PHOENIX — Best Western Hotels & Resorts (BWHR) this week launched its We Care Clean program—an expansion of the I Care Clean program that the company rolled out in 2012—to ensure a higher level of cleaning standards and operational best practices at its properties. Based on 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.
BWHR is the latest hotel brand to launch a new cleaning program. This week, Hyatt announced its Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, which will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all hotels and sanitization specialists in each hotel, among other initiatives. Earlier this week, Hilton announced the company is collaborating with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consulting with Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and employee training. Additionally, Marriott launched the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council and announced changes to its cleaning processes; Accor joined forces with Bureau Veritas to certify safety standards and cleaning protocols; and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) launched “Safe Stay,” an initiative to enhance hotel cleaning standards across the industry.
In 2012, BWHR rolled out the I Care Clean program. The program was developed through a partnership with innovation and design firm, 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 rolled out enhanced cleaning protocols and breakfast standards.
The We Care Clean program expands on 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:
1Front Desk and Lobby
- New protocols will minimize guest contact with personnel through a streamlined check-in and check-out 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.
2Guest Room 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 check-out, at which time the room, linens, and all touchpoints (e.g., faucets, door handles, light switches, thermostats, clocks, and hangers) will be cleaned with chemicals aimed at killing COVID-19.
3Temporary Breakfast Offerings
Breakfast offerings have been adapted to prioritize the health and safety of guests, including:
- Breakfast offerings that comply with local regulations, with breakfast rooms closed where required to avoid unnecessary guest congregation.
- Enhanced grab-and-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.
5Hotel Employees and Staff Requirements
- Hotel employees will follow strict guidelines, including utilizing personal protective equipment, frequent and stringent hand-washing protocols, and 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.