GAM Hospitality | Hotel Operation “New Norm” Departmental Strategy
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Hotel Operation “New Norm” Departmental Strategy

GAM Hospitality has been a highly trusted partner to hotel owners, developers and financial investors throughout the last 15 years. We specialize in total portfolio management, including acquisition and disposition of hotel properties. We use a “hands-on” approach in leading hotel operations, food & beverage outlets, catering events, sales, revenue management, and finance.


The COVID – 19 tragedy is slowing occupancy, RevPAR growth and rising operations costs. We are here to assist you run a smarter operation and doing more with less,” we have analyzed the entire guest journey in order to thrive in the new normal.


The following are some of GAM Hospitality suggested “New Norm Points”. Our professional leadership team will customize a new norm strategy based on your hotel needs.
  • This is a major area of concern since some essential workers may refuse to come to work out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. We will assist you to weigh the employees’ legal rights and understandable health concerns with the organizations’ business needs.
  • Our team will assist on deciding how and when you will Onboard returning, new, and temp employees with an efficient and cost-effective process to get them ready for operations. We will also assist in adjusting SOP’s and policies to make sure that the onboarding process is clear and consistent.
  • We will provide you with the best recommendations for communication tools to stay in touch with employees and guest, so they have the right resources and information on-hand.
  • We can assist your team to ensure full open line of communication with hotel union delegates and local union representatives. We can also assist in renegotiating past and new practices due to COVID-19 impact.
Here are few important steps to consider:
  • Ensure regular health check-ups for employees; within the hotel premises with a health partner
  • Have proper PPE equipment for the Safety Team in case of any requirements, train the Safety Team to handle and wear disposable PPE equipment.
  • Conduct sensitization classes for Associates on upgraded hygiene standards
  • Employees must be well-informed about all COVID related operating SOPs
  • Request all Associates to stay at home in case they have any symptoms of flu or are not feeling well
  • Alternate methods to be devised for Associates to clock-in and clock-out at the hotel; could use code method
  • Temperature check for all employee on clocking into the premises of the hotel
  • Staff running temperature more than 98.6° F should be asked to return home
  • Uniform exchange daily (or every two days) should be the norm
  • Uniforms will need to be sanitized properly.
  • Associates will be given masks and gloves as part of the uniform across all departments
  • Ensure that Associates are maintaining Social Distancing during uniform exchange
  • The shifts will have to be staggered in various 15 minutes slot to ensure there is no overcrowding in the lockers.
  • Extensive hand wash and sanitizing arrangements must be made with signages explaining the need
  • Proper tools and gears for Associates which would include masks, gloves and also tools in various departments which shall minimize human touch
  • Use disposable masks only
  • Associates to wear disinfected & clean gloves
  • Associates to isolate themselves in case they have any symptoms of cold or flu
  • Shifts must be staggered to avoid cafeteria crowding
  • Cafeteria hours should be extended to allow smaller groups over a longer period of time (maintain 33% of its capacity at any given time)
  • In addition to working with your team to reforecast and budget monthly and annual P&L, we will look for new methods of savings and revenue streams. Hotels are considering introducing extra fees for daily room cleaning service and turndown service. Others are entertaining the idea of charging for toiletry kits or having them available upon request. We can also consider taking historically included services and convert them to ancillary ones.
  • We will help you streamline your operation by consolidating departments and centralizing administrative / operational divisions within single or multiple properties. In addition, we will look into modifying operating hours for administrative and operational departments as well as limiting access to certain guest areas and services.
  • Introducing new automation to hotel daily operators will allow them to speed-up the onboarding process, reduce labor costs and operational inconsistency, in addition to eliminate manual tasks to streamline their daily tasks.
  • Have an extended cash flow forecast for the next six months. Be realistic and have Base and Downside scenarios to understand critical cash points and any breaches of lending covenants.
  • For operators: manage your payments to suppliers.
  • Minimize all discretionary operational and capital expenditure. Reconsider or postpone maintenance and other capital expenditure where possible to conserve cash.
  • Put in place an advanced revenue management system and pricing models to respond to market developments quickly.
  • If your forecasts highlight a funding requirement, assess the equity or debt funding sources available.
  • Be transparent towards existing lenders and involve them in the mitigating procedures and continuity plans.
  • There may be alternative lenders that can move quickly to provide short term funding. However, these may have a higher interest charge and fee structure.
  • Ensure you apply for the tax refunds and other financial relief measures.
  • Talk to your operators to discuss their expectations about the impact on performance.
