This year’s restrictions have forced restaurants and hotels in Vietnam to take extreme measures to adapt to extended social distancing instead of closing or suspending operations altogether.
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After more than three months since the harshest outbreak of COVID-19 across the country, many 4- and 5-star hotels in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have started to offer home deliveries to customers.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has introduced a diverse takeaway menu, from starters to main courses, from vegetarian dishes to beverages with a free home delivery of meals for minimum orders of $65 added. Top-quality food and drinks are delivered with the price not much different from eating directly at the hotel as previously. “Takeaway orders are accounting for 5-15 per cent of the hotel revenue from time to time. We have designed a website with an online ordering system accepting credit card payments,” said sales and marketing director for Metropole Hanoi, Anthony Slewk.
JW Marriott Hanoi has also launched takeaway and delivery services. The latter requires a minimum order of VND750,000 ($32) from 7am to 10.30pm, with free delivery within five kilometres. The delivery-focused menu includes many signature dishes and beverages from the hotel.
Other luxury hotels in the south such as Pan Pacific Saigon, Rex Saigon, Lotte Hotel Saigon, and Hotel des Arts Saigon have also launched contactless delivery services since the the city extended and tightened social distancing measures.
Some hotels also organise cooking classes for children from five to 16 years old by professional chefs. For example, Sheraton Saigon Hotel provides cooking classes for only 4-6 students each with a tuition fee of about VND450,000 ($19) per child.
Along with the promotion of food services, the quarantine hotel model has also been developed to offset the serious decrease in revenue in the accommodation segment of many hotels. Many businesses have rented hotels as temporary accommodation for their workers to avoid the spread of coronavirus and maintain production.
Representatives of some medium-sized hotels in Ho Chi Minh City also shared about receiving booking requests from groups of doctors and other medical staff. These hotels are often located near field hospitals and medical facilities and must meet strict requirements as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
According to Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, 72 hotels there are being used as paid quarantine facilities. The city’s tourism industry is also calling for hotels to register as quarantine facilities as the number of people at higher risk of COVID-19 increases and many frontline workers are lacking accommodation.
In Hanoi, 20 hotels have also been designated by the Hanoi Department of Tourism as paid quarantine facilities. Since June, these hotels have hosted quarantine periods for over 74,000 guests.
Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said, “The expansion of the quarantine hotel model not only helps to reduce the load on Hanoi’s centralised quarantine facility system, but also creates opportunities for accommodation service businesses to adjust their operating methods in the new situation and trying to repel the ongoing pandemic.”