60+ Years Combined Hospitality Experience        Call/ WhatsApp: +27 82 765 9238      Email: training@hospitalitycourses.co.za

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resort staff at alpine heath
housekeeper making a bed

Hotel Pre-opening Training


Let Us Help You Get Your Staff Ready To Deliver Excellent Service to your Guests

Are you opening a hotel, resort, game lodge, guest house, or restaurant? Pre-opening is the most critical stage for your business. This stage can either make or break your brand. 


We at Sam Hospitality Academy, have experts that worked in the hospitality industry for many years. This experience enables us to help you plan, organize, and conduct proper pre-opening training activities and staff readiness. Our team has 60+ years' experience in the hospitality industry.


Our pre-opening consulting and training draws from the other training elements, combining them as needed to achieve your goal of a thoroughly trained opening team of employees and managers. We understand that each brand is unique, hence we work with you to tailor training to your specific needs, standards, and style. 


What Makes us Different?

At Sam Hospitality, our Hotel Pre-opening and Operational Review services are specifically tailored to the needs of the Hotel Owner, where our goals are exactly aligned with the Owner. This means we have a common target in terms of standards, revenue, and most importantly, in terms of costs.


We do not impose any fixed cage, inflexible brand standards, inappropriate operation procedures or costly investment requirements.


We work shoulder to shoulder with the Owner to maximize the value of the Investment or asset by applying, flexible tailored services, flexible remuneration structures, adaptable working approaches, and adaptable operation standards.


Owner Representation Service

We refer to our Hotel Pre-opening and Operations Services as “Owner Representation”, whereby our support is given at every point of operation or construction both for internal departments (front office, HR, housekeeping etc) and for external service providers (sale and marketing, branding firms, franchise companies, etc).


What Does Our Pre-opening Training and Consulting Involve?

Our pre-opening training and consulting is a 7 step process:

  1. Functionality and facilities review

  2. Branding & Service Concept 

  3. Hospitality Operation Forms & Tailored Amenities

  4. Organizational Chart, Staff Training, and Positioning

  5. Tailored Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  6. The Pre-Opening Period

  7. Operation Supervision


Functionality and Facilities Review

The “Health Check” Stage


We will review and comments on the following aspects from the operation stand point related to the current design and construction:

  • Hotel operation functionality

  • Room interior functionality

  • Front office functionality

  • BOH functionality

  • Outsourcing services

  • F&B functionality

  • Documents Provided

  • Inspection report with full indication of weakness

  • Suggestions to remedy detected blind spots

  • Hotel, Resort, Game Lodge,e or Restaurant Pre-opening Services


Branding and Service Concept

The Branding Stage

  • Positioning and branding identity (operation standpoint)

  • Guest service and experience

  • Competitor offering analysis

  • Pricings

  • Room category offering and up sale options

  • Extra services (car transportation, butlers, etc)

  • Documents Provided

  • Product guidelines

  • Brand standards manual

  • Proposed extra services list

  • Pricing options


Operation Forms & Tailored Amenities List

  • Operations Forms

  • Room inventory list

  • Room directory

  • In-room amenities

  • General amenities

  • Reservation forms

  • Guest feedback forms

  • Branded forms (e.g. laundry cards or check out forms)

  • Non branded forms (e.g. purchase order)


Organization chart and Staff Positioning

  • The Organization Chart and Staff Positioning Service

  • Suggestions on the ideal organization chart and staff positioning

  • Suggestions for seasonality and replacements

  • List of job descriptions

  • Multifunctional staff (tailored for the project)

  • Staff interaction and reporting procedures

  • GM consideration, interview, and hiring support (if requested)

  • Extra services andon-call staff, training programs

  • Documents Provided

  • Organization charts and reports

  • Job descriptions

  • Training plans


Tailored Standard Operating Procedures

Based on the Owner’s goals and financial targets we will tailor the following SOP:

  • Departmental SOPs

  • Front Office

  • Food & Beverage

  • Housekeeping

  • Staff Training Manuals


The Pre-opening Period

Sam Hospitality will work closely with you and the GM for preparing the pre-opening of your establishment. 

  • Pre-opening GM

  • Hiring support

  • Pre-opening check list

  • Full staff training

  • Reservation training

  • Sale and marketing support (including OTAs)

  • Opening simulation (training)

  • Supplier contracts (for example car rental)


Operation Supervision

Monitoring daily operations to ensure smooth management

Periodic supervision on the implementation of the operational upgrade based on the Owner’s instructions.

A biweekly review and monthly inspection of the property over a period of 6 months is suggested.


How Long does the Pre-opening Training Take?

Our pre-opening training varies from one establishment to the other, depending on size, formation, style, and other factors. It can be as short as 1 week and as long as 1 month. Duration for pre-opening training for a big hotel or resort will not be the same as that of a game lodge or restaurant. 


We propose the following stages for new hotels, lodges and resorts:

  • Stage 1 - 3 months before opening - Consultation on readiness 
  • Stage 2 - 1 month before training - Staff training
  • Stage 3 - 6 - 12 months after opening - Staff training
  • Stage 4 - 1+ years after opening - Refresher training


What are the Main Objectives?

  • To identify all pre-opening training requirements to ensure nothing is overlooked.

  • To plan and organize pre-opening training to maximize the use of employees' paid hours before opening and ensure no time is wasted trying to figure out "What do we do next?"

  • To ensure all staff is fully prepared to offer excellent service to your guests from opening day.

  • To ensure that the establishment is fully ready to receive guests and offer excellent service



Using the necessary elements from our training services - Standards of Performance (SOP) manuals, Foundations, Practices, Promises, Instructor-led Development Program, and Strategic Planning Session, we will create a bespoke plan for your property opening. This may include the following:

  • Develop pre-opening training plans for each department.

  • Map all activities into a logical time sequence based on start dates.

  • Company orientation

  • Guest service sessions

  • Departmental orientation

  • On-the-job skills training

  • Hotel emergency procedures

  • Uniform fittings and photographs

  • Staff meal schedules

  • Transportation/parking requirements

  • Departmental setup

  • Department simulations or "role plays"

  • Identify space and supplies needed to conduct all training.

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On-site hospitality training in all areas.


Tel: +27 82 765 9238

E: training@hospitalitycourses.co.za