Friday, September 18, 2020

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: Are you giving customers "safety kits," and if so, what's included? Are they branded? If not, are you planning to offer this in the future? Also, have you installed any type of protective shields/dividers into your vehicles? Was it a simple process?


Benchmark and Best Practices We are providing our clients with branded safety kits, which include a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, and a thank-you note. We will continue to distribute these as appropriate. Our vehicles have protective shields/dividers, and the reaction has been very positive from clients.
Rich Badalamenti, Vice President
Music Express East in Englewood, N.J.


Benchmark and Best Practices We give each passenger an individual vacuum-sealed bag containing a mask, a pair of gloves, a single dose hydroalcoholic lotion, and one individual hygienic bag for better waste management. Currently, all vehicles in our fleet are equipped with a Plexiglas separation between the front and rear cabin, validated to be compliant by our insurer. Further, as per the distancing instructions from the World Health Organization, we only accept reservations for sedans with two passengers max and vans with a maximum of four passengers.
Francois Bertin, Manager
Pegasus Limousine in Paris, France


Benchmark and Best Practices We are providing customer with safety care kit that includes a face mask, facial tissue, and a travel-size hand sanitizer. We are planning to add antimicrobial wipes as well. The items are branded with our company name, logo, and phone number.

Recently, we ordered protective shields that clip into the vehicles. The process is fairly simple to install. It is a selling point that our clientele feels safe and confident about our service. Our chauffeurs don’t mind having the shield installed as an extra layer of protection, even though they are also wearing masks and supplied with individualized hand sanitizer and soap.
Moe Bouayad, President
Crown Worldwide Transportation in Englewood, Colo.


Benchmark and Best Practices While we are not providing any safety kits, we bought sneeze guards for four cars in our fleet. They are available to clients upon request. We’ve found the partitions to be easy to install as they strap onto the seatbelt.
Chris Cosand, President
Elite Black Car Services in Fountain View, Calif.


Benchmark and Best Practices We provide each of our passengers with a pair of gloves, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and an antiseptic towelette. Dividers are an excellent idea to help prevent the spread COVID-19. We currently have them on order, and they will soon be available in our vehicles.
Agustin Hernandez, Owner
Blackcar Offers Limo Services in Mexico City, Mexico


Benchmark and Best Practices We offer non-branded hand disinfectant and branded masks to our clients. As of yet, we haven´t installed safety shields and aren´t planning on doing so. But we´re closely monitoring the situation in case the need arises. What is mandatory is the safe distance between drivers and passengers, which led us to institute a maximum of two passengers for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class and four passengers for a V-Class.
Katarina Monsberger, Managing Director
RSL Premium Chauffeured Services in Vienna, Austria


Benchmark and Best Practices We are always looking for ways to improve our processes. That’s why we now offer protective shields between our chauffeurs and passengers to limit exposure.
Mert Onal, President
ZBest Worldwide in Baltimore, Md.


Benchmark and Best Practices Sanitizing alcohol wipes are available in vehicles for drivers and passengers, and a face mask and sanitary kit will be available for any passenger upon request. Further, Plexiglas-partitioned sedans and minivans are available upon request. We insist that drivers and passengers must wear the mask for the whole trip.
Virginie Perrocheau, France & International Sales Manager
Imediat Services in Paris, France


Benchmark and Best Practices We are providing safety kits with a mask for all customers who don’t have their own and hand sanitizer. We have included a pen with a stylus tip in case they need it while traveling. We also have removable “sneeze-guards”; if the client or affiliates request that the vehicle have it installed, we will put it in. It takes less than a minute to install and remove. It was a very simple process to purchase them, and the chauffeurs don’t mind them.
Guri Rajput, CEO
Seattle Royal Town Car & Limo in Seattle, Wash.


Benchmark and Best Practices We are providing hand sanitizer, wipes, and a mask are available upon request. We are not charging anything extra for this service. We are installing protective shields/sneeze guards in our vehicles) and have gotten positive reviews on them. This is still a new thing for us, but it tells the clients that we care.
Jess Sandhu, Director of Operations
A&A Limousine & Bus Service in Seattle, Wash.


Benchmark and Best Practices We are currently looking at safety kits. I am considering the kits some of my peers have already made, checking on pricing as well as contemplating what items I believe would be useful and appreciated most by the client. However, I have concerns about aftermarket dividers. I firmly believe in doing what makes our clients and affiliates feel most comfortable, so, I have some “sneeze guard” dividers on order. We will have them available and ready to install should the client or affiliate prefer/demand.
Quentin Shackelford, Owner
AllClassLimo.com in Wichita, Kansas


Benchmark and Best Practices We are currently developing branded safety kits for our future travelers. Before COVID-19 hit, we were in the process of developing a "thank you kit" for our clients, but we quickly realized that we needed to shift gears and think about what our clients would appreciate when they are able to travel again. The safety of our passengers and chauffeurs is at the forefront of everything we do and we want to carry that mindset into any future initiatives.

Every company that is still actively transporting passengers in this environment has had to deal with the challenge of proactively finding solutions to keep employees and customers safe. One solution that we quickly transitioned to was the purchase and installation of safety shields. We researched and worked with several vendors to consider various materials and price points, eventually landing on an acrylic material because of its clean look and effectiveness in creating a transparent barrier between the chauffeur and passenger. With the demand for this type of product being at an all-time high, some companies have done a really nice job of making these barriers very easy to install, clean, and maintain. Overall, we couldn't be happier with the response we've received from customers and chauffeurs alike. As you can imagine one of the first questions travelers are asking right now is, "what are you doing in response to this health crisis?" The response has been very positive and many customers have gone out of their way to thank us for taking strong initiatives.
Jay Velastegui, Assistant Vice President
A-1 Limousine in Princeton, N.J.


Benchmark and Best Practices The safety kits available in our vehicles include sanitizing alcohol wipes for drivers and passengers. Sanitary masks are available for customers who need one. Company-branded Plexiglas partitions/screen protectors in sedans and SUVs are available on request. We have installed them in half of our fleet. They are thin and transparent in order to maintain the feeling of spaciousness. Furthermore, vehicles are cleaned regularly and sanitized with Ozone disinfection; we have also installed the new eco3 (air purified ozone machine) in our Sprinters.
Joseph Votano, CEO
Abaser Limousine Services in Barcelona, Spain


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.

[06.02.20]