Ahead of reopening, Outrigger outlines new protocols

Outrigger hotels, like the Waikiki (Hawaii) Beachcomber by Outrigger, are preparing to reopen. Photo credit: Outrigger

Outrigger Hospitality Group has outlined its elevated standards for cleanliness and safety in preparation for the anticipated reopening of its domestic and international beach resort properties. 

Outrigger’s Clean Commitment guidelines were designed in consultation with healthcare leaders and developed with cleaning supply company Ecolab. It also meets the American Hotel & Lodging Association's "Stay Safe" enhanced industrywide hotel cleaning standards as well as the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association's COVID-19 Health, Safety & Security Standards.

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The global platform incorporates technology, cleaning products and procedures in compliance with the latest COVID-19 codes, regulations and brand standards. The program applies to all areas of Outrigger operations, including host training, social and physical distancing, surface cleaning and disinfecting, general housekeeping, maintenance and overall host and guest health.
 
“While hotels have always employed demanding cleaning standards, this new initiative will ensure greater transparency and confidence throughout the entire hotel experience,” said AHLA president/CEO Chip Rogers. “The industry’s enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols will continue to evolve to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.”

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Sanitation and Disinfection

In caring for the local communities in which Outrigger operates, a list of effective disinfectants from Ecolab has been provided and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Despite a stricter adherence to disinfection and sanitization, Outrigger remains committed to choosing and using products that are deemed safer for the environment.
 
Public spaces and high-traffic areas: The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will increase in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent-contact surfaces, such as check-in counters, elevator buttons and door handles. New technology will be utilized, including electrostatic sprayers for all public area locations and UV wand technology for front-desk sanitizing (keyboards, payment stations, key cards, etc.) and housekeeping areas.

Guestrooms: Cleaning and sanitizing protocols from Ecolab will be used to clean guestrooms and housekeeping will place a strong focus on high-touch areas, such as remote controls, water faucet handles, etc. The front desk will offer the option of housekeeping service at check-in and the guest must be out of the room at the time of service. Pens, notepads magazines and other collateral, aside from roomservice menus, are removed from guestrooms.

Laundry: All bed linen and laundry will continue to be washed per each Outrigger properties’ schedule at a high temperature in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Back of house and shared equipment: The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting will also increase in high-traffic back-of-house areas, including but not limited to host dining rooms, entrances, uniform control rooms, restrooms, loading docks, offices and kitchens. Time-clock locations will also have a CDC-approved hand sanitizer station or wipes for use after each swipe. Shared equipment will be sanitized regularly between shifts and when transferred from one host to another.
 
In the event of a presumptive case of COVID-19, the guest’s room will be removed from service and quarantined. Should there be a confirmed case, the room will undergo an enhanced sanitization by a licensed third-party expert and approved by the local health authority.

Social-Distancing Protocols

Outrigger properties are implementing a policy regarding physical distancing of at least 6 feet, with new measures taken together with hosts and guests that may include, but not be limited to:

Queuing: Any area where guests or hosts may queue will be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing; this includes check-in, check-out, elevator lobbies, food-and-beverage outlets and public areas.

Front desk and concierge: Hosts will utilize every other workstation to ensure separation between hosts and a clear barrier such as Plexiglas will be introduced throughout the property where necessary.

Food-and-beverage outlets: Restaurants and bars will reduce seating capacities to allow for a minimum of 6 feet between each seated group of guests.

Meeting spaces: Meeting and banquet set-up arrangements will allow for physical distancing between guests based on CDC and local health authority recommendations, with new serving requirements for all self-serve buffet-style foodservice areas.

Pools: Pool seating will be configured to allow for at least 6 feet of separation and each Outrigger property will monitor and limit groups to no more than 10 individuals.

Employee Wellbeing 

Outrigger Hospitality Group has put the following measures in place for all hosts to ensure they are safe and prepared to return to work:
 
Host health: All hosts company-wide are required to have their temperature checked before starting their shift.

Host training: Outrigger hosts will be thoroughly trained in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and applicable regulatory standards to respond to and report all presumed cases of COVID-19 on property to appropriate authorities.

Host hygiene and safety: Hosts are expected to wash their hands every 60-minutes, wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment and managers will stagger host arrival times and departures to allow for physical distancing, among other necessary measures.

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