Hotels and restaurants in the time of the Corona Virus: Our recommendations for the reopening phase

Hotels and restaurants in the time of the Corona Virus: Our recommendations for the reopening phase

Reopening the business raises many doubts and questions in the hotel and catering industry. Understandably, guests top priority will be hyghiene and safety. Establishments that can demonstrate their awareness and confidence in complying with government guidelines, are much more likely to succeed in this new climate.

Dr. Schär Foodservice would like to support the hotel and professional catering industry in this phase and provide them with some useful measures sourced from Italian and international regulations and the latest WHO guidelines. These measures can be used by operators to get back on track safely and successfully.

When reopening the business, the first step is to do an intensive clean and disinfection indoors and disinfection outdoors. It is important to consider all of the following areas:

Hotel rooms

Particular attention should be paid to cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in bedrooms and bathrooms (including remote controls for example on conditioning). For this purpose, special products such as sodium hypochlorite 0.1% and for more sensitive surfaces 70% ethanol (alcohol) or hydrogen peroxide should be used in addition to cleaning with common detergents. It is also advisable to remove non-essential decorative elements or to wash them at 90°C after the departure of guests.

Common and meeting rooms in hotels

All common areas such as the lobby, reception, restaurant, etc. should comply with strict hygiene regulations. In particular:

  • the air conditioning systems must be disinfected regularly;
  • a kit consisting of mask, gloves and hand disinfectant solution should be provided for staff and guests;
  • a dispenser for hand disinfectant and paper towels should be positioned at places where several people have direct contact with surfaces such as elevator buttons, door handles, etc.
  • access to the operation should be restricted and the body temperature should be monitored;
  • Employees need to be trained in order to reduce the risk of corona virus spread.

Restaurants, breakfast rooms, dining rooms and bars

When entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast room, dining room or bar, guests should be asked to disinfect their hands with a disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to these facilities.

  1. Buffet and beverage dispenser
    During buffets, guests should avoid direct contact with food. Change cutlery tongs and spoons more often and always leave these items in separate containers. Clean and disinfect the buffet areas after each service.
    Coffee machines, beverage dispensers and similar machines should be cleaned and disinfected after each service and more often if necessary. Pay particular attention to the areas that are touched by guests (e.g. buttons on the coffee machine).
  2. Cleaning of dishes, cutlery and table linen
    Dishes, cutlery and glasses must be washed and disinfected in a dishwasher. This also applies to items that have not been used, as they may have been touched by guests or staff. If manual washing is the only option available, the common procedures (washing, disinfection, rinsing) should be followed with maximum precautions.
    Drying of dishes and cutlery should be done with disposable paper towels.
    Tablecloths and napkins should also be washed as usual.
  3. Organization of tables
    If possible, it is recommended to accommodate a maximum of four people per 10 square metres. Tables should be arranged so that the distance between the backrest of one chair and the backrest of another chair is at least one metre and that guests themselves are spaced at a distance of at least one metre.

Ancillary rooms

Ancillary rooms used by staff, such as corridors, kitchen, offices, cloakroom, laundry, etc. should always be properly protected, ventilated and disinfected several times a day.

Interactions with guests

The caterer must ensure that guests comply with the prescribed protective measures (e.g. wearing of mask & gloves). Interactions with guests must always be carried out in compliance with the safety distances and always with staff wearing mask and gloves. Guests should enter the common rooms at regular intervals and not all at the same time.

Deductibility of expenditure on hygiene

In some countries, such as Italy, expenditure on hygiene can be deducted from tax.


Please note that this article was written on 22nd April 2020 using the sources below. We would also like to inform you that overall Italian law and regulation has been taken into account for this article. If you are not in Italy, please check in your country to see if there are any deviations or additions.