Imagine you go to a hotel or a resort. The resort seems perfect at first. It has all the amenities you need - a great swimming pool, plenty of eating options, a spa, a fully equipped gym, great ambience etc. The staff is warm and provides you with great hospitality too! You then take the hotel keys from the reception and you take a lift to reach your room floor.
When you reach your room floor, you then head to your hotel room. “Hotel room looks great in images, it will be even better in reality!” You think. When you finally enter the room - you are shocked, but not in a good way. The bedding is unkept, the room smells, and the carpet has stains. You feel like vomiting. However, the horror doesn’t end here.
You then enter the bathroom. It’s even worse. Your mood is ruined and you call the reception to complain about the atrocious condition of the hotel room. Where did it all go wrong? The answer is simple - Inefficient and uncoordinated hotel housekeeping management.
From this story, we should understand one thing - hotel housekeeping can make or break the hotelier. Not taking it seriously can ensure that you don’t get anything more than a 2-star review. This is one of the most important departments of your hotel.
What Are Housekeeping Operations? What Does It Include?
Housekeeping generally means keeping the establishment neat. We all know of the saying - “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. This is especially true for the hospitality industry. Keeping your room inventory, amenities and the entire hotel clean is essential because no guest would want to stay at an untidy place even for free, let alone pay for it.
However, the hotel housekeeping department isn’t limited to maintaining cleanliness and hygiene. There are many other functions it performs such as maintaining stocks, managing laundry services, raising inventory requisition, handling lost and found property and keeping an eye on any potential and actual thefts and misplacement of hotel property.
8 Ways To Manage Hotel Housekeeping Operations Efficiently
1. Set A Standard For Cleanliness And Hygiene
No one likes to live in a shabby room. A clean, comfortable and well-maintained room is non-negotiable for hotel guests. Even a small stain on the carpet can ruin the otherwise fabulous room. There are many things hoteliers need to do to provide the best housekeeping operations. The housekeeping department in hotels need to follow a standard. Some of the things are:
Change hotel linens on time and regularly.
Use Saniftiser to disinfect the room
Clean the room immediately after the previous guest leaves
Clean the bathrooms and check whether are functioning properly or not
2. Identify And Work With Right Vendors And Suppliers
The quality of your inputs depends upon the quality of your suppliers. You need to identify and work with the right vendors to get high-quality product inventory such as linens, beddings, towels, toiletries etc. Working with a single vendor can be a disaster for the hotel housekeeping department since there will not be any reliable backups. Make use of 2 - 3 suppliers for each product or different suppliers for different products.
Depending on a single vendor or supplier can cause issues such as unpredictable delays, unavailability of certain inventories, decrease in quality and so forth. Housekeeping operations should be running irrespective of any issues. Hence, backups are paramount.
3. Streamline Housekeeping Operations For Better Results
Housekeeping Department cannot and should not work in isolation. Streaming your hotel housekeeping operations means aligning the various tasks with that of other departments to gain maximum coordination and efficiency.
For example, the main job of the housekeeping department is to upkeep the room and its amenities. This also involves checking for maintenance issues. In case there is a major issue, the front office and the maintenance departments need to be informed about it immediately. The same is to be informed to the revenue managers so that they can distribute room inventory accordingly.
Streamlining will help you avoid a single department being burdened with an issue that it cannot solve alone. Many tasks require the help of other departments.
4. Maintain A Standard Of Procedure And Adjust Them Based On Resources
Maintaining a Standard Of Procedure ensures that the hotel housekeeping department has a time frame and a structure for doing things. You need to allot specific time the staff should take to clean each part of the room, amenities and the rest of the hotel interiors. The duration taken will also depend on the size of the rooms, the cleaning materials available, and the number of staff. Your SOPs should change with the changes in any of these factors.
5. Don’t Ignore Inventory Management
Housekeeping operations and inventory management go hand in hand. One of the main jobs of the housekeeping department is to raise the requisition of inventories and distribute it to hotel guests and staff. This includes room inventories, stationeries for the front office department, staff uniforms etc.
6. Make Use Of Technology
The best way to make housekeeping operations more efficient is to invest in technology. Many hotels are hesitant in integrating technology into their hotel operations. Some find it too expensive, others find it to be non-essential. However, using technology has more benefits compared to costs.
There are many PMS Systems available that can do all your calculations, room status updates and inventory management. You can integrate PMS with other housekeeping software and get live room status. Staff can also track guest requisitions and ensure that they are addressed systematically.
Hotels can also invest in gadgets such as vacuum cleaners, automatic room fresheners, carpet cleaning machines, dryers etc.
7. Your Housekeeping Staff
Managing the housekeeping staff should be the utmost priority for the hotel. Understaffing is a huge issue, which can cause the existing employees to feel burdened since they have to do many things simultaneously. This leads to burnout, exhaustion and a higher attrition rate.
You should hire staff, train them and familiarize them with the SOPs. Evaluate their performance from time to time and reward them accordingly. In case they don’t meet expectations, don’t fire them immediately. Evaluate them and train them so that they improve their performance.
8. Keep A Check On Discards
Discarding is the process in which expired items are discarded from the inventory and replaced with new ones. For example, expired bathroom towels are distributed amongst the staff or used for cleaning. There are many hotels that don’t take this process seriously. This leads to some staff/vendors replacing the expired inventory with the new ones in the batch of discarded items to gain additional benefits.
That’s why the discarding of hotel inventory should take place in front of the manager or under the surveillance of a CCTV camera.
With these, you will be able to handle your housekeeping operations more effectively and make your hotel operations more streamlined and efficient. Read our blogs to understand the hotel industry better!