IT – Hotel IT Failure Emergency Action Plan / Contingency Plan (All Departments)

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Sample Hotel IT Emergency Action Plan / Contingency Plan

In today’s digital age, all businesses must have a solid IT emergency action plan or contingency plan in place. This is especially true for hotels, which rely heavily on technology to provide superior guest experiences and operate efficiently.

A hotel IT emergency action plan should cover a wide range of potential scenarios, including cyber attacks, system failures, power outages, and natural disasters. The plan should outline specific steps that staff members should take in each situation, including who should be contacted, what systems should be shut down or restarted, and how guests should be informed of any disruptions or delays.

In addition to outlining specific steps, the hotel IT emergency action plan should also include a comprehensive communication strategy. This should include clear lines of communication between IT staff, hotel management, and guests. The plan should also provide guidance on how to communicate updates and status reports to all relevant stakeholders, including guests, vendors, and partners.

Currently, most hotel operations are directly dependent on computers, software applications like Property management systems (PMS), Point of Sale (POS), Interfaces, and internet or network connectivity.

In the unforeseen event that the Hardware, Operating System layer, or Application Software fails, we will have no alternative but to switch over to manual operations for immediate uninterrupted operations. In case of a problem IT Dept. would inform the Resident Manager or Lobby Manager about the failure.

A team consisting of the following should coordinate the manual operations under the leadership of the Resident Manager or Lobby Manager :

  • Lobby Manager / FOM
  •  Manager Food and Beverage Operations.
  •  Executive Housekeeper or Desk Control Supervisor.
  •  IT Manager and IT assistants
  •  Accounts Manager and General Cashier on duty.
  •  Telephone Operator / Guest Service Associate.

Distribute Emergency backup reports:

Emergency batch reports are printed and saved by the Front desk team a regular intervals, The latest set of this report is to be distributed to relevant department heads in case of emergency. These reports should be generated daily and the concerned department will print and save them.

In case of a failure of the server, the Lobby Manager gives the intimation to the FOM, would informs the GM/HOD and other members of the team. Operationally no additional manpower would be required Lobby Manager / FOM and Finance team would distribute pre-numbered, GR cards, Guest Bills points of sale bills, etc to concerned officials. 

List of Hotel Emergency reports Printed and Saved:

  • In-house guests by room number
  • In-house guests sorted by guest name
  • Remaining arrivals for the day by room number
  • Remaining arrivals alpha with VIP and guest preferences
  • Remaining departures by room number
  • Departures Checked Out -Today
  • Arrivals Checked in – Today
  • Airport Pickup report
  • Airport Drop Report
  • Rate Variance Report
  • Reservations on the books ( all )
  • Availability as per room type
  • Arrival List Next 3 days
  • Departures next 3 days
  • All Open Traces for the next 3 days
  • Banquet Functions list for the day
  • Housekeepers List showing current room status.
  • Room Status detail report
  • Out of Order rooms list
  • Out-of-service rooms list
  • Guest balance detailed report
  • Open balance report
  • High Balance guest report
  • Guest Ledger Balance with Ageing
  • City Ledger / AR Ledger Balance with Ageing
  • Cashier Status
  • Payments by Cash Register
  • Current Exchange rate

Following pre-printed/ pre-numbered stationery needs to be kept in a ready state for taking check-in /check-out in custody of the Lobby Manager/FOM to be handed over to the respective department:

  • Pre-printed Blank Guest Registration cards 
  •  Pre-printed Blank Point of Sale Bills
  •  Pre-printed Blank Kitchen order ticket (KOT)
  •  Pre-printed Blank Guest Folio 
  •  Pre-printed Blank paid out 
  •  Pre-printed Blank receipt book

All departments should switch to manual operations, a brief description of the manual operations for each department is given below:

Front Office Manual Operation Procedure: 

Check-in: The Front office staff will work on the Arrival list generated above to block the rooms. Pre-printed Guest Registration cards will be used for taking manual check-in. After the check-in of a reserved guest, the corresponding reservation will be marked on the expected arrival list. The reception staff will have to inform other departments like Telephone, Room Service Housekeeping, and other restaurants about the guest check-in which was taken manually. The Signed registration card and advance deposit details are to be kept separate so that the same can be updated immediately once the system is online.

Check-out: Front office staff should check the ‘Guest balance’ detailed report to find out the outstanding balance as per the report. The cashier will use the Guest outstanding report for taking the opening balance of the in-house guests (as per the latest report available), for the rest of the guests the physical bills would be required to prepare the bills. Check with other departments and if there are any charges incurred which need to be collected from the guest. At check out, the Cashier will have to prepare the bill manually as per the supporting documents in the guest folder. 

Collect a guest’s email address so that a copy of the bill can be emailed to the guest as soon as the system is online. The settlement details will have to be written on the Cashier’s copy of the bill. Once the system is online cross check if all the postings have picked up correctly tally with the manual bill made and show check-out.

Reservations Manual Operation Procedure:

All reservations are to be taken manually on Reservation forms. No reservation will be confirmed and the reservation confirmation number will not be shared. All reservations will be identified by the name of the guest and arrival date & time.

The manually taken reservations will have to be filed separately so that they can be entered into the system when the system is operational again. Call back the guest or email the reservation confirmation letter once the system is back online.

Telephone Manual Operation Procedure:

In case of failure of communication software where there is no interface available between the Property management system and EPBX (Telephone Exchange), Telephone Billing has to be done manually and the details to be passed to the front office to add to collect while guests check.

Activation and de-activation of the outgoing dialing facility will not be automatically enabled for those guests who had checked in and checked out during this period same needs to be done manually. Also, any inquiry regarding the guest in a room/ room of guest can be handled using the copy of the in-house report by room no./name.

Housekeeping Manual Operation Procedure:

The in-house guest list by room number will indicate the current room status. The housekeeping staff will write the changes in the room status on the Room Status Change sheet. This sheet will be filed so that the correct room status can be entered into the system after it becomes operational. All changes in the room status will have to be informed to the Front office. 

F&B outlets – POS (Point of Sales) Manual Operation Procedure:

F&B outlets can check the available report ‘In-house guests by room number’ to verify the details of the resident guests. KOT ( Kitchen Order Ticket) is to be written manually in the pre-printed format and sent to the appropriate kitchen.

The Restaurant team has to prepare manual bills on separate stationery kept especially for this purpose. The pre-printed bill stationary used for computer-printed bills will not be used.

The settlement details will be written on the bills. A copy of the bill will be dispatched to Front Office (Cash) as soon as possible. Before handing over the shift the Restaurant Cashier will make the sale summary and bill register before depositing the cash and credit card slip. 

Important Support number:

Property Management System (PMS)

1) Name and Hotline Number 

Point of Sale (POS)

1) Name and Hotline Number 
Finally, it is essential to regularly review and update the hotel IT emergency action plan to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. This should include regular testing of the plan in simulated scenarios to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. With the right IT emergency action plan in place, hotels can minimize disruptions, protect their guests and staff, and maintain their reputation for exceptional service and hospitality.
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