  • Assess the impact on Occupancy and RevPAR and create a plan to mitigate risk.
  • Talk to your suppliers, funders, project developers and contractors to manage expectations and maintain confidence.
  • Open the discussion with suppliers on discounts of supplies, rent etc.
  • Offer your guest different options for cancellation to retain the customer in the long-term.
Guests Check – In Information and communication
  • If the Guest is arriving from restricted countries or regions, ensure that you have detailed information from the Guest upfront before arrival or at time of making the reservation.
  • For all pre-booked Guests all check-in formalities should be completed online to reduce contact and time at the front desk.
  • Create Guest Booklet or Communication methodology to be handed over to the Guests at their first touch point, so that they are very clear on what is expected for their own safety and also the mandatory requirements as per the health authorities.
  • Reception desk staff should be sufficiently informed about COVID-19 so that they can safely carry out their assigned tasks and prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 within the establishment.
  • They should also be able to advise guests with respiratory symptoms to stay in their rooms until they are seen by a doctor—management should arrange it immediately—as well as to provide basic hygiene recommendations when asked.
  • Reception Desk staff should be familiar with the room occupancy policy for accompanying persons in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19. Provide up-to-date information should be available about travel to and from countries or areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
  • The reception desk should have immediately available the telephone numbers for the hotel “Emergency Team “: and the health authorities, medical centers, public and private hospitals, and assistance centers for use whenever there is the possibility that a guest may be ill.
  • The reception desk should have a medical kit that includes the following items: Germicidal disinfectant/wipes for surface cleaning Tissues, Face/eye masks (separate or combined, face shield, goggles), disposable face masks can only be used once, Gloves (disposable), Protective apron (disposable), Full-length long-sleeved gown, Biohazard disposable waste bag…..etc.
  • Social distancing includes refraining from hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with guests as well as among staff. It involves maintaining a distance of at least 1 m (3 ft) and avoiding anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Hand hygiene means regularly and thoroughly cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water. Also avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand disinfection is indicated after exchanging objects (money, credit cards) with guests.
  • Respiratory etiquette means covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. The used tissue should be disposed of immediately in a bin with a lid.
  • Ensure that safety instructions, are posted in front and inside guest elevators including the number of Guests allowed at one time; apologize for the delay and inconvenience caused to the Guests due to the new safety norms.
  • Elevator floor must have markings with directions, so that Guests do not face each other and maintain the appropriate Social Distance.
  • Ensure elevator floor buttons are regularly sanitized by the Housekeeping Associates.
  • Keep floor & other area of the elevators that can be touched sanitized.
  • Install hand sanitizer dispensers in the elevators.
Guests Check-out
  • Create a separate check-out area if you think it’s getting over-crowded and wherever possible use e-check out by emailing the bill & accepting online payments.
  • Advise the Guests to inform their check-out plans in advance so that bills can be made ready.
  • Put floor markers as in case of check-in.
  • Provide sanitizers and other swabs in case the Guest requires
Guest Rooms
  • Signages with information on sanitization norms should be placed.
  • Allocate alternate rooms or leave two rooms vacant in between, based on occupancy levels.
  • Guests instructions given at the reception should include how the rooms are sanitized at regular intervals.
  • May need a tent card or post to say the room & other touch points have been sanitized.
  • Ensure Housekeeping Associates on the floor are wearing safety gear.
  • Keep sanitizers at regular intervals on the floor and small dispensers in the rooms.
  • Laundry, room service instructions should be available in the room for the new SOPs being implemented.
  • Room linen to be changed once in two days or ONLY on request; no turn down services to facilitate minimal contact.
Business Centers
  • Keep enough space between work desks.
  • Limit the number of Guests in the area based on maximum allowed.
  • Disinfect each desk, equipment and work area after the Guest has moved out.
  • Reduce number of tables to maintain Social Distancing norms.
  • Seating for the tables to be reduced to half of capacity.
  • Arrival instructions should explain to Guests that they should come down to the restaurants only when a table is available to avoid crowding.
  • Staff must be trained for minimal contact/communication during service.
  • Ensure Associates are wearing masks & gloves.
  • Use disposable napkins which are pre-packed or individually packed serviettes.
  • Keep sanitizers for Guests to use
  • Keep swabs which Guests can use with sanitizer to clean their phone or credit card.
  • Whenever possible, it is recommended to have a maximum of 4 persons for 10 square meters. Tables shall be arranged such that the distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair shall be more than 1 m (3 ft.) apart and that guests face each other from a distance of at least 1 m (3 ft.)
  • Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast, or dining room to disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.
  • We recommend eliminating buffet services. In the meantime, if you have to provide such service due to labor shortage; guests should avoid handling food.
  • It is best to have a staff member serve guests at the buffet so, they don’t touch anything.
  • The coffee machines, soda machines, and others, in particular the parts more in contact with the hands of users, should be cleaned and disinfected at least after each service and more often if necessary.
  • All dishes, silverware, and glassware should be washed and disinfected in a dishwashing machine, including items that have not been used.
  • Likewise, tablecloths and napkins (when used) should be washed in the usual manner.
  • In case Guests require a meeting area, keep enough space between tables & chairs.
  • Limit the number of Guests in the area based on maximum allowed.
  • Disinfect each desk, equipment and work area after the Guest has moved out.
  • Operational kitchens must be sanitized at regular intervals.
  • Limit the number of staff to the minimum required; staff can be organized into teams to reduce interactions between teams.
  • All staff should wear disposable masks, gloves, hair nets and all other safety gear.
  • Workstations should be placed in such a way that the staff is not facing each other and can maintain appropriate Social Distance.
  • Run limited menus and ramp-up in a phased manner.
  • You may tweak the menus to include more options of cooked food rather than raw food.
  • Ensure proper cleaning of vegetables, meats and all other materials that are required in the kitchens; use approved sanitizing agents to disinfect.
  • Ensure all tools get sanitized after each use.


We will be pleased to provide you with COVID-19 hotel guidelines for cleaning and disinfection. Our goal is to provide the proper directions to a safe, healthy and clean stay for your hotel guest and associates.

  • Even in the absence of COVID-19 cases in the establishment, it is recommended that hygiene services be enhanced. Special consideration should be given to the application of cleaning and disinfection measures in common areas (restrooms, halls, corridors, lifts, etc.)
  • Special attention should be given to objects that are frequently touched such as handles, elevator buttons, handrails, switches, doorknobs, etc. Cleaning staff should be instructed accordingly.
  • There should be a special cleaning and disinfection plan for situations in which there are sick guests or employees staying at the establishment or identified with COVID-19 within a few days after leaving the establishment.
  • Housekeeping and cleaning staff should inform the management or the reception desk of any pertinent incidents, including possibly sick guests in their rooms. They must treat all this information with discretion.
  • Cleaning staff should be trained on the use of and provided with personal protection equipment (Gloves, Disposable gowns, Closed shoes, special projects facial protection with a face shield and impermeable aprons).
  • Switch to and use disinfectant products that have been pre-approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Linens may become contaminated with the virus, so it is also important to add disinfectant when washing laundry. Bed scarfs and bedspreads should be washed more frequently.
  • Train housekeeping staff to use the disinfectants safely and correctly. Staff should wear gloves when cleaning.
  • All indoor areas such as entrance lobbies, corridors and staircases, escalators, elevators, security guard booths, office rooms, meeting rooms, cafeteria should be mopped with a disinfectant with 1% sodium hypochlorite or phenolic disinfectants.
  • For metallic surfaces like door handles, security locks, keys etc. 70% alcohol can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable.
  • Designate loading dock special check point and enforce proper cleaning procedures for items being received.
  • Quarantine & date tag receivable goods before you take them inside storage.
  • All supplies need to be fully sanitized before entering the storage and refrigerators.
  • Ensure area is sanitized at regular intervals.
  • Vendors should be advised on how you will accept goods and how their staff should arrive with necessary protective gear.
Service Elevators
  • Ensure that safety instructions, including the number of employees allowed at one time, is placed inside the elevator and is easily visible.
  • Ensure elevator floor buttons are regularly sanitized.
  • Keep floor & other area of the elevators that can be touched sanitized.
  • Elevator floor must have markings with directions, so that employees do not face each other and maintain Social Distancing.
  • Keep one elevator dedicated to quarantine and evacuate any possible suspected cases for both Guests and Associates.
  • Install hand sanitizer dispensers in the elevators.
  • Water disinfection: It is necessary to maintain the concentration of disinfectant in water for consumption and in pools or spas within the limits recommended according to international norms and standards, preferably at the upper limits of the range.
  • Dishwashing and laundry equipment: The proper functioning of the dishwashing and laundry equipment should be checked, particularly the operating temperatures, as well as the correct dosage of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.
