INCLEAN NZ November 2021

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for hospitality sector As New Zealand waits for hospitality outlets to begin reopening permanently, the cleaning sector is gearing up for more enquiries in areas such as indoor air quality and robotic floor scrubbers. In the meantime, though, the emphasis is on the welfare of people in the hospitality and cleaning communities. Words Cameron Cooper


ever has it been more important to look after your customers and employees. Just ask Jason McMenamin, National Manager – Hospitality & Soft Services for Spotless New Zealand. Before the pandemic hit early last year, his job entailed overseeing venue management, facilities services and food and beverage delivery for the company, which is part of Downer, the largest integrated service provider in the country. That work continues, of course, but as a result of unprecedented lockdowns in New Zealand and the impact that COVID-19 has inevitably had on hospitality, his team’s day-to-day duties have been somewhat recalibrated. Client and employee wellbeing is on the table like never before. “There’s quite a bit of uncertainty because some of our clients are under a lot of pressure themselves with their P&L,” McMenamin says. “So, as a business we talk a lot about staying in touch with people and making sure they’re okay. We work really hard on 30 INCLEAN NEW ZEALAND November 2021

being as responsive as possible and working with clients to make sure they get what they’re after as quickly as possible. We’ve had a lot of success on that front.” With regard to ensuring stability for employees during the pandemic, the scale of Spotless has been a clear advantage. The business has been able to keep workers on its books and fully paid during the downturn. “We’ve been able to say to our people who are working from home, or who are unable to work, that we’re meeting their rostered wages,” McMenamin says.

WORST HIT, BAR NONE There is little doubt that New Zealand’s hospitality industry has borne the brunt of COVID-19 disruptions, as well as having significant flow-on effects in associated areas such as entertainment, cleaning and catering. As Hospitality New Zealand CEO Julie White recently remarked, the industry has been “the first into and the last out of all COVID” lockdowns.