CHAPTER 2 The Role of Housekeeping in Hospitality Operations Objective: describing the role of housekeeping within the hotel + explaining its relationship with the other departments
Types of HotelsThree Basic Service Level Categories • Economy/limited-service Hotels • Mid-range-service hotels • Suite Hotel • Executive Floor • World-class-service hotels
Economy/limited-Service Hotels • provide clean, comfortable, inexpensive rooms and meet the basic needs of guests • appeal to budget minded travelers e.g. families with children, bus tour groups, business travelers, vacationers, retirees, groups of conventioneers • has limited food & beverage service, do not offer room service, uniformed service, banquet rooms, health clubs • the staff consists of owners as managers, room attendants, front desk agent, sometimes a maintenance person
Mid-range-service hotels • provide modest but sufficient service • appeal to the largest segment of the traveling public e.g. business travelers on expense accounts, tourists or families taking advantage of special children’s rates • offer uniformed service, full food and beverage facilities (e.g. specialty restaurants, coffee shop, lounge etc) • has management staff consists of a general manager and several department managers
Mid-range-service hotel“Suite Hotels” • provide a small living room and a bedroom with a king-size bed, some provide a kitchenette • serve for frequent travelers, families interested in nonstandard hotel accommodations, preferred by executives • housekeeping labor expenses may be higher because of the larger size of rooms. • have less public space and fewer guest services than a typical mid-range-service hotel
World-class-service hotels • provide upscale restaurants, exquisite decor, concierge service, luxurious meeting and private dining facilities • serve for top business executives, entertainment celebrities, high ranking political figures, wealthy people • provide exclusive housekeeping services e.g. turndown service
World-class-service in mid-range-service hotels“Executive Floor” • some-mid-range-service hotels may dedicate certain floors (usually the top floors) to world-class service • has large and deluxe rooms • has upgrade furnishings, decor and amenities
Hotel Divisions and Departments • Revenue Center: areas that sell goods and services to guests, in other words, generate revenue e.g. front office, food and beverage outlets. • Support Center: areas that does not generate revenue directly, but play a supporting role to the hotel’s revenue centers. e.g. housekeeping, accounting, engineering and maintenance, human resources.
Hotel Divisions and Departments • Front-of-the-house: areas in which employees have guest contact e.g. front office, food and beverage outlets. • Back-of-the-house: areas in which employees have less direct contact e.g. accounting, engineering and maintenance, human resources, housekeeping.
Hotel Divisions and Departments • The Rooms Division - front office (front desk, cashier, mail and information section), housekeeping, reservations, telephone, uniformed service. • The Engineering and Maintenance Division • The Human Resources Division • The Accounting Division • The Security Division • The Food and Beverage Division • The Sales and Marketing Division
Housekeeping and the Front OfficeCommunication between housekeeping and front office • Written Communication • occupancy report • housekeeping rooms status report Ex. 5, pg. 15 • Mechanical Communications • Computerized Communication
Written Communication • Occupancy Report: prepared by a front desk agent every night, lists the occupied rooms that night and indicates the rooms expected to check out the following day (due out). • The executive housekeeper gets this list in the morning and schedules the rooms for cleaning. • Housekeeping Status Report: prepared by the housekeeping department at the end of the shift, indicates the curent housekeeping status of each room (the rooms that have been cleaned that day)
based on a physical check of each room. • Room Staus Discrepancy: is a situation in which the housekeeping department’s description of a room’s differs from the front desk’s description of a room. • Keeping room status information up-to-date requires close coordination between the front desk and the housekeeping department. The two most common systems for tracking current room status are mechanical room rack systems and computerized status systems.
Mechanical Communication • A room rack may be used by the front desk to track the status of all rooms. A room rack slip is filled at the registartion process with the guest’s name and other necessary information and placed in the room rack slot corresponding to the assigned room number. The presence of a room rack slip indicates that the room is occupied. When the guest checks out, the rack slip is removed and the room’s status is changed to an on-change.
This sytem may lead to mistakes and delays in the room status information between housekeeping and front desk. For example, if a room rack slip is mistakenly left in the rack after the guest’s ckeck out, front desk agents may think that a vacant room is still occupied (sleeper). • Here, the communication between housekeeping and front office may be spoken (on the telephone), written (through the usual reports) or telewriter.
Computerized Communication • In a computerized room status system, housekeeping and front desk uses a computer terminal which ensures instant access to room status information. When a guest checks out, a front desk agent enters the dparture into the computer which alerts housekeeping that the room needs cleaning. After the rooms is cleaned and inspected, housekeeping enters this information into the terminal. This is how the front office is informed that the room is available for sale.
When the computer systems is connected to the guestroom telephone system, the supervisors can enter a designated code on the room telephone to change the room’s status in the hotel’s computer system to inform front desk that the room is ready for sale. This saves time and energy in informing the front desk about the status of rooms.
Rooms Status Definitions(Rooms status definitions ex. 6, pg 16) • Occupied: A guest is currently registered to the room. • Complimentary: The room is occupied, but the guest is assessed no charge for its use. • Stayover: The guest is not cheking out today and will remain at least one more night. • On-change: The guest has departed, but the room has not yet been cleaned and readied for resale. • Do not disturb: The guest has requested not to be disturbed.
Sleep-out: A guest is registered to the room, but the bed has not been used. • Skipper: The guest has left the hotel without making arrangements to settle his/her account. • Sleeper: The guest has settled his/her account and left the hotel, but the front office staff has failed to properly update the room’s status. • Vacant and ready: The room has been cleaned and inspected, and is ready for an arriving guest. • Out-of-order: The room cannot be assigned to a guest. A room may be out-of-order for a variety of reasons, including the need for maintenance, refurbishing, and extensive cleaning.
Lock-out: The room has been locked so that the guest cannot re-enter until he/she is cleared by a hotel official. • DNCO (did not check out): The guest made arrangements to settle his/her account (and thus is not a skipper), but has left without informing the front office. • Due out: The room is expected to become vacant after the following day’s check-out time. • Check-out: The guest has settled his/her account, returned the room keys, and left the hotel. • Late check-out: The guest has requested and is being allowed to check out later than the hotel’s standard check-out time.
Housekeeping and Engineering/Maintenance • Routine maintenance • Preventive maintenance • Scheduled maintenance • maintenance work order Ex. 7, pg. 19
Routine Maintenance: activities are those which occur on a regular (daily or weekly) basis for the general upkeep of the property. E.g. Sweeping carpets, washing floors, cleaning windows, replacing burned-out light bulbs, cleaning guest rooms. Many of them are handled by housekeeping. • Preventive Maintenance: consists of three parts: inspection, minor correction and work order initiation. Every day, the rooms are routinely inspected for any leaks, cracks etc. If there are some minor problems, engineering is informed through the telephone and they are corrected while the room attendant is cleaning the guestroom.
However, preventive maintenance sometimes identifies major problems for which work orders are initiated. Then, this type of work is referred to as scheduled maintenance. • Scheduled Maintenance: activities are initiated at the property based on a formal work order. Work orders are the key in the communication between housekeeping and engineering. When a work order is filled by the housekeeping, one copy is kept in the department and two copies are sent to the engineering to inform them. One of those copies is kept by the chief engineer and the other is given to the enginnering and staff who will fix the problem.