We are no longer new at this… most managers will recognise a need to maintain enhanced and much more obvious cleaning regimes as an ongoing regular procedure.

Accenture recently published the results of a survey  of over 25,000 consumers across 22 countries with more than 50% of consumers confirming that the pandemic caused them to rethink their personal purpose and re-evaluate what’s important to them in life. After an extended period of social distancing, constant handwashing, lockdowns and wearing masks everywhere, consumers are highly attuned to the health and safety of every experience with over 63% of survey responders believing it’s crucial that companies actively promote healthy practices. People everywhere have become safety obsessed. They want to be confident that every business will strive to be part of a health-oriented ecosystem that can overlay their lives. In the survey, a majority of the consumers, would either pay more for or switch to another brand if their health and safety needs were not addressed.

In clubs, while our businesses are slowly starting to return to normal trade many of our regular customers, particularly those that are in the older age brackets, will remain fearful of going to places that contain large numbers of people, even while vaccinated.

New hygiene standards will have to stay in place, no matter what the cost is to sustain them. Customers who have been self-isolating for long periods will have a heightened sensitivity for deep cleaning practices in any area used by strangers and your club or hotel will be judged on their much higher standards and expectations.

Cleaning properties used to be undertaken in venues after the doors had closed for the night, with professional cleaning crews moving in to clean bathrooms, handrails, benchtops and windows, mopping floors and vacuuming carpets. In the current climate, the standard operating procedures for cleaning will need to be obvious, visible and constant, and become part of the “theatre of cleanliness” in order to overcome customers’ fears. Your customers will not know what has been cleaned unless you make a big show of ensuring they see it actively being done.

While the costs of this cleaning will be high there are a few things that will have to change in order to accommodate it:

  • Staffing levels will be higher and more costly as the cleaning process will have to be constant and visible. The old-skool GPU shift will be added back to many rosters
  • Managers will need to re-write job descriptions to include many deep cleaning tasks on a regular shift for staff and ensure there are enough staff on each shift to cover the extra work.
  • Staff will have to accept that cleaning is going to be part of their job in a post coronavirus world. Many tasks that have been done at night by professional cleaners will have to become part of the normal work shift for club and hotel employees
  • Having a staff member on cleaning duties in the gaming room to wipe down machines with antibacterial wipes as customers move from machine to machine and before the customers play will be the greatest advertisement a club or casino can provide that they consider the safety of players the most important part of their service.
  • Is it time to introduce white gloves for staff in the entrance to a club? It would be an unconscious signal to a member of the level of cleanliness the venue maintains and expects.
  • Marketing departments should include new cleanliness standards as part of the new social media marketing campaigns in clubs and hotels for some time to come

The advantage to some of this is that the professional cleaning costs may be able to be reduced to offset some of the additional costs as staff should have the venue spotless at the end of each trading day.

Clubs, hotels and restaurants that don’t adhere to strict cleaning standards in future will pay a financial price for failing to increase visible cleaning protocols. There is no doubt that the scars of the current pandemic will see “unclean” mean the same thing as “unsafe” by a much more attentive public. By making cleaning part of the “show”, and obvious to customers, venues can send a positive message and ensure repeat visits.

 

By Justine Channing – Cream Gaming & Strategy Specialist

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