Whilst most of us don’t want to consider what we would do should a crisis occur, the COVID pandemic has shown that it is necessary to be prepared for any situations that might occur.  The hospitality industry was hit particularly hard by lockdowns and travel restrictions leading to companies having to think on their feet and deal with the biggest crisis they’ve had to face.

To be prepared for the future here are seven ways that those in hospitality can manage a crisis.

Manage and Mitigate Risks

The best way to manage a crisis is to have an effective risk management plan in place for your company.  Try and cover all potential risks, looking at what to do should they occur.  Where possible look for ways to mitigate risk by altering policies, updating training, and preventing risk where possible.  If you have a good risk management plan in place, things won’t seem so dire during an actual crisis.

Have Good Communication

Make sure that you have a way to communicate with both staff and guests/clients.  For staff having a way to contact them whether, by phone, email, or even through a modern chat system like Slack is a necessity.  This allows you to inform them whenever something occurs that will impact them.

“Guests/clients should already be getting communication from you in terms of verifying bookings and managing any needs they may have.  In terms of crisis it is then just a case of adapting these to update them on what is going on” says Taylor Lloyd, a business writer at Top paper writing services.

The simplest way to do this is to update any company websites or social media to explain what is happening to try and disseminate the information to the widest possible audience.  However, individual communication is a must for any guests/clients who have already made arrangements to use your services.

Set out Clear Company Policies

Most people don’t think about company policy until they have to, in which case it is an invaluable resource.  Make sure all company policies are clear and concise so that they are easily understood by everyone, try to encourage people to read them at the start of employment, and provide any feedback.

It is also important to make sure they are accessible to everyone when they need them, some companies will keep policies on a private intranet server that cannot be accessed outside of the workplace.   Whilst this is good in terms of security, it does provide an issue when a crisis occurs and people cannot access the documents they need.  If you must keep them secure on the intranet, at least provide an accessible copy of relevant policies in communication when a crisis occurs.

Prioritize the Safety of Staff and Guests

It can be tempting during a crisis to focus on the losses the company might make.  However, your priority should be ensuring the safety of all staff and guests/clients.  Make sure everyone knows what to do in a crisis and listen to any feedback you are given to learn from mistakes.

Provide Staff Training

One of the best ways to mitigate risk and make sure staff are prepared in times of crisis is to ensure that they get time and funding for training as well as keeping this training up to date.  Whilst it seems like a large expense, overall the benefits will be worth it.

It is better to be prepared for anything, even if the situation feels like it won’t occur.  That way all grounds are covered and no one is left in the lurch when something goes wrong.

Look for a Digital Approach

When it is not possible to do business the usual way, look to see if there is a way to digitally approach the situation.  This was touched on earlier in communication, but having a social media platform can allow you to disperse information to a wide audience as well as digitally market the company.

Be Creative and Flexible

Finally, when you are in a situation of crisis it is important to be flexible in your approach and look for creative workarounds.   Make sure that annual milestones and estimates can be amended to reflect a crisis without damaging the company overall.  Have documentation be living so that it can be updated as necessary, review any documentation you have regularly.

Look for creative ways to work and provide help to those local to the company where possible.  For example, if you are a caterer providing food for emergency services if necessary.  Build up goodwill so that when you can open up people feel a connection to your company.  This will make it easier when you can return to business as usual.

A crisis can happen when we are least expecting them and can leave us feeling adrift.  However, if you are prepared for most eventualities and have a clear understanding amongst your team then you are well on the way to being able to handle anything.


Christina Lee is a public relations manager, and a business writer.

Over to you

The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.

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Related article: 5 Ways the Luxury Travel and Hospitality Industries are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

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The hotel industry still is facing some uphill challenges. Make sure you follow their guidelines and say THANK YOU to those that now show a unique spirit to serve, and help us all get through this!! #hotelstrong #hospitalitystrong

About Are Morch

Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach that helps hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.

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