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CHAPTER 3. Planning and Organizing the Housekeeping Department Objective : identifying the major responsibilities + drawing the organization of the housekeeping department. Housekeeping’s Responsibilities in limited-service hotels. cleaning; guestrooms corridors

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chapter 3


Planning and Organizing the

Housekeeping Department

Objective: identifying the major responsibilities + drawing the organization of the housekeeping department

housekeeping s responsibilities in limited service hotels
Housekeeping’s Responsibilitiesin limited-service hotels


  • guestrooms
  • corridors
  • public areas such as lobby and public restrooms
  • pool and patio areas
  • management offices
  • storage areas
  • linen and sewing rooms
  • laundry room
  • back of the house areas e.g. employee locker rooms
housekeeping s responsibilities additional areas in mid and world class hotels
Housekeeping’s Responsibilitiesadditional areas in mid-and-world class hotels


  • meeting rooms
  • dining rooms
  • banquet rooms
  • convention/exhibition halls
  • hotel-operated shops
  • game rooms
  • exercise rooms
housekeeping s responsibilities exceptions
Housekeeping’s Responsibilitiesexceptions

not directly responsible for cleaning;

  • kitchen
  • maintenance department
  • swimming pool
  • front desk
management functions of executive housekeeper
Management Functions of Executive Housekeeper
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Coordinating/Staffing
  • Directing/Controlling
  • Evaluating
  • Area Inventory List
  • Frequency Schedules ex. 2.2, pg. 24, ex. 2.3, pg. 25
  • Performance Standards
  • Productivity Standards Equipment and Supply Inventory Levels


  • Housekeeping Department’s Operating Budget
basic planning activities
Basic Planning Activities

Initial Planning Resulting


1. What items within the area “Area Inventory

must be cleaned or maintained? List”

2. How often must the items within “Frequency

this area be cleaned or maintained? Schedules”

3. What must be done in order to clean “Performance

or maintain the major items within Standards”

this area?

4. How long should it take an employee “Productivity

to perform an assigned task according to Standards”

the department’s performance standards?

5. What amounts of equipments and “Inventory

supplies will be needed in order for the Levels”

Housekeeping staff to meet performance

And performance statndards?

productivity standard worksheet
Productivity Standard Worksheet
  • Step 1

Determine how long it should take to clean one guestroom according to the department’s performance standards.

Approximately 27 minutes

PS: Since performance standards change from property to property, this figure is used as an example. It is not a suggested time figure for cleaning guestrooms.

  • Step 2

Determine the total shift time in minutes

8 hours × 60 minutes = 480 minutes

Step 3

Determine the time available for guestroom cleaning.

Total Shift Time.........................................480 minutes


Beginning-of-Shift Duties.................. 20 minutes

Morning Break.................................... 15 minutes

Afternoon Break................................. 15 minutes

End-of-Shift Duties............................ 20 minutes

Time Available for Guestroom Cleaning...410 minutes

  • Step 4

Determine the productivity standard by dividing the result of Step 3 by the result of Step 1.

410 minutes / 27 minutes = 15.2 guestrooms per 8 hour shift

equipment and supply inventory levels
Equipment and Supply “Inventory Levels”
  • Recycled Inventories: items which are recycled during the course of hotel operations. e.g. linens, some guest supplies (irons, ironing boards, cribs, etc.), room attendant carts, vacuum cleaners, carpet shampooers, floor buffers
    • Par Number: Par refers to the standard number of items that must be on hand to support daily, routine housekeeping operations. E.g. one par of linens is the total number of items needed to outfit all the hotel guestrooms once; two par items is the total number of items needed to outfit all the hotel guestrooms twice and so on.
Non-recycled inventories: items that are consumed or used up during routine activities of the housekeeping department e.g. cleaning supplies, guestroom supplies and amenities etc.
    • Minimum Quantity:is the fewest number of purchase units that should be in stock at any time. The inventory should never fall below the minimum quantity.
    • Maximum Quantity:is the greatest number of purchase units that should be in stock at any time. It must be consistent with available storage space and must not be so high that large amounts of cash is tied up.
  • Organizingrefers to the executive housekeeper’s responsibility to structure the department’s staff and to divide the work so that everyone gets a fair assignment and all the work can be finished on time.
  • The major areas within the department are;

Housekeeper’s Office, Desk Control Room, Linen Room, Linen Uniform Room, Uniform Room, Tailors Room, Lost and Found Section, Floor Pantries, and Heavy Equipment Stores.

