By Noah Parks

HMG+ is always ready to support and serve others, even during a pandemic.  When we see a need and have the capacity to help then we do it.  During COVID-19 we felt the need to be at full preparedness even though no one was likely to have a wedding or event any time soon.  Today I’m proud that we were because a unique opportunity came to us through the New York Staffing Association: New York State’s Vaccine Distribution program.  This endeavor had a very fast turn around from the order to the execution We had all of a week to hire and prepare our service professionals (SPs). Our team was holding interviews and sending follow-up emails for two weeks to ensure the right people were sent to assist in the roll out of the vaccine here in New York City.  During the pandemic, hospitality companies have been in a constant state of flux, but HMG+ has been keeping up with our community to ensure SPs have opportunities to support a return to normal.  

Being prepared to staff the Points of Dispensing (POD) implemented by the New York State Department of Health is just one opportunity that’s connected to our industry’s future. Throughout the height of the pandemic, HMG+ helped engage our service pros through “Quaranchats”, Happy Hours, and featuring their successes and challenges during the pandemic in our Newsletter.  Because of our robust community, we have been able to offer opportunities like assisting in the operation of the POD.

There has been chatter on social media and in the blogosphere about how virtual events and hybrid events are here to stay.  While I don’t disagree that this may be true in the short term there is no indication that people prefer virtual conferences, meetings, and weddings.  In fact, “An overwhelming 72% stated they would prefer an in-person conference.” according to promoleaf , who surveyed over 1,000 people.  Also, in states that have rolled back restrictions there has been a boom in bookings.  Whether you agree with the move to open back up or not, it indicates clearly that the future is hopeful for our industry.

One way that HMG+ is ensuring our industry’s future success is to provide staff for the Vaccinate New York effort.  Getting vaccinated is priority number one.  Making sure the workplace is safe is another.  Other industries have reopened and are currently returning to normal: airlines, film/TV production, major league sports and construction.  The common denominator? The COVID Compliance Officer.  I’ve written about this before and, without this pivotal role no one can ensure the safety of the workplace.  In film and TV the officer is very much an authority on set according to the LAtimes , “The compliance supervisor is responsible for making sure these groups don’t mix and has to intervene if crew members crowd together and masks slip.” This is exactly what the Hospitality Industry needs and what our friends at the Academy for Hospitality Arts (AHA) have been doing: creating a Certification course for a COVID Hospitality Compliance Officer.  We’ve been carefully following the development of their course and certification.  HMG+ is used to working on the cutting edge of success for our industry, and this time is no different.  We know that safety and compliance build confidence in the experience that guests and employees need.   Once we have accountability for the COVID-19 related safety of our workplace, then we can begin returning to work. When HMG+ begins supplying CHCOs then it’s just a matter of time until we begin to see normal levels of engagement.  HMG+ is always prepared to meet the moment we’re in.  Whether it’s sending SPs to assist in the vaccination effort or it’s tracking opportunities to return to normal, HMG+ will be there to serve.

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