In April 2020 NH Hotel Group launched NH Response, a series of initiative to help governments, health authorities and social organizations deal with the crisis.
The main objective of the social projects carried out by NH Hotel Group is to address the needs of each destination in which it is present through the hotel business itself (people, products and services).
As such, when the pandemic hit, NH Hotel Group put in motion a series of new initiatives to help governments, health authorities and social organizations deal with the crisis whilst guaranteeing the health and safety of all the members of the team and beneficiaries.
Thanks to the fluid dialogue we maintain with the authorities and industry associations in each country where we are present and our close ties with various non-profit associations, we knew that a lot of help was needed to address food shortages and hospital overload.
Under the claim “NH Response”, the company offered hotels to the authorities so that they could be medicalized to help relieve the strain on hospitals. In total, 3,373 patients were accommodated in the chosen NH properties. Hotels were also designated as special accommodation for 2,720 healthcare professionals.
Furthermore, the Company decided to donate the perishable food in stock at those hotels that had to close to associations and foundations with which we had collaborated on previous occasions, contributing with a total of 12,400 kg of food, as well as 30,000 amenities kits, 7,000 gloves, 6,000 shower caps, 2,000 trash bags, 55 beds and 600 blankets to health centres.
The Company also joined the #chefsforspain movement launched by chef José Andrés to deliver more than 120,000 meals through his World Central Kitchen foundation. NH Hotel Group participated by offering the use of the kitchens of the hotels Anantara Villa Padierna (Marbella), NH Collection Eurobuilding (Madrid) and NH Collection Finisterre (A Coruña), where a total of 138,759 meals were cooked to be donated among the most vulnerable groups during the crisis.
Alongside this, NH Hotel Group continued to show its commitment to the communities where it carries on its activity through NH Response. Although the programme was conceived to help society at the toughest moments of the crisis, there were some situations in which the team members themselves became a vulnerable group. For them, the Company, leaders and partners joined forces through donations and made it possible to deliver basic non-perishable food items to our colleagues and their families.
The Business Unit of America for example identified the need to donate food to family members of employees who had been severely affected by the pandemic and that were in a vulnerable situation. They also collaborated with “Menudos Corazones” Foundation, with which NH has been working for many years, by submitting videos of remote storytelling made by employees for the children staying at hospitals.
Additionally, in 2020 NH continued with its corporate volunteering programme (named Together with Love), seeking new ideas and actions that could be compatible with the difficult situation. As an example the Company proposed to donate a menu for every kilometre that the employees (including those affected by furloughs) walked, cycled, or ran during a week (1km = 1menu). The response of the teams was exciting and exemplary, demonstrating their vocation of service and solidarity from the first moment and despite the difficulties that they too were experiencing. In total, the initiative collected 5,600 menus to be donated.
In terms of internal communication during the pandemic, a huge effort was done. The Company was aware that engaging employees and making them part of NH Response was vital so they were kept informed through a series of specific newsletters, videos, intranet features and the NH employee app. We also communicated externally via national and regional press releases and we maintained a fluid dialogue with all stakeholders to inform them about our willingness to collaborate in everything possible.
What NH did during 2020, together with what so many other hotel chains, large and small, also carried out, has served to demonstrate that hospitality is an essential service and good for society, necessary even in times of the greatest lockdowns, and that our vocation of service goes far beyond selling rooms. We are the hospitality sector, it is in our DNA and in our hearts, and we have demonstrated this throughout the past year, making ourselves available to those who needed us most.