Housekeeper’s Office

This is the main administration center for the department. It must be an independent cabin to provide the Housekeeper with silence to plan out her work and held her meetings. It should be a glass panelled office so as to give her a view of what is happening outside her office.

  • Desk Control Room

This is the main communication center of housekeeping. It is from here that all information is sent out and received concerning the department. The Desk Control Room should have a desk with a telephone and a computer. It should have a large notice board for the staff schedules and day-to-day

instructions. Here is also the point where all staff report for duty and check out at the duty end. It would be next to the Housekeeper’s Office.
  • Linen Room

This is the roomwhere current linen is stored for issue and receipt. The linen room should have a counter across which the exchange of linen takes place. The room should be next to the laundry so that the supply of linen to and from laundry is quick and smooth.

  • Linen Uniform Room

This room stores the stocks of new linen and uniforms. These stocks are only touched when the current

uniforms and linens in circulation falls short due to damage or loss. Larger hotels may have enough space for an independent Uniform Store in addition to a Linen Store.
  • Uniform Room

This room stocks the uniforms in current use. This room must have enough hanging space.

  • Tailors Room

This room is kept for house tailors who attend to the stiching and mending work of linen and uniforms.

  • Lost and Found Section

This should be a small secure space with a cupboard

to store all guest articles that are lost and may be claimed later.
  • Floor Pantries

Each guest floor must have a floor pantry to keep a supply of linen, guest supplies and cleaning supplies for the floor. It is the housekeeping nerve center for the floor. The Floor pantry should keep linen for that floor in circulation. It should be near the service elevators and have shelves to stock all linen and other supplies.

  • Heavy Equipment Stores

This will be a room to store bulky items such as vacuum cleaners, shampoo machines, etc.

the department organization chart
The Department Organization Chart
  • provides a picture of the lines of authority and the channels of communication within the department.
  • People working in this department are;

Executive Housekeeper, Assistant Housekeeper, Uniform Room Supervisor, Uniform Room Attendants, Floor Supervisor, Public Area Supervisor, Room Attendants, Housemen, Head Housemen, Desk Control Supervisor, Cloak Room Attendants, Night Supervisor, Horticulturist, Head Gardener, and Gardeners.

Executive Housekeeper

Responsible and accountable for the total cleanliness, maintenance and aesthetic upkeep of the hotel.

  • Assistant Housekeeper

May be one for each shift of a large hotel. She may be the housekeeper of a small hotel or the only deputy to the Executive Housekeeper of a medium-sized hotel. She manages the resources given by the Executive Housekeeper to achieve the common objectives of cleanliness, maintenance and attractiveness in a given shift. Her accountability normally ends on the completion of her shift.

Uniform Room Supervisor

A non-management person solely responsible for providing clean serviceable uniforms to the staff of the hotel. In addition, she keeps the inventory control on all uniforms and prepares the budget for them.

  • Uniform Room Attendant

The Uniform Supervisor is assisted by Attendants who actually do the issue of uniforms while receiving soiled ones to be transferred to the laundry. These attendants are in actual contact with the staff.

Linen Room Supervisor

A non-management person solely responsible for the purchasing, storage, issue and cleanliness of linen.

  • Linen Room Attendant

Assists the Supervisor by actually issuing linen and filling such records as necessary.

