Wednesday, February 21, 2024

You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at rob@chauffeurdriven.com for next issue’s question.

TOPIC: What type of procedures have you taken to keep your offices and those currently working safe?

Benchmark and Best Practices We have moved the office operations to remote working. The only time anyone enters the office is to pick up mail every few days. Our chauffeurs are wearing masks and gloves for the trips that we are doing, and our detailers are doing the same. We intend to keep these procedures in place for the foreseeable future, and adjust in either direction as needed.
Carla Boccio, Owner
Buffalo Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices We have taken steps to improve the safety of our offices by cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door handles daily. We have implemented no-touch procedures for transferring materials between drivers and dispatchers and have limited the number of employees who can wait in common areas. Dispatchers are sitting at opposite sides of the room and not sharing equipment with each other. Other office employees are working from home when possible, and meetings are being held remotely through videoconferencing technology. We have also procured and distributed masks and cleaning supplies to drivers and other employees and require their use in the field.
Kristina Bouweiri, President & CEO
Reston Limousine in Sterling, Va.

Benchmark and Best Practices We are running a skeleton crew of 10 office staff and eight drivers, compared to a total 111 employees. Everyone’s temperature is taken daily to ensure that staff and drivers are coming to work healthy. Our senior management meetings are held in our garage, which allows for six feet of social distancing. The office is sanitized twice a week by a professional janitor, and each employee is sanitizing their work stations.
Maurice Brewster, Founder & CEO
Mosaic Global Transportation in San Jose, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices The decision was made early on to have office employees work remotely to ensure safety for all staff is paramount. For each journey, our chauffeurs are supplied with gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers, and anti-bacterial wipes, and we are now installing screen partitions in some of our fleet as an extra precaution. In these unprecedented times, our chauffeur etiquette has also had to change in how we greet clients, with no handshakes or touching luggage when possible to minimize risk. Each vehicle is wiped down after each journey and deep cleaned after each day. During our “lockdown” period, trip requests are confirmed on a case-by-case basis for the safety of our chauffeurs.
Reza Choudhury, CEO
HYRYDE by Reliance in London, U.K.

Benchmark and Best Practices We require all chauffeurs to wear disposable gloves and masks to remind them not to touch their face and prevent accidental transfer of the virus. We have installed custom Plexiglas dividers in our sedans and SUVs, and have also eliminated direct contact potential for vehicles not stretched. We use stretches when possible to allow more distance. We have also enhanced our cleaning process to start using an 80 percent alcohol/water mix to clean every surface in the vehicle.
Brent Ferguson, CEO
Brentwood Livery in Kitchener, Ontario

Benchmark and Best Practices While business has virtually stopped, we have done a few long-distance trips since the outbreak. The health and well-being of our people is paramount, so all office work is being done from home. Since all of our chauffeurs are over 50, we are being extra careful; before accepting any trips, we are asking the booker about the passenger’s health. Once a trip is assigned to a chauffeur, the vehicle is deep-cleaned and sanitized using an ion generator; a kit is left on the front seat for the chauffeur, gloves, face mask, and sanitizer; and the vehicle is locked and the key is sanitized and placed in a sealed bag for the chauffeur.
We have been looking at the various partitions that have come on the market and have placed an order for a soft vinyl model that seals the driver from the passengers. We anticipate that passengers will require these when travel starts to resume. At the airport, the chauffeur will have no physical contact with the passenger and will change gloves after loading the bags into the vehicle. We strictly adhere to guidelines of the Irish Department of Health.
Myles Flood, CEO
LfL Chauffeur Services in Dublin, Ireland

Benchmark and Best Practices LEADER Worldwide follows the video demonstrations at www.paxtraining.com/Covid-19. The videos are free and cover the office and vehicle protocols.
Bruce Heinrich, Founder & CEO
LEADER Worldwide and PAX Training

Benchmark and Best Practices Blackcar Offers Limo Services has developed a COVID-19 health and safety plan to protect employees and chauffeurs. This plan includes:

