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Hotel reopening – take your time, get it right, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

The lifting of Government restrictions to permit various types of hospitality businesses to re-open on 4th July is to be welcomed. 

However, there will be many businesses that are not ready to open. There is no shame in this.

A hotel is a complicated animal. It has many moving parts, needs constant feeding with cash to keep it afloat, is capital intensive, and relies on people to deliver a memorable guest experience – oftentimes through numerous touch points and interactions.

These touchpoints are being curtailed, it goes against all we have been taught and learned about hospitality, technology is advancing rapidly and yet with safety being paramount we must adapt and find new ways of working.

-Closing a hotel takes careful thought and consideration.

-Opening a hotel takes careful thought, consideration, time, and cash.

-Opening a hotel in the Covid-19 era adds significant layers of complication.

Hoteliers are a resourceful bunch, innovative, creative, and able. Like many other industry types however, the challenge that lies ahead in re-opening hotels post lockdown is significant, fraught with danger, and highly uncertain.

Let’s be clear, this is a mammoth challenge and requires a plan, clear communication, leadership, and cooperation from many stakeholders in order to come back to life, to grow and thrive again. Regardless of the size or complexity of your business, there are common critical concerns that must be addressed. Those noted below are in no particular order and the list is not exhaustive:

  • Establish your dynamic operating plan.

  • Involve our team in the necessary elements of your plan.

  • Communicate this plan with your team and explain why it does what it does.

  • Evolve and adapt the plan as frequently as is necessary to retain a competitive advantage.

  • Create financial forecasts for revenue and costs, note your assumptions, and update them weekly.

  • Communicate with your stakeholders and share with them your plan, your forecasts and your actual performance.

  • Reduce your overheads.

  • Be lean and multitask staff.

  • Remember, multitasking means training, not just giving them more to do.

  • Continue to care for your customers and staff.

  • Focus on channels that are profitable and realistic.

  • Consider how IT can help and support your operation.

  • Protect cash and cash flow.

  • Pay significant attention to cleanliness and hygiene both back and front of house.

  • Establish how you can deliver positive guest experiences to generate positive reviews and feedback.

The customer-facing element of our industry cannot be delivered by working from home; therefore risk is inevitable, hygiene and safety for Team members and customers is key.

Developing a culture within your business where staff feel safe, know your processes and procedures, and are comfortable with them will permeate through to your customers who in turn will feel relaxed and confident. Through engaging with customers this should lead to positive feedback.

Compass Hotels Management have prepared a document to assist in compiling your Covid-19 risk assessment and informing your dynamic re-opening operating plan. We are delighted to share this with you and can help to navigate the path to reopening, when you are ready and when it makes sense for your business to reopen.

To receive a copy of the document, please contact Julian Tee by e-mail or phone.

M: 07971 089 115


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