Some good news emerged on the Covid-19 front this week. The drug Remdesivir was approved for treatment for patients 12. Studies show the drug can significantly shorten the illness and improve treatment outcomes. This is a timely development as the world heads into a second (or third depending on the source) wave of the global pandemic. New infections are on the rise in Europe and the US and a vaccine has yet to emerge.
Technologies to help manage and mitigate the pandemic in the hospitality industry forge ahead. Minnow’s to-go food locker system is picking up speed. And hotels are adopting new ways to limit contact between guests and staff while delivering exceptional hospitality experiences.
Restaurants continue to innovate new approaches to outdoor dining in cold weather, including using old gondola cars as private dining pods. Read on for a look at last week’s hospitality news headlines.
- FDA Approves First Covid-19 Drug: The Antiviral Remdesivir [Associated Press News]
The US Food and Drug administration has approved the first drug to treat Covid-19. Remdesivir cut the time to recovery from 15 on average, to 10. It is approved for people over 12 weighing at least 88 pounds who are hospitalized for their coronavirus infection.
- Coronavirus Cases Rise to Highest Level Since Late July [NPR]
New cases of Covid in the US have risen by 30% in the last two weeks. The latest outbreak rivals the peak we saw in late July with an important distinction. In July, rising cases were localized in specific areas, where as currently, 17 states hit daily records last week, and hospitalizations are rising in 40 states.
- Europe Faces More Curfews, Restrictions As Virus Cases Swell [Associated Press News]
Curfews are being expanded across France, Italy’s three biggest cities, Greece, and the Czech Republic. Restrictions are likely to follow in Germany, Spain and Poland. Wales and Ireland are on a non-essential business lockdown. And Portugal will ban travel between counties over the Halloween and All Saints’ Day holiday weekend.
- Wyndham Launches New Mobile App With Touchless Features to Help Ensure Guest Safety and Enhance the Guest Experience [Hotel Technology News]
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched its new mobile app that prioritizes low-contact and in-stay touchless features. In addition to mobile booking, the app reduces direct contact between travelers and staff by facilitating mobile check-in/out, manages rewards points, and will soon work as a room key.
- Minnow Launches Pilot Program for its Contactless Food Pickup Solutions Following $2.2 Million Funding Round [Restaurant Technology News]
Restaurant technology startup Minnow Technologies has raised $2.2 million that will enable it to launch its IoT-enabled Pickup Pods. The pods contain multiple individual lockers that provide a contact-free way to deliver and pick up to-go food and beverage orders.
- Telluride Converting Gondola Cars Into Dining Cabins for the Winter [The Know]
A ski town in Colorado will transform 20 gondola cars into private dining rooms, scattered around the plaza at the base of the ski hill. The cabins seat 6-8 people and will have lights, heating, ventilation systems, cushioned seats, wooden dining tables and sturdy floors. The town will also erect 20-foot yurts and pavilion structures. Guests will access the menus 12 restaurants in the area via QR codes.
- NYC Business and Design Experts On Ways to Help Restaurants Survive the Winter [Eater]
The NYC-based Center for an Urban Future solicited recommendations from local industry experts about how to help restaurants survive the winter. Ideas include making it easier for restaurants to build awnings, tents and other structures via funding and reduced permit requirements. Other suggestions include programs to incentivize empty storefronts to host popup kitchens, and the creation of outdoor restaurant and food truck markets.
- The Future of Hotel Design [The New York Times]
Hoteliers are making plans for a post-Covid future that is prepared for viral outbreaks and pandemics. Common themes include keyless entry, contactless check in, air filtration and UV light systems, and voice activated room controls. Bigger conceptual ideas bring more hotel amenities to individual rooms including dining areas, on-demand Mirror exercise programs, and robotic servers.
Click here for a look at last week’s hospitality news headlines.