We thought it would be good to share with you the results of our first survey to gauge how our customers felt about measures we were thinking about implementing to make Elder Grove covid secure.
The survey was launched in preparation for us re-opening at the end of the first lockdown on 4th July. The results were really interesting as they illustrated quite a polarisation of views on the measures we were considering.
Question 1 – related to asking customers how they would feel about booking a 30 minute time slot for breakfast. The driver for this was that we had spent many a happy hour measuring and re-configuring our breakfast room, which pre-covid happily accommodated 10 tables – one per room. In the new Covid dawn, our first attempt at achieving the required 2 metre spacing resulted in reducing this to only 3 tables! After a lot more head scratching we managed to move more furniture around and up this to 7 – a success! But not if we were at full occupancy. So, we asked the question and the response was a decidedly mixed 50/50, which resulted in some more out of the box – or actually – out of the room thinking and converting the bar into an additional breakfast room with another 3 tables. It’s worked really well – especially as we have gone into winter as guests have enjoyed having their breakfast in a cosy room by the fire, and no-one has to book a time slot for breakfast.
Question 2 – we asked whether guests would be willing to order their breakfast the night before to reduce face to face contact time. The overwhelming majority were happy with this idea, however we implemented the change for when we opened to limited success and decided quickly to revert back to the previous arrangement, whilst ensuring that the person taking the order was stood suitably distanced from the table.
On the original version of the survey we had a follow up question asking whether guests would expect staff to be wearing face masks – as if we can now remember a time when we didn’t have to wear one! The response to this one was more in favour of not wearing them – how times change so quickly.
Question 3 – we considered offering a lighter room service menu to those guests who did not want to partake in breakfast in the breakfast room and asked if this would be of interest. Only 13% of respondents answered yes, with a mixed bag of maybe’s and outright no’s. This gave us confidence that the majority of people still wanted the full Cumbrian breakfast experience – we are a B&B after all! However, we did go ahead to offer the lighter menu throughout the year and a handful of guests took us up on it, which was great as it enabled them to feel safer whilst still being able to escape to the Lakes.
Question 4 – we asked whether guests would be happy if we didn’t enter their room during their stay to reduce risk to them and also our staff and ourselves. 75% of respondents were happy with this, so we implemented this change – confirming on check in that the guest was happy with this arrangement. This has worked well – rooms are thoroughly deep cleaned between guests and this has enabled guests to treat the rooms as their private space during their stay.
Our final question related to when guests felt they would feel comfortable to return to Elder Grove. We asked this understanding that some of our guests would be unable to travel for quite some time due to shielding, but it was an interesting question to understand how people felt about travelling after being locked down for over three months. A third said they would feel comfortable within 30 days, with a further 38% giving a three month time frame, which was borne out by the very busy summer the Lake District experienced.
How things have changed
We left the survey open for people to contribute to through the year and as we have all got more used to this new normal, the results have shifted significantly. Now, 89% of respondents would be happy to book a time slot for breakfast (but we still like to leave you with your own flexibility and don’t require it). Ordering breakfast the night before has increased in acceptability all the way up to 99% and might be something we consider implementing again. Having breakfast delivered to your room has crept up slightly to 16%, and 89% of respondents are now happy that we do not enter their room during their stay. 82% of respondents are now happy to travel within 90 days – or at least when the latest tiers are lifted.
The survey has now closed, but we have a new one if you would like to take part – please follow this link. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our respondents for their contributions and we look forward to hearing more of your views in the future.
If you would like to come and experience Elder Grove for yourself please click below to take you through to our online availability and bookings.