By Dale J. Venturini, President & CEO, RI Hospitality Association
Just a few short months ago, I discussed here how critically important it is that Rhode Island’s hospitality industry regains the confidence of its consumers. For more than a year now, our industry’s businesses have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of their guests and employees.
Our staff is among the most carefully trained of any industry, and hospitality is the most regulated for safety measures. From implementing increased cleanliness protocols to testing staff for the virus, rearranging dining rooms to promote proper social distancing, expanding outdoor dining operations and more, our industry has followed every public safety directive and responded accordingly.
In an effort to better educate the general public of the industry’s commitment to them, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is proud to announce its Consumer Confidence campaign, which aims to reinforce safety measures for both patrons and business operators while also instilling a sense of confidence in the public to safely visit their favorite restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses.
Additionally, the campaign will also focus on addressing the industry’s current workforce shortage by encouraging those in need of work to consider the viable employment opportunities within the industry.
As vaccination opportunities become more available, we hope that our guests who have been unsure about dining in their favorite restaurant or visiting our hotels will have a renewed sense of confidence and will start going out again.
As we begin to resume “normal” life, we understand that many may still be hesitant to get back out there. The Consumer Confidence campaign is designed to reassure those on-the-fence consumers, as well as those individuals who are looking for meaningful work opportunities, that our industry considers the health and well-being of our guests and our staff to be of paramount importance, and that we are acting accordingly.
From targeted public service announcements to prominent advertising displays and an industry-operator-focused social media campaign, our mission to regain consumer confidence is one that will span many mediums, shine a light on different perspectives and demonstrate the lengths to which our industry has gone to operate safely and efficiently.
Every industry is taking precautions as directed to ensure the health of their employees and the public, but none more than the hospitality industry. Hotels are a home away from home, and as such, our industry takes the utmost pride in taking every step to provide our guests with a safe, comfortable and enjoyable stay. Likewise, the restaurant industry follows some of the most stringent rules and regulations of any business sector in our state and we take this responsibility very seriously.
With most of New England’s states currently in the process of reopening, or planning to reopen in the near future, and with vaccination rates steadily rising, a return to “normalcy” is closer than it has been in a long time. With that in mind, our industry is likely poised for a busy summer season and beyond. We want everyone to know that we are ready to welcome them back, and we want them to feel confident in their decision to dine or stay with us.
Our business owners and staff are your neighbors, friends and family, and they need our help. Please support our industry, because in Rhode Island, hospitality matters! #RIHospitality