If your hotel is forced to close temporarily through no fault of your own, it can be a very scary prospect.

What if guests never return? 

What if you have to let go of staff or they decide to head elsewhere on their own accord?

What if you never get through this?

Dealing with a temporary closure in the hospitality industry is challenging, but there are some positive strategies you can turn to.

In today’s blog, we’re going to break down those strategies into the key areas that will undoubtedly be on your mind.

Your staff

At the foremost of your concerns is likely to be the team.

If the closure means you need to temporarily or permanently let go of people, it’s undeniably heart-breaking.

However, before you do anything, start by seeking advice from your government. In times of crisis, they often put in place financial support designed to help businesses maintain their staff – even if that results in lower pay for a while.

Retaining your core staff should be an imperative if you fully intend to re-open. So, make sure you find all of the help you need to do just that.

Guest bookings

You’ll undoubtedly have a number of guest bookings that were due to arrive during the closure. It’s therefore important that one of your first tasks is contacting those pending reservations.

Inform them of the closure and make it abundantly clear that it is temporary. At times like this, it’s sensible to waive strict booking policies and ask that they instead consider postponing the booking until you’re open once more.

If people insist on cancelling, abide by your cancellation policies as far as you can. If a huge clamour for reclaimable deposits ensues, that might hint at a larger economic issue, and it could reflect well on your brand if you can relax the rules without denting cashflow.

Cash flow

Ah, that brings us onto this topic. Cash really is king.

Regardless of your cash position going into the closure, now is the time to limit the accumulation of debts.

Start by contacting your debtors and seeking payment. While waiting for those debts to arrive, start a cash flow analysis for the next one to three months. 

Once completed, do the same for six months after you re-open. The impact of the closure might continue for that long, therefore doing your homework now will ensure you’re less likely to be met with any unwelcome surprises.

Keeping a line of communication going with your bank is important, too. When your cash flow forecast tells you an overdraft of capital will be required, let the bank know well in advance.

Lastly, if government assistance in delaying tax payments exists, take advantage of it.

The operation

Even if your hotel is closed, it’ll still need some tender loving care.

Depending on the type of closure, security remains important, but you may even have the opportunity to finally undertake some of the maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off.

There’s also the digital side of the business; your hospitality software will still need to be monitored and used to plan ahead. Emails will continue to arrive, and your social media presence will be more important than ever.

Final thought

Remember – this is about getting through the current period, nothing more.

Providing you can erect temporary barricades to stem the tide, you stand a brilliant chance of emerging from your temporary closure relatively unscathed, and with the same team you know and love.

You can get through this – just take each day at a time and follow our tips above.


CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry. We will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.