The Role of Do Not Disturb Signs in a Safe Hotel
The definition of what it means to have a sanitary hotel has changed – your guidelines as a hospitality professional have become increasingly strict, and your guests’ perceptions of what makes a “sanitary” hotel stay have likely adjusted as the pandemic has progressed. In guest rooms, the “Do Not Disturb” sign has long been an indicator of privacy, dictating cleaning schedules around guest preferences. In today’s world, its use has changed in many hotels.
To stay on top of industry trends while keeping your guests comfortable and happy, here is a rundown of the role of “Do Not Disturb” signs in a safe hotel.
What is The New Expectation?
For many hotels, cleaning guest rooms has become a much more rigorous task. The schedules are more specific, and the sanitation requirements are stricter. Because of this, a guest’s choice of whether or not to put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign may not hold as much power over cleaning schedules as it did before COVID-19 struck. You likely have state or local mandates that outline how often a guest room must be cleaned – in some places, hotels are not allowed to clean the room until a guest checks out, while in others guidelines specifically define the number of days you should wait between sanitations. These regulations have moved higher-level, above individual hotel management. Because of this, a “Do Not Disturb” sign can still indicate a guest’s preference to the hotel’s cleaning staff, but it should not be expected to single-handedly deter or encourage cleaners during these times.
How Do We Communicate This?
It is important to effectively communicate the changes to your regular cleaning guidelines with your guests, and ensure they understand how the role of the “Do Not Disturb” sign on their room door has changed. You might also be using Tamper Evident tape in combination. These are both an important part of the guest experience, but if their use has changed in your hotel you need to make sure that is communicated. Sending guests an email with your updated protocols and procedures before check-in is a great place to start, and familiarizing your front desk staff with these guidelines can reinforce the information when guests walk through the door.
During these changing times, providing a welcoming guest experience is essential. Find the balance between sanitary and comfortability by using “Do Not Disturb” signs and tamper-evident tape, and highlighting their new roles.