Bringing Guests and Staff Back To Your Business After a COVID-19 Shutdown

RCM&D has designed a comprehensive Back to Business Playbook for the Hospitality Industry. This playbook aims to assist in developing a tailored plan for bringing back your full workforce and guest population. If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please complete the form at the bottom of this page and an RCM&D advisor will contact you. The RCM&D team is available to help review your existing plan, offer enhancement and verification, or even to help you build a customized plan tailored to your operations.Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to alter their operations as the majority of Americans were under stay-at-home orders. As many states and local jurisdictions begin relaxing these orders, the hospitality industry is preparing to welcome guests under a new set of “norms and expectations” as a result of the virus. As owners and managers in the hospitality industry, the steps you take over the next few months will be extremely important to reassure your guests and staff that measures have been implemented to ensure their health and safety.

Below, we offer a concise but effective overview of necessary considerations to ensure a safe return to operations for your facility.

Undertaking a Phased Approach

A phased approach to resuming operations and returning the workforce is recommended. There are no certainties regarding when government bans will be lifted.

At first, consider which operations are vital to the business as well as the staff needed to support these operations. Return key staff in staggered stages in accordance with federal, state and local guidance.

Assemble a Task Force

As you begin to consider resuming operations, establish a task force or committee to facilitate and vet the back-to-business plan. The task force should be comprised of employees representing all major functions of the hotel or facility, serving as the overarching group to guide decision-making and subsequently funnel information to division or department-level committees.

Key Considerations for Returning To the Workplace

It’s all about risk, and not the type of safety risks that we typically contemplate. It is imperative to follow the advice of risk control specialists to help assess and control the risk of infection in your facility.

Some key considerations for returning to the workplace include:

Preparing the Facility

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your building may have been completely vacant or operating with a skeleton crew and/or at limited occupancy. It is recommended to perform thorough inspections or assessments before allowing employees and guests to return.

Some considerations while preparing a facility should include:

Proper cleaning and disinfection of guest rooms and common areas at your facility is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether you were shut down, used your facility for housing essential health care workers, or were open for regular business, you’ll need to consider your enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols for the next phase of your return to operations.

Educating and equipping staff with the proper tools and supplies to regularly clean and disinfect high-touch areas is a must. Additionally, the removal of unnecessary items in guest’s rooms or common areas should be considered when preparing a facility.

Preparing Operations

When preparing a facility to resume operations, guidelines and considerations should be set for the following topics:


The return to work will most likely prompt different means in which employees interact with each other. This could induce stress, anxiety and inefficiencies if not well planned. It’s important to establish clear and frequent communication with employees.

Additionally, it is important to communicate with guests and staff that all policy changes and preventive measures are being taken in your facility.

Preparing the Workforce

The health and well-being of staff should be at the forefront of any return-to-work plan.

It is imperative to set guidelines and considerations for the following:

Housekeeping/Cleaning Services

Policies for worker protection and training should be provided to all cleaning staff onsite prior to performing cleaning tasks.

Training programs should include the following topics:

Additional Considerations

In addition to the topics listed above, guidelines and considerations should be made for the following areas:

Business Recovery Cycle

The business recovery cycle pictured below is a continuous cycle of evaluating and controlling risk as well as assessing your performance. This can be measured by the number of employees who become ill, how well you service your customers and other metrics. Your back to business plan may need to be revised to accommodate new risks and controls. You may need to revert back to reduced operations. It will be important for your task force to identify the triggers that will impact your plan and react accordingly.

We’re Here To Help

RCM&D’s risk consulting team is highly experienced in developing back to business plans for organizations of all types and sizes. Whether you are a fully operational facility bringing back ancillary services or a fully remote workforce returning to onsite operations, we’re here to help you identify your route to reopening by:

Developing Internal Programs

We can develop or review custom internal programs targeted for your specific facilities, employees and operations.

Implementing Infection Control Protocols

Ensure that you are able to not only prevent exposure but also identify, isolate and sanitize in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.

Social Distance Heat Mapping

Identify areas within your facility that may be a concern for effective social distancing measures. Using those insights, we can help you mitigate concerns through appropriate intervention techniques.

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