In a recent interview, the ex-Indian Navy man talks about his way of tackling the virus at The Claridges Hotel, while maintaining high occupancy rate.
Covid-19 has disrupted almost every business across the world. While the hospitality sector is one of the worst-hit, Suresh Nanda, Chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels, speaks on how he is being able to touch a high occupancy rate of 80 percent amidst such a difficult time.
Achieving 80 percent occupancy levels amid the pandemic
“At the Claridges, my instructions are, keep it clean, have a method of checking every one of our employees on a daily basis that nobody develops any symptoms of cold or fever and have regular Covid tests done. If anybody shows any indication, we say that he or she should go home, relax, and only come back when you are well and better again. We also provide medical treatments so that our staff do recover,” he says.
He also said that the guests “have appreciated that of all the hotels they have visited probably ours is the most hygienic and disinfected hotel. That is why our occupancy level is very high, last week we had an occupancy level of 80 percent. The next in the city would be 30 percent. That shows the confidence level that what we are doing is what the customers want and we are achieving results.”
People are afraid to travel, only a few are exploring
“We are not seeing a jump in occupancy levels, people are afraid to travel. Even sitting in an aircraft you are never sure if anyone person in the aircraft is infected. You are in a confined space for a few hours. Travel is reduced and people in the same city don’t go to stay in hotels, they may go out and have meals but they don’t go and occupy the rooms, says Suresh Nanda.
“That is why for us it’s a huge satisfaction that we are getting something like 80 percent occupancy on certain days. And that is because more and more people in our own city are saying that let us go to The Claridges for an experience for a few days,” he added.
Restaurants, food, and the staff, all combined makes the Claridges achieving the feast
He says, “We have some of the most iconic restaurants in the city like the Dhaba, the Pickwicks, Sevilla – the Mediterranean restaurant that people consider as the most romantic and has the best Mediterranean food in the country.”
“The comfort level and, the hygiene have helped and combined with the welcoming nature of our staff, guests feel welcomed when they come. Our staff has been trained to know their first names, welcome them and surprise them by knowing when they were last here and say that they haven’t seen them since so many months. The guests wonder how do they know! It is the modern technology that helps and we do go to this extra bit to learn about our repeat customers so that when they come, they feel special,” says Suresh Nanda.