Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) / noun / : a structured guidance document that details a series of steps for achieving an outcome.

Every hotel, big and small, needs to have them. Streamlining your operations is all about developing standard procedures for every departmental task in your hotel. In order to convey professionalism and efficiency, and to ensure that all tasks are executed and every point hit, there needs to be a consistent process. When working in such a day-to-day ‘operation heavy’ industry, it’s great to have a checklist to fall back on! Below are examples of a few of the large departmental tasks that require a fine-tuned SOP initiative.

Front Desk

  • Check-ins & check-outs   
  • Booking reservations
  • Night audit procedures

Housekeeping

  • Room cleans  
  • Room refreshes
  • Turn down service  
  • Laundry turning

Marketing

  • Daily social media marketing procedure
  • Monthly email campaigns
  • Marketing collateral production (development, printing, distribution)

You can narrow your SOPs down to the most minute tasks you want, providing you have the time or are working with a hospitality coach who can craft them for you. It all just depends on how streamlined you want your operations to be. You don’t, however, want to make it so streamlined that your hotel staff runs like robots – it’s good to leave some leeway for improvisation and nuance. But you want it to be a well-oiled machine overall.    

It’s good practice to have all your Standard Operating Procedures in a centralized place, accessible to all staff. I prefered to keep mine in a binder separated by tabs in order of department. This way, when you hire a new associate, you can make the reading of this binder part of their training program and have them sign off that they have read and understood their department SOP. Later on down the line you can use this binder as part of your KPI (key performance indicators) program and ensure that all staff is equally trained and performing up to operational standard.

Once you have all your departmental SOPs in place, you will have a much easier time streamlining your hotel operations, training staff and outlining their KPIs. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive checklist on developing your SOPs, feel free to shoot me an email; dustin@thehotelman.net.  

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