Iris Capital has added a human touch with the creation of new badges for 700 staff members working in pubs and bottle shops.
Retail staff are already donning them, and as venues open up, Iris hotel staff – both front and back – will wear the badges which reveal each staff member’s smile.
The move aims to to reduce the loss of human connection caused by masks, according to the group’s COO Paul Devine.
“When the pandemic first hit our industry, it was a concern that we were going to lose that human-to-human touch since our hospitality smiles are hidden behind protective masks,” he said.
“We at Iris Capital want the customers to see that the smiles still exist behind the mask, that our hospitable nature has not been thwarted by the pandemic and we will continue to smile behind the mask as we say hello.”
Iris Capital operates 29 pubs in Sydney and Newcastle, and Devine told Australian Hotelier the initiative acknowledged the importance of the human face to both venues and customers alike.
“Masks are a sombre thing, so we were throwing around ideas for when customers come back on board. We wanted something that would remind them of the humanity of those on the front-line who have made their careers out of their smiles,” he said.
“When we do open, we hope the badges will remind our locals that our staff are still the same people.
“A face is a picture, and a picture paints a thousand words.”