Enhanced technology helps to counter virus spread; new multi-pronged platform details increased safety measures for guests and associates.
Marriott International has set up its Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to tackle the realities of the pandemic environment and develop the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms, and behaviours that minimise risk and increase safety measures.
Enhanced technologies such as electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant are used to sanitise surfaces throughout the hotel. Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens.
The company is also testing ultraviolet light technology to sanitise keys for guests and devices shared by associates.
Several additions to their cleanliness regimen include:
- Surface areas. COVID-19 has raised awareness about the importance of high-touch surface cleanliness. Apart from the increased cleaning frequency with hospital-grade disinfectants, Marriott will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
- Guest contact. To alleviate the risk of direct transmission, the hotel company is using signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and removing or re-arranging furniture to allow more space for distancing. Marriott is also evaluating adding partitions at front desks to provide an extra level of precaution. More hand sanitising stations are installed throughout its hotels. In addition, in over 3,200 of Marriott’s hotels, guests can choose to use their phones to check-in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact.
- Food safety. Marriott’s food safety programme includes enhanced sanitation guidelines and training videos for all operational associates. All food handlers and supervisors are trained in safe food preparation and service practices. Marriott’s food and beverage operations are required to conduct self-inspection using the company’s food safety standards as guidelines, and independent audits validate compliance. The company is also modifying its operational practices for in-room dining and designing new approaches to buffets.
For conference and event planners, Marriott has extended the following supplementary measures to facilitate and conduct safe meetings:
- Virtual solutions for event planners who cannot travel to conduct site inspections.
- Masks and hand sanitisers will be made available upon request.
- Seats will be arranged to ensure social distancing requirements are met.
- All meeting spaces, including but not limited to restrooms and elevators, will undergo frequent cleanings and will be thoroughly disinfected.
- Meals will be catered in spaces that are reserved specific for the event to avoid co-mingling with attendees from other events.
- Food will also be arranged to ensure that there will be no cross contamination.
The Council is chaired by Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International. It will benefit from knowledge and input from both in-house and outside experts, including senior leaders from across Marriott disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate well-being.
The Council also includes advisory members Dr Ruth L. Petran, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety & Public Health for Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services; Dr Michael A. Sauri, Infectious Disease Specialist at Adventist Healthcare; Dr Richard Ghiselli, Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University; and Dr Randy Worobo, Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University.