We heard of the scheme as it was open to all hospitality establishments and the AA has some seriously stringent criteria!
Those of you who read our blog on a regular basis will know that when we could reopen in early July, we’d already gone to great lengths to ensure the Riviera was ready for our guests.
The preparation took a lot of exercising the grey matter, tons of elbow grease and a complete re-think of how we’d operate our services.
The lockdown period was a very strange time for us.
It overlapped a stunning Easter and two of the biggest bank holidays of the year (VE Day and Spring Bank).
The kids couldn’t attend school, and our outdoor adventures were kept to a minimum, even though the weather was stupendous.
It did give us chance to get our head around things and the only factor we weren’t sure about was when we could reopen.
Three months to the day since lockdown was imposed, the Prime Minister told us we could open our doors again from the 4th July. So it was all hands to the pumps!
Part of the process of reopening was to apply for the AA Covid Confident status.
This included having all our Risk Assessments carried out in depth and in detail.
We had health and safety measures in place for guests and staff; and implemented staff training.
Of course, we had updates literally all the time, so sometimes we felt we were running to stand still.
However we managed to keep on top of the helpful advice and guidelines.
The AA process wasn’t simply a tick-box exercise.
Evidence had to be supplied in all cases along with an online self-assessment and signing up to the Covid Confident Charter, which is a code of conduct incorporating a commitment to update procedures and measures as guidelines alter.
We’ve also committed to submitting future audits as needed.
It was nerve-wracking as there is always the worry that we’ve overlooked some tiny detail … it was also a question of rethinking everything, seeing our wonderful business with new eyes and placing ourselves in the guest’s shoes.
Above all, we had to inspire confidence in our guests so they would return to us again.
Rest assured, gaining the Covid Confident ‘badge of honour’ is of great importance to us as it proves all the hard work that’s gone on ready for the summer season.
Once we’d submitted all the material and filled in our assessments, it was a nerve-jangling wait for five working days to see if we’d been successful.
We were jumping for joy when we received our digital certificate, logo and social media toolkit and we’ll be featured on RatedTrips.com very soon.
What we love about the Covid Confident logo is that it gives our guests confidence to book.
We understand there’s over one thousand businesses that have worked hard and been awarded the coveted ‘badge of honour’.
The AA itself is a hallmark of quality for hospitality, too, so it’s a double whammy really!
You will see from our photographs that we are so proud to show off the certificate which we’ve placed into an easy-to-sanitise frame in our hallway so all our guests can ‘clock’ it on arrival.
We are still getting to grips with the new normal, just like everyone else.
We would like to greet our guests with a handshake or even a hug … however it is just not possible at the moment.
The cleaning process continues unabated, too.
In short, we are so glad we can welcome our guests again!
Following three months of uncertainty, we’ve emerged with a couple of sure things: our commitment to our Covid security will continue for as long as is needed (and probably longer); and our love for our family-run business is even more in the heart of everything we do.
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