  • Air-conditioning: Although COVID-19 is not transmitted by air but from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when an infected person coughs or exhales, attention should be given, as in normal circumstances, to monitoring the condition of filters and maintaining the proper replacement rate of indoor air. The proper functioning of ventilation, air exchange, and dehumidification equipment of covered pools should be checked.
  • Dispensers: Regular checks should be carried out to ensure the proper functioning of soap and disinfectant solution dispensers, hand dryers, disposable tissue dispensers, and other similar devices.
  • Defective units should be rapidly repaired or replaced. The hotel action plan should include installing units to dispense disinfectant gel in the different areas of the hotel, including the public restrooms used by guests and by staff, and other areas of interest (e.g. entrance to the dining hall, restaurants, and bars).
General recommendations
  • Identify and set-up a Safety Team with a Leader, who will be responsible to ensure that all measures are being implemented and recorded.
  • Ensure that you conduct a detailed workshop for Associates, maintaining Social Distancing.
  • You should have a ‘Crisis Management’ documented plan in place and methodology of reporting any issues that arise in the hotel.
  • A quarantine policy, if required, for the Associates should be clearly defined. Also, have procedures of reporting any suspected cases or possible issues to the Safety Team.
  • If a guest develops symptoms of acute respiratory infection, efforts should immediately be made to minimize contact of the ill person with all guests and staff of the establishment.
  • Reception or other hotel staff should follow the procedures in the action plan for the situation when a guest develops signs and symptoms indicative of COVID-19. Separate the ill person from the other persons by at least 2m (6ft).
  • If the situation requires and the ill person is not transferred to a medical establishment, Management shall consider relevant measures that the ill person is taken care of in an adequate way. This might include the need for the potential designation of one member of the staff, who is sufficiently trained in infection prevention and control, and the policies.
  • If possible, designate one bathroom for use only by the ill person.
  • Request the ill person to wear a medical mask and practice respiratory hygiene when coughing and sneezing.
  • In case the ill person cannot wear a mask, direct contact with the ill person should be avoided unless wearing at least disposable gown, gloves, a mask, and eye protection.
  • When attending to an ill guest or staff coming from an affected area who displays fever, persistent cough, or difficulty breathing, always use additional protective equipment including mask, eye protection, gloves, and a gown.
  • Remove PPE carefully to avoid contaminating yourself. Remove first gloves and gown, do hand hygiene; next remove the mask and eye protection, and immediately wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Properly dispose of gloves and other disposable items that had contact with the ill person’s body fluids in biohazard bag or a secured plastic bag, which will be considered as “biohazard” waste.
  • If a member of the staff reports respiratory symptoms, the worker must immediately stop work and seek medical assistance. The staff should stay isolated in a suitable room while the medical services are being notified.
  • The symptomatic worker should be provided with disposable tissues and a mask that should be worn when other persons are present or when having to go out to common areas.
  • Staff who report from home that they are ill with respiratory symptoms should be advised to stay at home and seek medical attention.
  • Staff who report from home that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the instructions received from the doctor, including the recommendation of self-isolation at home until the symptoms have completely disappeared.
Our hotel business used to be known for the human touch.
Now we’re all about no touch at all.
Here what other hotels new norm practices
  • To minimize human contact, guests are encouraging (where available) to take advantage of its digital key program, which enables guests to check in / out and request hotel amenities virtually.
  • Upon arrival, guests are given three bags: one for soiled towels, one for soiled bedding and one for trash. When towels and bedding need to be cleaned and when garbage needs to be removed, guests are asked to place bags near the entrances to their rooms and to contact housekeeping, which picks up the bags without ever fully entering the rooms.
  • Elevator rides are limited to one guest per car.
  • Hotel’s restaurant, bar and complimentary coffee station are closed indefinitely.
  • Extra pillows out of guest rooms, so there are four per room, instead of six.
  • Deep cleaning of the rooms takes place after guests leave. Room is left vacant for a full 24 hours after a guest checks out. Then a cleaning crew comes in with hazmat suits and does a deep cleaning, after which the room is left empty for 24 more hours. Then housekeeping enters to prepare the room for the next guests while wearing appropriate PPE,” or personal protective equipment.
  • For hotel gyms, “In order to keep guests socially distanced, you may offer guests the opportunity to sign up for a specific gym time slot and exploring in-room exercise equipment options”.
  • Some hotels are considering hiring two nurses at a designated hotel entrance, armed with thermometers. Everyone who enters has their temperature taken, employees and guests alike. Anyone with a fever is denied entry.
  • Some reservation agents may begin asking guests about their health and travel histories before a room can be booked.