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CHAPTER FOUR. Housekeeping. Relationship Between Housekeeping and Other Departments. Absolutely essential Usually becomes complicated and sometimes political Timing of housekeeping activities is affected by the requirements of other departments

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chapter four



relationship between housekeeping and other departments
Relationship Between Housekeeping and Other Departments
  • Absolutely essential
    • Usually becomes complicated and sometimes political
  • Timing of housekeeping activities is affected by the requirements of other departments
  • Essential that department head communicates to his or her staff that cooperation and flexibility are pertinent to the effective performance of their jobs and to the overall success of the hotel
housekeeping staff
Housekeeping Staff
  • Organization Structure
    • Figure 4-1 in the textbook is somewhat misleading unless employed at a rather large property
    • Housekeeping department is usually the largest in the hotel
    • It can comprise 75% or more of the total permanent staff
  • Executive Housekeeper (Director of Housekeeping)
    • May work under the Rooms Manager or the GM or AGM or the Resident Manager
    • Responsible for the cleanliness and order of the entire hotel
    • Key responsibilities: recruitment, hiring, firing, ordering, maintaining inventory and accurate records, scheduling, training, etc.
    • In cooperation with the controller, establishes a pattern of consumption, a ratio between the volume of business and usage of supplies
housekeeping staff continued
Housekeeping Staff (continued)
  • Assistant Housekeeper
    • Work under the supervision of the Executive Housekeeper
      • May be several of these positions depending on the size of the hotel
    • Schedule, train, supervise, prepare schedules, inspect rooms
    • Handle public areas, executive offices, banquet areas, restaurant, guestrooms, linen closets, laundry, etc.
housekeeping staff continued5
Housekeeping Staff (continued)
  • Inspector or Inspectress
    • Under the direction of the Assistant Housekeeper
    • Trains room attendants, organizes the work of room attendants, controls equipment and supplies, evaluates job performance of the room attendants, provides feedback to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Housemen
    • Carpet cleaning, wall washing, window washing, drapery cleaning, shampooing furniture when necessary, deep cleaning
housekeeping staff continued6
Housekeeping Staff (continued)
  • Room Attendant
    • Not “maids” any longer
    • Report to an Inspector or Assistant Hskpr.
    • Makes bed, supplies each room with clean linen, cleans the room, bathroom, may handle “turn down” service
    • Usually clean 12-18 rooms
    • Responsible for care and maintenance of all equipment, including the housekeeping cart
housekeeping staff continued7
Housekeeping Staff (continued)
  • Laundry Supervisor
    • Usually reports to the Assistant Housekeeper
      • I’ve seen plenty of variations on this theme
    • Hotel may contract out laundry
      • Important to count and monitor daily
      • Often results in “shrinkage”
    • Monitors the quality of linens and takes any necessary remedial action
Executive Housekeeper typically schedules personnel 2 weeks in advance for the morning, afternoon and evening shifts

Documents needed: written weekly rooms forecast, revised 3-day rooms forecast, weekly function sheets, VIP list, daily check-outs list

Number of rooms a room attendant is expected clean = # of minutes required to clean a room X number of rooms to be cleaned divided by sixty

Different hotels may have different expectations; all-suite or luxury hotels may require more than 30 minutes per room

Employee turnover in housekeeping is usually quite high; if the Dir. Of Housekeeping is effective in training and motivation, this will help reduce turnover as well as the hotel’s overall turnover

guestroom cleaning
In most hotels, each floor has a large housekeeping closet that houses the carts and supplies as well as a dirty linen chute

Supplies are replenished each evening by a house person or “runner” including sheets, pillow cases, bath towels, washcloths, etc.

Each floor closet also contains a reserve of mattress pads, bedspreads, blankets and shower curtains

There are minimal standards that should be considered when evaluating the cleaning of a guestroom (Figure 4-4)

Some of the major items include:

Turn on all lights to find burned out bulbs

Turn off unnecessary lights

Set A/C to proper temperature

Make sure alarm clock has correct time

Make sure beds are stripped and inspected thoroughly

Be careful with ashes

Many other items can be found in Figure 4-4

House persons are also directly involved in servicing the guestrooms

Each room should be deep-cleaned every 3 to 8 weeks

Reality check

Guestroom Cleaning
inventory and control
Inventory and Control
  • Linen room is often called the “heart” of the housekeeping department
  • Overstocking can lead to waste and unnecessary expense and under-stocking is much more commonplace and more frustrating
  • Ideal level of operating par stock (according to textbook) for room linen is five times the daily amount in use
inventory and control continued
Inventory and Control (continued)
  • A factor of 2.5-3.5 is more normal for linen count, especially if the hotel has its own laundry facility
  • Hotels must also stock tablecloths, matching napkins, etc.
  • Alternative is to rent from a linen-supply company
  • Perpetual inventory must be kept
inventory and control continued12
Inventory and Control (continued)
  • Linen represents a major operating expense and bulk buying reduces the unit cost
  • Four ways in which linen can be taken out of circulation
    • Normal wear and tear – the number of washes linen can be put through before wearing out
    • Improper use or carelessness in handling
      • Using napkins to clean utensils
      • Cleaning floor spills
      • Wipe out ashtrays with a washcloth containing a lit cigarette
    • Losses in a laundry need to be checked against the pieces charged on the laundry bill (if using an outside service)
    • Theft: controls and surveillance can minimize these losses
      • Room attendants should be trained to report to their Inspector any major missing items or damage to the guestroom
      • Employee theft also needs to be guarded against
employee safety
Employee Safety
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) mandates employer to keep his or her place of business free from any hazards that might cause injury to an employee
  • See Figure 4-6 for the most frequent types of injuries occurring in hotels
    • Chemicals, burns, unsafe conditions, etc.
  • Responsibility, reputation and quality of service
    • Moral obligation to provide a safe, secure place for its guests and employees
    • Legal obligation to meet national, state and local safety regulations
  • Economics – accidents are expensive!
  • Accident Prevention – minimize injuries through prevention
  • Staffing
  • Inventory control
  • Employee injuries
  • Linen costs, loss and theft prevention
  • A well-organized and consistently implemented safety program is important
  • Labor is very expensive in this department and needs to be well-controlled