CHICAGO—First Hospitality today announces its commitment to ongoing enhanced sanitization across its national portfolio of hotels through its Cleanliness First Plan. Developed with Ecolab, a global company dedicated to providing water, hygiene, and energy technology solutions, the Cleanliness First Plan provides hotels with a comprehensive and operationally sustainable guide to maintaining a safe environment for employees and guests as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease.
“Ecolab is a leader in addressing emerging public health issues and has been a trusted partner for many years,” says David Duncan, president and CEO of First Hospitality. “We already employ Ecolab cleaning products at our hotels and naturally sought their expertise when it came time to develop our own comprehensive hygiene program.”
The Cleanliness First Plan expands on the recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) to ensure First Hospitality hotels maintain the highest standards of hygiene. Hotels associated with brand partners, including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott, are required to follow the protocols outlined by the brand in addition to the Cleanliness First Plan, which meets or exceeds brand guidelines.
Core components of the Cleanliness First Plan include:
· Trained Hygiene Specialist: The earliest step in the Cleanliness First Plan is to identify and train a Hygiene Specialist at each First Hospitality hotel to implement and oversee the plan after launch.
· Expert-Guided Cleaning Protocols: The plan includes an Ecolab Cleaning and Disinfecting Guide, which identifies high-touch surfaces at hotels from public spaces to the guest rooms, kitchen, front and back of house that are to be sanitized on a regimented schedule. This extends to all associate workstations and calls for consistent break periods where all work pauses so associates can clean and disinfect their area, wash their hands, and adjust personal protective equipment as necessary.
· Strategic Social Distancing: First Hospitality has updated its operating procedures for guest rooms, public spaces, food service areas, restaurants, and bars to emphasize new social distancing guidelines. Furniture is arranged in these areas to allow for a six-foot radius between guests enjoying the space, and capacity is temporarily reduced at or below state-wide guidelines. Department schedules are also staggered to ensure social distancing is maintained in all breakrooms, locker rooms, and offices.
· Continuing Education: All employees are required to complete CDC- informed trainings covering cleaning procedures and other Cleanliness First practices. The plan also includes continuing education and trainings for employees to maintain safe sanitization practices.
“We’ve been developing and implementing these new hygiene standards and trainings at First Hospitality hotels since March,” says Paul Hitselberger, Chief Operating Officer of First Hospitality. “Our response to COVID-19 has always been to prioritize the health and safety of our employees, guests, and partners first. We’re thankful for their dedication and professionalism through this unprecedented time. They have helped refine these best practices, and we’re confident moving into this next phase.”