals a week and will be distributed by The Felix Project to help people in need like the homeless, children relying on free school meals, and the elderly.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

Hilton’s partnership with various NGOs in the UK like Open Kitchens and The Felix Project shows their gallant efforts not just in helping the community but also in doing something to tackle food waste.

Supporting such an important cause shows that they are putting people first by doing what they can to help during the pandemic. The partnerships with these institutions serve as a crucial link to convert existing food supply into cooked meals, which so many people desperately need in times of crisis.

Hilton Harrisburg’s Zoom Cooking Lessons

Photo retrieved from Wallis, G. (2020) Cooking Up Success with Virtual Cooking Events | Hotel BusinessHotel Business. Available at: https://www.hotelbusiness.com/cooking-up-success-with-virtual-cooking-events/ (Accessed: 09 July 2020).

Hilton Hotels in Harrisburg is now offering interactive Zoom gourmet cooking lessons. The idea for the event came from discussions at Greenwood Hospitality Group, the hotel’s management company. General Manager Joe Massaro came up with the concept by watching his daughter, a second-grade teacher, use an online platform.

Massaro and Anthony Bianco, the hotel’s executive sous chef, worked with wine company Trinchero Family Estates to craft a program. They reached out to their wine dinner regulars, and within a few hours, the first event was sold out, and they immediately added two more.

Guests who signed up for the cooking lessons can go to Hilton and pick up their basket of ingredients to create the meals. The baskets usually have four or five courses worth of food. Each course is separated in a takeaway box with everything they need to cook, even salt and pepper.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

The cooking program at Hilton Harrisburg is aimed to provide an exceptional dining experience and not just a cooking demonstration. By providing them with the right tools and ingredients down to showcasing the right wine pairing, Hilton aims to provide the social aspect of “dining out” with a bit of educational element even while they are at home.

Hilton’s cooking program in Harrisburg is an ingenious way to promote the hotel’s signature dishes and their chef’s culinary expertise. Even while customers are staying at home, they can taste delectable dishes and recreate their own hotel dining experience. The success of the program clearly shows that the company’s innovative ideas are paying off.

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References:

Hilton, Lysol, and the Mayo Clinic Team Up on New Cleaning Standard for Hotels. (2020). Retrieved 21 July 2020, from https://skift.com/2020/04/27/hilton-lysol-and-the-mayo-clinic-team-up-on-new-cleaning-standard-for-hotels/

Hilton Defining a New Standard of Hotel Cleanliness, Working with RB/Lysol and Mayo Clinic to Elevate Hygiene Practices From Check-In to Check-Out. (2020). Retrieved 21 July 2020, from https://financialpost.com/pmn/press-releases-pmn/business-wire-news-releases-pmn/hilton-defining-a-new-standard-of-hotel-cleanliness-working-with-rb-lysol-and-mayo-clinic-to-elevate-hygiene-practices-from-check-in-to-check-out

Net, H. (2020). Hilton CleanStay Brings New Standard of Cleanliness Worldwide in Time for Summer Travel. Retrieved 20 July 2020, from https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4099144.html

Hilton and American Express Team Up to Donate 1 Million Hotel Rooms to Coronavirus First Responders (Video). (2020). Retrieved 20 July 2020, from https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/hilton-and-american-express-team-up-to-donate-1-million-rooms-to-coronavirus-first-responders

Wallis, G. (2020). Cooking Up Success with Virtual Cooking Events | Hotel Business. Retrieved 14 July 2020, from https://www.hotelbusiness.com/cooking-up-success-with-virtual-cooking-events/Waste Not Want Not: Hilton Supports Fight Against Food Surplus and Feeds Those in Need. (2020). Retrieved 14 July 2020, from https://newsroom.hilton.com/corporate/news/hilton-helps-feed-those-in-need-with-food-surplus



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