afaqs! news bureau

OYO introduces ‘Sanitised Stays’ with minimal touch SOPs

The OYO platform will feature a ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag to showcase properties that clear background checks for sanitisation, hygiene and protective equipment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour, especially when it comes to travel and hospitality. Higher hygiene standards, minimal contact service and enhanced credibility top the list of consumer requirements while planning travel post lockdown. OYO is, therefore, taking several measures and initiatives across India. It is also innovating to meet the new standards of quality travel and hospitality experience in circumstances that we now call the ‘new normal’.

These include customer, asset partners and employee-centric initiatives to identify challenges and operate in the hospitality sector, post lockdown. In the first phase, OYO plans to implement these measures in 1,000 hotels within the next 10 days. And, as the lockdown relaxes, it aims to implement the measures in all of its 18,000 hotels (properties) in the country.

Several property-level actions will be taken to ensure the safety of customers as well as OYO employees.

'Sanitised Stays' with minimal touch:

  • Check in and check out: OYO is in the process of revamping guest check in and check out to a minimal touch process. The hotel chain is in the process of acquiring the required approvals for guests to upload their IDs, use a QR code, etc., to complete formalities.

  • Minimal contact service: To ensure social distancing at all customer-facing touchpoints, OYO will introduce minimal contact room service and will train the housekeeping staff on the same.

  • 'Sanitised Stays' tag: All OYO properties listed on the platform will display the level of sanitisation on the bookings page. Hotels will go through regular background audit checks for sanitisation, hygiene and protective equipment. All those properties that have cleared background checks will display the ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag on their bookings page. Furthermore, a guest audit will be conducted on the properties regularly to ensure that feedback, reviews and recommendations are taken into consideration to ensure continuity of the ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag.

  • Training of on-ground teams: The new training module will incorporate SOPs on the changed operating procedures across functions like:

  • Health screening for guests as well as staff.

  • Proper sanitisation of the space frequently with the placement of hand sanitisers at the reception and the (increased) need to wear safety gear at all times.

  • Encourage in-room dining.

  • Distance marker signs painted on floors to highlight the correct physical distance people must maintain in order to social distance correctly.

  • Guests will be requested to handle their own luggage as far as possible (unless the guest is a senior citizen, or has a physical impediment).

  • Policies for dealing with outside suppliers and contractors complying with health advisories and government regulations.

  • Property management to oversee all housekeeping practices.

COVID-19 awareness:

  • COVID-related helpline numbers and awareness material will be displayed at the reception, and all prominent places, along with emergency contact numbers and details of the nearest hospitals.

  • OYO will also continue to communicate regularly, at all stages of customer interaction, on the dos & don'ts via the app, email confirmation, WhatsApp message/SMS confirmation.

  • OYO is also educating asset partners, and creating awareness on post lockdown initiatives via detailed written/visual instructions and emails.

Commenting on OYO’s preparedness post lockdown, Rohit Kapoor, CEO - OYO India and South Asia, said, “Customer behaviour is seeing changes across the hospitality industry, with hygiene, safety standards and minimal touch SOPs to become the norm soon. As a responsible hospitality chain, we at OYO, are working towards welcoming guests, post lockdown, and maintaining health, hygiene and well-being as our topmost priorities for all our stakeholders, including our guests, partners and OYOpreneurs. Given the situation, our teams across the length and breadth of the organisation are innovating new ways to ensure safety and hygiene to welcome all our guests. We would like to specially thank our asset owners, who have joined forces with us to boost 'Sanitised Stays' across properties to welcome our guests.”

Shreerang Godbole, vice president, global operations and customer experience - OYO Hotels and Homes, added, “We are in the process of implementing minimal touch SOPs for services, while focusing on creating awareness through clear and transparent communication, during times like these. We are leveraging our technology toolkit to reach out to our large network of asset partners to conduct training programs and enhance their preparedness. Furthermore, in the next couple of days, we are set to display a ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag for properties that clear background audit checks for sanitisation, hygiene, and protective equipment. We are also in the process of building a crowd-sourced capability to capture consumer feedback. With such proactive preventive measures, we hope to not only provide safe and secure accommodation for every guest when they are ready to travel again, but also offer a stress-free and pleasant atmosphere.”

OYO has also set up a COVID-19 War Room to monitor and take immediate action on cases that require faster resolution and implementation during the crisis. The platform has also enabled ‘Corona Concierge’ to offer assistance to guests, hotel partners and employees across the globe on all COVID-related issues and queries.