OUTRIGGER launched #OUTRIGGERCARES in March 2020 – a global platform to provide support for our internal team, as well as offer resources and aid to the communities in which we operate.
The program is rooted in The OUTRIGGER Way, an ethos and company mission that captures the tradition of hospitality, mutual respect and CARE for guest, host and place, while focusing on the company’s belief that relationships should be formed with unwavering trust and pride.
These guiding principles have shaped OUTRIGGER’s success for 75+ years and have become even more relevant today as the world navigates the pandemic.
Here are some shining examples of the program in action.
Supporting hosts during the pandemic
The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on communities and businesses worldwide, including at OUTRIGGER. Like many companies, OUTRIGGER had to make the exceptionally difficult decision to furlough many our dedicated hosts in early 2020. Here are a few of the ways that we chose to Care for our Hosts in the US during this most difficult of times:
- Continued payment of the Company portion of medical benefits . For many hosts, this payment continued for seven (7) months
- Two weeks of disaster relief pay for eligible hosts
- Ability to use a bank of personal vacation hours during furlough
- Opportunity for eligible hosts to participate in a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP)
- Regular updates via our digital newsletter, InsideOUT; and outreach by property/department managers. Updates ranged from business updates, food distribution opportunities to health and safety tips.
- Continued availability of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for hosts and their families
Hotels for Heroes
To help limit the risk of first-responders potentially spreading COVID to their families, OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beach Resort participated in the Hotels for Heroes program as part of a partnership with the Hawai’i Lodging and Tourism Authority, Hawai’i Tourism Authority and the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The program offered a select number of complimentary room nights to doctors, nurses and other vital workers on-the-ground responding to patient needs.
In addition to providing free hotel rooms for nurses, doctors and first responders, OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beach Resort extended its iconic aloha hospitality with its on-property food and beverage partner, Sunrise Shack, to ensure first-responders were well fed and staying healthy as they took care of those who needed it most.
Buy One, Give One
For a limited time, when a traveler booked a future stay at any of OUTRIGGER’s Hawaii hotels, resorts or condos, a free night was earned for a healthcare worker. Through a special partnership with Healthcare Association of Hawaii, these rooms were donated and distributed to medical professionals who could use them toward future leisure stays to enjoy with their loved ones, post-crisis. OUTRIGGER provided up to 1,000 free room nights for this “BOGO” offer.
At Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, the building was illuminated with the word HUI – which in Hawaiian means team, partnership and unity. The glow in Waikiki highlights the collective resilience and love that OUTRIGGER has for each other, its guests, partners, first responders and medical professionals.
Kani Ka Pila Live
Knowing the joy and positivity that music brings, OUTRIGGER’s award-winning artists from the OUTRIGGER Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s Kani Ka Pila Grille shared the gift of music “live” for all hosts and guests to enjoy virtually in their homes through OUTRIGGER Resorts Facebook page. Because it was so gratefully embraced and so widely, the program expanded to nightly shows on OUTRIGGER Resorts Facebook page. Artists, too, were hit hard by the pandemic, so a virtual tip jar was added to directly support them.
Food Drives & Donations
Castaway Island, Fiji vuvale (family) assisted some of the Island’s needy families by raising FJ$3,000 through their own contributions to purchase groceries for donation and personally delivering them.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk’s engineering team built custom plastic sneeze guards for the front desk; a host family member took used uniforms to create matching masks and a furloughed aloha ambassador donated face masks made with the Embassy uniform aloha print.
The property also hosted a Kau Kau Kokua Kit opportunity for hotel industry employees to purchase food at wholesale prices.
The teams at Embassy Suites and Waikiki Beach Walk volunteered to pack food boxes for kupuna and those affected by COVID-19. They packed 600 boxes of food and helped to stack and load them for distribution at the Hawaii FoodBank.
OUTRIGGER Corporate Safety and Security Team personally donated trays of food to nurses at Kaiser Hospital.
OUTRIGGER’s Global Contact Center (GCC) in Denver, Colorado, organized a food drive to help stock the shelves of a local foodbank, the Covenant Cupboard Food Pantry (CCFP). GCC hosts contributed generous amounts of non-perishable food items, including canned proteins (meats, nut butters), canned fruits and vegetables, soups, pasta, rice, cereals, oatmeal and dry beans.
About 250 pounds of food were donated and delivered to help families in need keep their cupboards full so they could focus on the other needs of their family during the pandemic.
OUTRIGGER Hospitality Group was pleased to partner with Hawai’i Lodging and Tourism Association for its #AlohaLater Campaign food drive to support furloughed industry workers.
OUTRIGGER Mauritius Beach Resort hosts donated food and cooking supplies to surrounding villages and worked with a nearby village chief to assist some of the most impoverished areas in Mauritius particularly impacted by the economic downturn of COVID-19.
OUTRIGGER Reef Waikiki Beach Resort operations were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, but hosts who were working thought of their furloughed co-workers and generously donated care packages of food.
OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber and OUTRIGGER Reef Waikiki Beach Resort donated pillows, linens and bath towels for Hawaii’s vulnerable homeless population. All items supported multiple initiatives like the COVID-19 temporary quarantine center, established to house homeless individuals throughout the pandemic.