Navigating through the crisis successfully, the Roseate way

Navigating through the crisis successfully, the Roseate way

An Interview with Kush Kapoor, CEO, Roseate Hotels & Resorts

Q. Since the last nine months, the travel & hospitality industry has been going through its worst phase. Looking back, how would you describe the impact of the pandemic on the travel & hospitality sector?

COVID-19 has affected every sector across the globe, and the hotel industry is among the hardest hit.  The crisis is unprecedented and moving quickly, however, still deeply uncertain.  Strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve such as community lockdowns, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, travel and mobility restrictions have resulted in the temporary closure of many hospitality businesses and significantly decreased the demand for businesses that were allowed to continue to operate. The hospitality sector was amongst the first hit and might be the last to recover.

Q. How has been Roseate’s experience of navigating through these tough times? What was the biggest challenge you faced during those months?

To stay at the top of the situation and sustain, we were constantly on our toes to find innovative ways to weather the storm. Both the properties of the Bird Group that are located in New Delhi, Roseate House as well as our flagship resort The Roseate, are close to the airport and participated in the Vande Bharat Mission’ of bringing back home our countrymen from across the globe. The total number of pax opting to stay in the hotels help us get the numbers. The Roseate was the only five-star resort participating to help.

We have also started food delivery from our restaurants for our patrons who are missing fine dine experience and that also contributes towards the revenue. Roseate Hotels & Resorts in association with Launderette is also offering a hygienic and contactless 24 hours of laundry delivery services. We have also shifted from plastic bottles to glass bottles. There is a 60 per cent saving that further strengthens our commitment to go green.

It is a matter of pride for us that even during this highly contagious pandemic situation, the confidence of our guests in Roseate Hotel and Resorts never wavered, However, our biggest challenge during the period was to continuously supervise and monitor the situation and ensure that we are worthy of the trust our guests have placed on us.

Q. How many hotels have you reopened so far? How has been the initial market response to reopening?

Our all three hotels are operational right now and the response was fairly good when we reopened. People at the moment are quite worked up with the current situations. Working out from home which was earlier thought to be a relaxation has turned into a trap. Opening of hotels has brought in a new way to relax and work. At Roseate we have started a day pass which allows them to check in during the day and check out by the evening. If we talk about the current situations the hotels are doing well.

Q. After reopening, what challenges are hotels facing in running their operations?

While the hospitality industry is slowly recovering, the COVID-19 crisis continues to exert profound impacts on how hospitality businesses operate. Hospitality businesses are expected to make substantial changes to their operations in the COVID-19 business environment in order to ensure employees’ and customers’ health and safety and enhance customers’ willingness to patronize their business.

People have once again started drawing up travel plans to cast away monotony wrought by months of lockdown and work from home. But what has now pipped luxury and comfort – deciding factors in the pre-CIVID-19 era – is safety. People want to be flexible with their travel plans as far as possible to holiday in the safest possible way. Roseate Hotels & Resorts is also not leaving any stone unturned to accommodate guest demands in a bid to comfort them and inspire their confidence during their vacation. Sensing the rising demand for short-haul drivecations and staycations in the city hotels, we have developed flexible packages that can further be customized as per guest needs. Alignment of guest plans with a hotel’s offering is the strategy to drive both guest confidence and enterprise revenue.

Q. What are the new safety measures you have put in place at your hotels?

The hospitality industry has to dramatically change the way it operates and communicates with people. We have introduced ‘Care by Roseate’ which involves stringent procedures in place to ensure no contamination enters via any route. The measures involve thermal screening at entry gates of all passenger vehicles and display of ‘Safe’ status in the Arogya Setu app for staff and guests.  Sanitisers have been kept in all prominent locations within the hotels and resorts. Guest luggage is disinfected from outside upon arrival. To enable seamless, remote check-ins, ‘Touchless Check-ins’ would be facilitated via an app, in which all information would already be pre-registered. After check-out, the same room would be allocated only after 24 hours after they have been thoroughly disinfected. Roseate Hotels and Resorts also follows an alternate room occupancy policy to maintain social distancing. Housekeeping staff wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Delivery and clearance of room service orders are just outside the hotel room entrance. To ensure touchless usage of elevators, a staff member in PPE is present to operate them with not more than three members at a time.

Q. With norms like social distancing into play, how do you see this affecting the guest experience?

Hygiene is amongst the top priority by our guests. Our ‘Care by Roseate’ ensures guest safety which has been well appreciated by our guests. We have tried to make the process seamless by introducing queue-free check-in via Bird Apps. As safety is the most important factor during these times, following all the norms results in increasing guest confidence. We have been trying to ensure the best and transparent practices. Having said that, it should also be noted our service staff wears designer PPE to ensure that the aesthetic factor is also not ignored.

Q. You have announced ‘Never Leave Staycation Packages’ for your Delhi property. What is the idea behind this offer?

The basic ideation behind our ‘Never Leave Staycation’ packages is to provide a break to our Delhi guests from the lockdown monotony which they are facing since March by providing them great offers through which they can unwind while being completely assured of the safety around them. It’s an ideal experience which includes pick up and drop from your home to The Roseate or Roseate House and incorporates a night’s stay inclusive of a lavish breakfast and choice of delicious set menu for lunch or dinner. This also includes WiFi, evening turndown amenities and chocolates curated by chefs and a guaranteed early check-in and late check-out. There is a complimentary upgrade to the next category.

Q. What is your overall strategy to revive your business? What are the segments and markets you are expecting your initial business from?

During the lockdown, our revenues were primarily from food delivery segment. However, now once all the hotels have reopened, we are now looking at traditional revenue drivers like occupancy, social functions etc.

Our long-term strategy is that we are planning to enter into management contracts and also promote standalone outlets of our brands Mithai by Roseate and Roasted By Roseate.

Q. What is your expectation from the government for the Country’s travel & hospitality sector during this difficult time?  

We expect more support from the government. We want travelling interstate norms to be eased. The government should help the industry by providing incentive packages. More campaigns in the line of Prime Minister’s Dekho Apna Desh might help in reviving the sector.

 

 

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