The jump in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country puts everyone on alert.
Classes have been called off for the week in the National Capital Region as part of the government’s efforts to stem the spread of infection.
People have become more vigilant about properly washing their hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
Hotels and restaurants have stepped up precautionary measures. Some, like the the Sulo Riviera in Quezon City, are thinking of providing disposable utensils if guests request for them.
The boutique hotel, which is popular with government offices in the vicinity, hosts numerous seminars and conferences during the week. On weekends, it attracts families and staycationers.
“Banquet events are usually set with both tablecloths and table runners,” Melanie Cuevas, Sulo’s SVP for finance told Lifestyle in an email interview. “They are set up on the day of the event and removed for washing and disinfection immediately after each event. Utensils are placed in folded napkins with both sets replaced for washing and disinfection after guests leave.”
Cuevas added that replacing every table setup, ensuring all plates, cutleries, and table cloths and runners are washed and disinfected, as well as cleaning of all table surfaces after every guest leaves, has long been a regular procedure at the hotel.
“However, given the current situation… we are stepping up sanitation practices. Right now, we are testing using steam cleaners for these table surfaces, and studying increased frequency of fumigation, or using UV light machines to further disinfect these surfaces.
“Aside from table set-ups, what’s also important for food and beverage is to increase the frequency of sanitizing menus, bill holders and other high-touch items for our guests. We are also looking into the possibility of offering disposable cutleries should our guests request for them,” Cuevas said.
At City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque, restaurants that use tablecloths replace them with a new one for the next guest.
“Tables in our casual dining restaurants that don’t use tablecloths are disinfected using high-grade sanitizers. Table mats are then replaced and readied for new diners,” said Michael Ziemer, VP for hotels and food and beverage.
Restaurant staff at City of Dreams Manila place utensils inside folded cloth napkins or on top of paper napkins, whichever is in use in the restaurant. Cutlery is cleaned in a washing machine that uses quality cleaning and sanitizing chemicals.
“When polishing flatware, glassware and chinaware, our restaurant colleagues wear gloves and use color-coded cloths to prevent cross contamination,” Ziemer said.
Marco Polo Ortigas uses clean white linens (tablecloths and napkins) for banquets.
“For guests who dine in our all-day restaurant Cucina, we make linen napkins available for their use,” said general manager Frank Reichenbach. “We continue to observe sound hygiene practices in line with our policies, and ensure that all linens are replaced after guest use.”
Sam Ashworth, Marco Polo’s director for restaurants, bars and events, said that at Cucina “sanitized utensils are placed directly on clean placemats” and “associates abide by strict sanitation practices to ensure proper and safe handling of all utensils before, during and after service.”
Utensils are changed after each completed course or meal unless instructed otherwise by guests, he added.
“To reduce the use of food-serving utensils, the kitchen team has introduced ‘à la minute’ dish preparation,” Reichenbach said. Dishes are cooked upon order.