The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Hygiene in Reopening Hospitality

Outdoor Seating
12 April 2021

With COVID-19 having sent infection fears skyrocketing over the past year, new research from JLA reveals that more than half of customers prioritise hygiene and cleanliness above all else when it comes to the hospitality businesses they will visit post COVID-19. 

According to the nationally-representative survey into 2,000 members of the public, 54 per cent of Brits reported hygiene to be most important quality they look for from hospitality businesses, coming in as significantly higher than both overall service quality at 13.1 per cent and customer service at 12.5 per cent. As we return to hospitality outdoors and eventually indoors, keeping on top of cleanliness and making the care taken clear to customers could be vital for competitive business.

In March we looked at the perception of hygiene and the role that scent plays, as the impression is now so important for social comfort, even more so than when hospitality reopened for "Eat Out to Help Out". Of course that is just an awareness boost to accompany substantial groundwork – we have also reviewed how best to manage high frequency touch points and facilities to keep them COVID secure.


"Hospitality businesses must be mindful that customer expectations look very different to this time last year."

– Ben Gujral


Hygiene Concerns Increased


In the wake of COVID-19, public attitudes towards hygiene and infection control have risen significantly for many, with 77 per cent of the public holding greater concerns in this area than a year previously – attributing this change directly to COVID-19.

According to the research, 87.6 per cent of Brits now deem it important that a business has a good reputation for hygiene and infection control, and 58.1 per cent of these state a positive standing for hygiene to be “extremely important”. This indicates that hygiene ratings – traditionally a significant indicator of quality in the hospitality industry – are the most critical point of difference hospitality businesses must focus on over the coming months.

Highlighting the potential consequences in store for businesses that do not reassure anxious customers, the research also reveals that a staggering 98.7 per cent of the public would be less likely to visit a business with a poor reputation for hygiene and infection control. Nearly a third would boycott these businesses altogether, and a further 34 per cent would both boycott the business and warn others to also look elsewhere, furthering the financial and reputational damage caused.


Hitting Higher Expectations


Concerningly, thousands of hospitality businesses across the UK may be missing the mark in the eyes of the public. Only 38 per cent of the public hold a favourable opinion of the infection control standards in pubs and bars as it stands, with hotels rating slightly more favourably at 45.8 per cent, and restaurants holding the most positive reputation at 52.8 per cent.

The research was carried out by infection control specialist JLA, a trusted partner to hospitality businesses across the UK, as part of its “Infection Insights” campaign to improve standards customer reassurance and peace of mind across the hospitality industry.

Ben Gujral, CEO at JLA, commented: “We are all looking forward to our favourite restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels being able to reopen their doors in the coming weeks. However, hospitality businesses must be mindful that customer expectations look very different to this time last year. 

“While providing a top-quality experience, backed by sterling customer service, will of course remain key, it is clear that effective hygiene and infection control practices are now the number one point of difference for businesses looking to attract and retain the loyalty of their customers. This in turn points to a major opportunity for hospitality businesses that have used this time to ensure that all measures have been taken to prioritise the safety of their customers – both walking the walk and talking the talk.”

Facilities managers can compare Cleaning Services in the Spotted Cow Business Directory.


Picture: commercial outdoor seating.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 12 April 2021


Related Articles

Addressing Struggle for Success – Tech Aided Feedback

With organisations looking to find ways of keeping better track of employee mental health, Moodbeam hopes to improve the reporting and analysis of wellbeing on tasks...

 Read Full Article
BOHS Report Says Scotland has Britain’s Highest Rates of Work-Related Mental Ill-Health

The British Occupational Hygiene Society has reported that Scotland’s rate of workplace ill-health is growing at a greater rate than any other part of the...

 Read Full Article
Major Health and Safety Organisations Form OSH Stakeholder Alliance

Nine of the UK’s top health and safety organisations are collaborating to form the Occupational Safety and Health Stakeholder Alliance. The new alliance will...

 Read Full Article
Men’s Health Week 2023 Promotes Tech Detox

In a society where we are always connected and contactable through our smartphones, Men’s Health Week is challenging men to consider the health implications of...

 Read Full Article
Corps Security Launches Mental Health in Security Event

UK security provider Corps Security is looking to address the ongoing mental health struggles in their industry by hosting an awareness event in London. “Mental...

 Read Full Article
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Greenwashing – The Importance of Transparency

James Ricketts from Fooditude outlines the potential pitfalls of greenwashing and his tips on how to communicate sustainability in corporate catering. James is a...

 Read Full Article
More Single-use Plastics to be Banned

Disposable plastic items including cutlery, plates and polystyrene are to be banned in England, as a result of the proposal put to consultation last year. The...

 Read Full Article
Five Ways to Support Workplace Mental Health

On World Mental Health day, Alex Minett from CHAS offers five steps companies can take to make workplaces more inclusive for workers who experience mental health...

 Read Full Article
Platinum Facilities Awarded Three-Year M&E Contract at Sea Containers

Platinum Facilities will deliver M&E maintenance services for Yorke Property Management Ltd at the prestigious Sea Containers property in London. Speaking about...

 Read Full Article
FM Firm Supports World Suicide Prevention Day

Facilities services provider ABM, alongside other industry players, is raising awareness about suicide prevention at a London conference. Taking place on 8 September...

 Read Full Article