Interview Transcript

What about the impact on food and beverage operations, in hotels, post-Covid?

That will be, I think, a new way of operating the restaurants and food and beverage. First of all, because there is the distancing so, of course, there will be less occupancy of the restaurants, less seats in the restaurants. But also, in terms of hygiene. If you already have good procedures for hygiene, in food and beverage, then you won’t worry. You will just put the new procedures in place and you can carry on. Digitalization will be the key, I think. We won’t be handing out menus like we did before. Now there is so much technology that we can use it for that. There will be training for the team, just to ensure they are comfortable and making sure that they are aware of all the new procedures for food and beverage, for distancing, for payment, which will also change. Maybe cash will no longer be used. There are countries, such as Sweden, where cash is no longer used and you only pay with cards. There are now the contactless cards, so that will also help.

Also serving the food, as well, I assume?

Yes; serving the food. In the meantime, as I mentioned before, there are precautions and behavior changes that should be taken before. As much as the customer behavior should change, by washing their hands and keeping their distance, the staff will also be doing the same and have all the tools to be able to do so.

You think that we are going to have a reduced occupancy or covers in the restaurant, in hotels, to maintain that social distancing?

Yes; and as far as I can hear, when I talk to my colleagues from the food and beverage industry, across Europe, that will be the case, because of the distancing approach that we have to put in place in the restaurants. Independent restaurants are thinking about having glass between seats. Would that be feasible? All the options are open and, of course, we talk a lot about our solutions to not decrease the number of seats. But for now, to deal with the distancing, yes.

How are you thinking about making up that shortfall in revenue, from the reduction in covers?

I think the takeaway options could be very good. Many hotels are already doing takeaway now, with the restaurants closed. Takeaway or delivery options will be a good portion, especially for the locals. For the hotel guests, they can also have room service and, therefore, that’s the portion that could cover the missing revenue.

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