What to do when opening your hotel after the lockdown
Welcome news – Now comes the Hard Work – Failte Ireland Tourism Guidelines Released
Whilst the news to bring forward the opening date for hospitality businesses to the 29th June 2020 is welcome and offers a lifeline for hospitality owners to make 2020 a financial success, many are under pressure with their teams to make the changes necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff and guests which is now the priority.
- The businesses who manage and communicate the new safety protocols effectively will not only have a successful season though will also ensure the longevity of their businesses.
- Never have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) been more important for hospitality businesses and along with the Return to Work Safely Protocols, these must be reviewed with COVID-19 safety management systems including enhanced hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, staff training and health checks, as well as physical distancing.
- As suggested by the Failte Ireland Guidelines for re-opening published on June 9, 2020, tourism businesses should appoint a Covid 19 response team who identify and implement the businesses operational commitments. If the business allows, this team should be made up of the heads of departments (HOD’s) who take responsibility for safety management systems formulated into the SOP’s of each department. The summary of each departments’ actions should form a business safety charter for staff and guests outlining the main process changes and each departments’ enhanced SOP’s should be easily available for all staff.
The SOP’s will off course differ depending on size of operation and the sector they operate in with specific advice for hotels, self – catering businesses, B & B’s caravan and camping businesses, activity providers, attractions and restaurants, amongst others as found below;
The Failte Ireland Guidelines also highlight three main actions for businesses to undertake;
- Complete a risk assessment to identify which operational changes you need to make in your business.
- Review of all standard operating procedures (SOPs) to define and note what you are changing.
- Create a communication plan to inform employees and visitors what you are changing, what you need them to do and how you expect everyone to act and behave.
This essential planning must be carried out prior to opening and must reassure employees and guests that safeguarding their health and safety is paramount. It must also ensure that your operations continue to run in an efficient, effective manner which is the bedrock for a safe and successful future.
For any questions, help or advice on the above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.