PHOENIX—Best Western Hotels & Resorts (BWHR) has introduced We Care Clean, an enhanced cleaning program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This builds on the company’s I Care Clean program, which launched in 2012. The program was developed through a partnership with IDEO, and required its hotels to focus on guest high-touch items and areas with standards such as usage of ultraviolet sterilization wands and TV remotes that can be disinfected.
At the onslaught of the global COVID-19 pandemic, BWHR immediately rolled out enhanced cleaning protocols and breakfast standards. Recognizing that travelers are now more concerned than ever about cleanliness, BWHR is launching this new program, which ensures an even higher level of cleaning standards and operational best practices at its properties.
Based upon guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Health Canada, We Care Clean addresses everything from guestroom and common area cleanliness, to streamlined processes that minimize contact between guests and associates, while maintaining customer service. The program will be updated regularly based upon the latest standards and recommendations by governmental agencies and industry groups.
“The We Care Clean program is the latest example of our commitment to our guests and associates,” said David Kong, president/CEO, BWHR. “We have always been an industry leader in our reputation for providing clean, well-maintained accommodations for travelers and we recognize that hygiene and cleanliness have never been more important. With the We Care Clean program, we are proud to provide a safe and clean home away from home for our guests when the time comes to travel again.”
The We Care Clean program expands upon the I Care Clean standards and the enhanced cleaning protocol already in place, and includes the implementation of measures to improve safety—such as the installation of social-distancing floor decals and front desk partitions—as well as the enforcement of heightened and comprehensive cleanliness standards on an ongoing basis across five key areas:
Front Desk and Lobby
- New protocols will minimize guest contact with personnel through a streamlined check-in and checkout process such as the use of Best Western’s Mobile Concierge platform.
- Social distancing measures will be implemented, wellness best practices signs will be prominently posted, and all lobby brochures, magazines and papers will be removed.
- Enhanced sanitization procedures will be in place at the front desk, in the lobby and across guest touchpoints throughout the hotel with disinfecting taking place regularly.
- Sanitizing stations or wipes will be available throughout hotels.
Guestroom and Housekeeping
- Unnecessary items will be removed from guestrooms, such as decorative pillows, bed scarves, paper notepads and pens.
- Housekeeping offerings will be modified for stay-over guests, including the elimination of a full cleaning service unless specifically requested by guests.
- Enhanced and thorough cleaning protocols will be implemented in guestrooms. Guestrooms will not be entered for 24 to 72 hours after checkout, at which time the room, linens and all touchpoints—for example, faucets, door handles, light switches, thermostats, clocks and hangers—will be cleaned with chemicals aimed at killing COVID-19.
Temporary Breakfast Offerings
While recognizing the importance of a quality breakfast, offerings have been adapted to prioritize the health and safety of guests, including the following:
- Breakfast offerings that comply with local regulations, with breakfast rooms closed where required to avoid unnecessary guest congregation.
- Enhanced ‘Grab & Go’ offerings will be implemented in most hotels providing guests with pre-packaged food and beverage options.
- Hotels may opt to provide a “served” or pre-plated breakfast to minimize guest contact with food, beverages and surfaces, and cross contamination.
- When allowed to open, public amenities such as fitness centers, swimming pools and meeting rooms will be cleaned on closely monitored schedules with disinfecting chemicals. Each evening, these areas may also be sanitized with the use of electrostatic fogging, ozone generators or ultraviolet devices.
- Hand sanitizer or wipes will be provided for guests and employees in all public areas.
Hotel Employees and Staff Requirements
- Hotel employees will follow strict guidelines, including utilizing personal protective equipment and frequent and stringent hand-washing protocols; housekeepers/laundry staff will wear both gloves and a mask.
- Employee workstations will be cleaned and disinfected after every shift.
- Employees will be empowered to stay home if unwell, communicate their potential exposure to COVID-19 with management, and will be fully educated on how to maintain a safe and clean home.
“We Care Clean elevates our existing cleaning practices and protocols to a new level,” said Ron Pohl, SVP/COO, BWHR. “Protecting guests and employees is our highest priority, and today that is most often achieved through a tremendous focus on cleaning practices. Travelers can rest easy knowing that We Care Clean is the new standard for hotel cleanliness. We are putting the safety and well-being of guests and employees first.”