Preparing hotels for ‘new normal’ re-opening

Tourism HR
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Even if some restrictions on accommodation providers are lifted in time for 2021, it seems certain that they will have to operate under very different circumstances than was the case before the pandemic. Taking steps to ensure that guests are safe during their stay, that they feel that they are safe, and that they do not spread the virus, will involve a whole range of new procedures, particularly for establishments also providing food and beverage.

Food and beverage areas

Re-draw restaurant and bar floor plans ensuring minimum 6 feet distance between tables and bar chairs, and investigate whether it is possible to move kitchen stations to ensure more space

Re-do staff shift schedule for different proportions of usual business – for 30%, 50% or 80% of last year’s business

Research likely increases in food costs if less volume is ordered

Create a re-opening menu with items that limit numbers of cooks in kitchen

Front office and reservations

Add COVID-19 Out of Order designation in your Property Management System (PMS) system in anticipation of occupancy restrictions, and decide which rooms are to be taken out of order

Write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reading temperature of all guests on arrival

Consider the possibility of having guests sign COVID-19 affidavit confirming they have not been close to anyone with virus symptoms

Craft a COVID-19 disclosure for phone and online reservations – either to be read to each guest or posted on the website with an ‘agree’ button

Ensure your credit card scanner accepts contactless cards


Redraw meeting space floor plans to adhere to physical distancing requirements, and upload to website

Determine new bag handling procedures – e.g. whether hotel staff can carry bags into rooms as they are exposed to common areas of hotel

Simulate common area distancing scenarios, furniture distribution, common bathroom usage rules

Send re-opening email listing all precautions being taken, and personalize for ‘best guests’ list

Conduct a full review of the supply chain in the event of ongoing disruptions, and identify alternative suppliers for all critical items