The date of Monday, June 29, has been etched into the minds of those working within the hospitality sector since the Roadmap to Recovery for Business and Society announcement with respective proprietors aspiring to reopen their premises and welcome customers as trade resumes.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Alan McCaul, General Manager, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, which ceased operations on March 15 as COVID-19 restrictions were enforced, is looking forward to the noted date, effusively praising the support received from the local community as public health measures reigned.
“It has been a particularly worrying time for the business and all of our employees and we really appreciate the continuous support received from the local community during these past months. Sadly, families have suffered due to the impact of COVID-19 and are in our thoughts at this time,” Alan remarked.
As June 29 looms, Alan is eager to stress that when the Shamrock Lodge Hotel reopens for business, it will do so adhering to all the necessary public health guidelines to ensure the safety of customers.
“We have received detailed guidelines with regard to the reopening of our hotel and the implementation of relevant measures. The business will have to adapt in what is now the ‘new normal’ but we aim to do so,” Alan commented.
The maintenance of social distancing measures within the hotel’s environment may prove problematic but Alan is hoping that the current two metres distance will be reduced to enable the business operate in a more productive manner upon reopening.
With 78 staff members employed within the hotel prior to the enforcement of restrictions, Alan envisages the return of all employees as the hospitality sector strives for a positive economic impact upon reopening.
“I would envisage the return of all staff to our working environment in due course. All wedding occasions and functions booked for the remainder of the calendar year have had to rescheduled, but should figures continue remain favourable with regard to the impact of COVID-19, I am certain that 2021 will prove to be a busy one here at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel,” Alan asserted.
The hotel has housed essential workers during the pandemic period and has continued to provide a food service, albeit by takeaway means.
“We have provided a food takeaway service during these past months and I want to acknowledge the strong support afforded to the business each Saturday and Sunday by the local community in this regard,” Alan noted.
Continuously working behind the scenes prior to June 29, Alan emphasised that upon reopening the hotel will provide accommodation with a lunch and evening meal service with drinks being serviced to those who are eating on the premises.
“The enforcement of restrictive public health measures has resulted in a new wave of thought, as the business community adapts and strives to survive.
“A willingness to adapt can have a positive impact upon a business and this is the mentality we intend to adopt as we reopen to the public on June 29,” Alan enthused.