How to create hotel standard operating procedures (SOPs)

When quality, safety and consistency are at stake, hoteliers around the world turn to standard operating procedures (SOPs). It is a term that refers to more than a checklist of items but relies on careful consideration and training to achieve the desired outcome in the world of hospitality.

This blog explores how to build and successfully incorporate SOPs in your hotel operations, including best practices.

What is a hotel SOP?

A standard operating procedure is a set of instructions on how to complete a specific task. It can vary in level of detail from checklists to step-by-step procedures or word-by-word scripts. Ideally, the level of clarity provided strikes a delicate balance between detail and freedom, making it easy for hotel staff to excel in their roles.

Different areas across a hotel’s operations benefit from using SOPs in different ways: there are the customer-facing front-office, sales and marketing and F&B operations, and back-of-house operations including housekeeping, maintenance, food production teams and beyond.

All of them establish certainty in how to deal with a variety of common and uncommon scenarios. Supported by training, the implementation of SOPs leads to consistency and sets expectations and guidance to meet and exceed requirements. In the world of hotels, this extends beyond laws and regulations into the realm of guest expectations and creating unique experiences.

Why are standard operating procedures crucial for the success of your hotel?

The importance of SOPs becomes clear when you consider the many routine tasks that are performed around a hotel on a day-to-day basis: when all those tasks are performed in unison, they create an experience of ease for everyone involved. Naturally, there also are less common occurrences, such as emergency procedures, steps to take in case of a guest falling ill or natural disasters. Since senior decision-makers may not be immediately available, plans have to exist to ensure swift and concise execution by the on-site team in a hotel’s 24-hour operations.