Faiz Alam Ansari, Complex General Manager, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center shares his views on hotels offering home delivery of food during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Why did you decide to offer this service in the midst of the lockdown period?
This service took shape for a number of reasons. We wanted to reach out to people who are not able to venture out for food or fresh supplies, people who don’t have help at home or who feel cooking is not their forte and is a cumbersome task. We have a huge residential community in and around who might be in need of such services where they can rely upon hygienically cooked and delivered food. This would be a great service to all those in need and in process is good for business continuity as well.
What has been the response from customers?
We have customers expressing interest in the various options we have. We have kick started the offering and are receiving orders as well. Currently we are focusing on the operational hygiene and the delivery method which seems to be the primary concern for all our customers.
What kind of clients are you catering to?
We are catering to the residential communities, families and bachelors alike, who are located in and around the premises.
Has the supply chain been impacted? Are you finding it a challenge to get fresh ingredients, certain items etc.
We are very fortunate that we are identified as essential services. This helps us receive our supplies like usual.
What about on-ground labour? Has that been impacted as well?
The hotel has a full-time work force and we are able to run operations with minimal staffing. Our restricted number of associates stay at the premise and are completely safe, secure and contained. This ensures the safety of our staff and guests, since their well-being is the most critical factor.
What other services are you offering other than home delivery of food?
We also have laundry services at dispense. We pick up and deliver laundry and cater to the same group of people.
Do you see this being able to sustain the slump caused by the pandemic? How does the hospitality sector plan to revive, once the lockdown eases?
Business continuity in any form is a refreshing change at this time. Moreover, there are many variables which will decide the reviving plan of a whole industry. The primary being the extent of the citywide level of the outbreak. In due time, once the pandemic ceases to exist, businesses will revive and return to normal, with stress on hygiene and social distancing being the new norm.