  • Actively encouraging sick employees and chauffeurs to stay home. Sick chauffeurs have to stay at their homes.
  • Providing employees and chauffeurs training on proper hand-washing practices and other routine infection control precautions. This will help reduce the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Providing employees and chauffeurs access to soap, clean running water, and drying materials or alcohol-based (at least 60 percent) hand sanitizers at their worksite.
  • Providing employees and chauffeurs with appropriate gloves and training on properly using them.
  • Providing disposable disinfectant wipes so that surfaces commonly touched by the employees and chauffeurs can be wiped down.
  • Providing tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees and chauffeurs.
  • Providing vehicles deep-cleaning in all parts using Lysol. We require social distancing of six feet, and employees and chauffeurs must use a mouth cover all the time.
  • Placing posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and proper hand hygiene practices at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Reaching out to local public health officials to establish ongoing communications to facilitate access to relevant information before and during a local outbreak.
We also follow all applicable federal regulations and public health agency guidelines.
Agustin Hernandez, Owner
Blackcar Offers Limo Services in Mexico City, Mexico

Benchmark and Best Practices We have been working from home as much as possible using our laptops and transferring calls to mobile phones, but when we do need to come into the office, we have ensured that only one person at a time is present and disinfects the office with all antibacterial cleaning materials for the next person to be able to use. Communication is key.
Bardha Krasniqi, Head of Operations
AZ Luxe in London, U.K.

Benchmark and Best Practices As of right now all staff members are currently working from home to be as safe as possible. If for some reasons one of us has to go in, we take care to disinfect everything and wear masks when using the elevator.
Katarina Monsberger, Managing Director
RSL Premium Chauffeured Services in Vienna, Austria

Benchmark and Best Practices We are fortunate that we have two offices with a lot of space, so social distancing will not be a problem when we get back to work. Currently, we set up almost everyone to work from home. We are providing gloves and KN95 masks to all employees and chauffeurs. We will be taking the temperature of all staff and drivers when they come in the office and we have Purell containers and Lysol wipes all over the office.
As far as vehicles, every driver has gloves and masks and Lysol wipes to wipe down the vehicles after every ride. We use a commercial disinfectant on all of our shuttle buses daily. We are installing sneeze guards from Lakeview Coach in a few vehicles. Welcome to the New Normal.
Jeff Nyikos, CEO
Leros Point to Point/Royal Coachman in Valhalla, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices Currently, the majority of our office staff is working remotely. We have a limited number of employees on-site, and they are practicing social distancing. Operating remotely, we are using the downtime to improve our existing business strategies while also pursuing creative revenue stream opportunities. Our focus is displaying positivity and gaining our clients’ confidence by researching and investing in potential UV lighting systems as well as electrostatic devices to sanitize our vehicles.
Joseph Reinhardt, President/Owner
Carolina Limousine in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Benchmark and Best Practices I’m not seeing as much of the chauffeurs these days, and I already work from a home office. However, we are a very affectionate and “huggy” company, so keeping distance from one another has been different. Cleaning supplies and protective gear use have increased. We went from saying “please use” to “please use LIBERALLY ON EVERYTHING.”
Quentin Shackelford, Owner
AllClassLimo.com in Wichita, Kan.

Benchmark and Best Practices Currently, we are working remotely and no one is reporting to work at the office. Certainly, we will be hiring a professional cleaning service to disinfect our office so that everyone feels safe upon our return. We will also continue to practice social distancing at our office as well as will continue daily disinfecting of our handles, phones, computers, and any surfaces that we touch. Regarding our chauffeurs, they will utilize masks and gloves when they drive and will also practice social distancing. We will implement new protocols when opening doors, carrying luggage, and for any contact we may have with our client. Additionally, we are sanitizing our vehicles with each ride we execute. Lastly, there is a possibility of adding Plexiglas on our Sprinter vans and buses for additional safety.
Nancy Vargas, CEO
DH2 Transportation in Jamaica, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices We took the office remote and have very few trips, so we don't have more than one driver in the shop at a time. Also, we wipe down the touch points in the vehicle after each trip.
Scott Woodruff, Owner
Majestic Limousine & Coach in Des Moines, Iowa

We’ve loved hearing your answers to our ­benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!

Send an email to rob@chauffeurdriven.com you just might see your query answered in our next E-News.