Photo used for representational purpose only
CHENNAI: With business and tourism run aground by the coronavirus pandemic, several star hotels in Chennai have started monetizing their expertise in housekeeping, disinfection and sanitisation, gourmet cuisines and laundry service by offering them to companies and residents.
Hotel Green Park, a five-star facility in Vadapalani, is offering housekeeping service for the past one month. Sudip Sengupta, vice president-operations of the hotel, said companies and several corporate head offices in Chennai have started seeking their service for cleaning their premises. “This is the new business vertical we had launched along with tie-up with apartment complexes for offering food deliveries during the lockdown. Since several offices reopening after 50 days with minimal staff do not have the expertise, we offer our service in disinfection and sanitation,” he told TOI. Rates are fixed on per-square-ft basis for housekeeping and sanitation services after inspecting the site, he said. Chennai and its suburbs have about 200 star-category hotels of which 150 come under three-star category and rest four and five-star facilities. None of these hotels are currently active, expect offering rooms to quarantine people entering the city by trains on a fixed daily-rent basis. Curtains are also down on banquet halls used for conferences, corporate events, birthday and wedding parties. However, these hotels have a professional workforce to manage catering, housekeeping and finance. Now, the industry is capitalizing on this workforce to explore new service verticals.
Krishnakumar Menon, general manager, Aloft Chennai, on OMR-IT Expressway said Covid-19 has changed the business dynamics of the hospitality sector. “Now we deliver food to work stations. We are also under discussion to launch ‘Food on Wheels’ on international standards in the city,” he said. Several hotels are exploring the possibility of utilizing their in-house laundry service in arrangement with Residents Welfare Associations of residential complexes,” he added.
Restaurants that account for 10 to 15% of the total income for star hotels have become the significant revenue churners with kitchens being used to prepare takeaways. Venkat Reddy, general manager, Ambassador Pallava, Egmore, said their hotel is offering takeaways to customers who use to frequent their restaurants before the lockdown. “We also home-deliver food within a limited distance depending on the value of the order,” he said.