  • Floor Supervisor

Responsible for the cleanliness, maintenance and attractiveness of the guest floors attached to her in a shift. Her scope includes guest rooms, corridors, staircases, floor pantries of the assigned floor.

Public Area Supervisor

Responsible for cleanliness, maintenance and attractiveness of all public areas which include restaurants, bars, banquets, gardens, administrative offices, shopping arcade, helath club, swimming pool, main entrances and car park areas.

  • Room Attendants

They do the actual cleaning of guest rooms and bathrooms assigned to them. They are not responsible for the cleanliness of corridors, guest elevators, or floor pantries.

  • Housemen

Usually do the heavy physical cleaning required in

guest rooms and publis ares. Their job would include heavy duty vacuuming, shifting of furniture, cleaning of window panes, mopping, sweeping...
  • Head Housemen

Supervises the work assigned to Housemen. He would deputise on behalf of the Publis Area Supervisor especially at night. In medium-sized hotels he could be the person in charge of housekeeping o night shifts.

  • Desk Control Supervisor

Is the center of information in housekeeping, therefore, is the critical person in housekeeping operations. The Housekeeping Desk must be managed as guests and

staff will contact this desk to transmit or receive information concerning housekeeping. It is the Desk Control Supervisor who coordinates with the Front Office for information on departure rooms and handling over cleaned rooms. The Desk also receives complaints on maintenance from Housekeeping Supervisors spread all over the hotel.
Cloak Room Attendants

Cloak room attendants are people, male or female, responsible for the cleanliness, maintenance and service in public area guest toilets.

  • Night Supervisor

Is special in a manner that would require him or her to be able to handle any aspect of housekeeping at night including desk control operations, issue of linen and uniform in an emergency, etc. Her area of activity incudes guest romms, public areas, linen and uniform rooms. She is solely responsible and accountable at night for smooth housekeeping through her night shift and has larger decision-making authority than other

supervisors as she is the housekeeper for the night.
  • Horticulturist

Many hotels may contract horticultural work to an outside agency. However, a large hotel may have a horticulturist who not only maintains the gardens of the hotel but also supplies flowers from the garden for interior arrangements. Flowers are used mainly in banquet functions, guest rooms, restaurants, lobbies offices, etc. The horticulturist would have to ensure smooth supply of flowers as well as assist the Housekeeper in flower arranagements.

Head Gardener

Supervises the gardeners in maintaining hotel gardens and keeping them contemporary each season.

  • Gardeners

Does the actual digging, planting, watering, etc of gardens on a day-to-day basis.

job lists and job descriptions
Job Lists and Job Descriptions
  • Ajob listidentifies the tasks that must be performed be an individual occupying a specific position. It should reflect the total job responsibilities of the employee. The job list should state what the employee must be able to do in order to perform the job. Ex. 2.8, pg. 32
  • A job description simply add information to the appropriate job lists. This information may include reporting relationships, additional responsibilities and working conditions, equipment and materials used. Ex. 2.9, pg. 33, ex. 2.10, pg. 34, ex. 2.11, pg 35
coordinating and staffing
Coordinating and Staffing
  • Coordinatingis the management function of implementing the results of planning and organizing at the level of daily housekeeping activities. Each day, the executive housekeeper must coordinate schedules and work assignments and ensure that the equipment, cleaning supplies, linens etc. are on hand for employees to carry out their assignments.
  • Staffinginvolves recruiting applicants, selecting those best qualified to fill open positions, and scheduling employees to work.
directing and controlling
Directing and Controlling
  • Directinginvolves supervising, motivating, training and disciplining individuals who work in the department.
  • Controllingrefers to the executive housekeeper’s responsibilities to design and implement procedures which protect the hotel’s assets. Assets are anything the hotel owns which has value e.g. keys, linen, supplies, equipment etc.
  • managers direct people and control things.
  • Evaluatingis assessing the extent to which planned goals are attained. One of the most important evaluation tool is the monthly budget reports.