House-Keeping Management and Planning
Example of productive standard worksheet:
Total Shift Time = 9 hrs X 60 mins = 540 mins.
Beginning of Morning Shift = 20 mins
Tea Break = 10 mins
Lunch = 30 mins
Evening Tea Break = 10 mins
End of Morning Shift = 20 mins
Therefore., the room attendant is there for 450 mins in guest room (540-90).Therefore, mins & each room takes 30 mins to clean. Therefore, the attendant can clean 15 rooms in 450 mins.
(Turndown service) + Cleaning = (7-8 mins actually,10 mins/room)
450/10 =45 rooms/employee
Each employees cleans 45 rooms
5 mins – bed
10-15 mins – rack & carpet
10 mins – bathroom
Planning is probably the Executive Housekeepers most important management function. Without proper planning each day may present one prices after other. Since the Housekeeping is responsible for cleaning & maintaining so many different areas of the hotel. Planning should be undertaken in a systematic manner in order to obtain set objectives. Certain documents are essential & they are:
#Area Inventory List (AIL) : Planning the work of the Housekeeping Department begins with creating an inventory list of all items within each area that will need Housekeeping attention . Since most properties offered several different types of guestrooms, separate inventory list may be needed for guest room type . When preparing the guestroom ‘AIL’, it is a good idea to follow the same system that room attendant will use as their sequence of cleaning task & that supervisor will use in the course of their inspection.
Eg. Area within a guestroom may appear on an inventory list as they are found from right to left & from top to bottom around the room.
#Frequency Schedule : It indicates how often items on inventory list are to be cleaned. Items that must be cleaned on a daily or weekly basis become a part of a routine cleaning cycle and are incorporated into standard work procedures. Other items which must be cleaned, monthly or less frequently are inspected on a daily basis but they become part of a spring cleaning programme & are scheduled special cleaning projects.
#Performance Standard : They are required levels of performance that establish the quality of work that must be done according to the expectations of the property. The key to consistency in service is the performance standards which the Executive Housekeeper develops, daily inspections & periodic performance. Evaluation should follow up with specific on the job coaching & re-training. This ensures that all employees are consistently performing their tasks in the most efficient & effective manner.
# Productivity standards : (Refer previous example) It determines the quality of work to be done by department employees. Productivity standards must be determined in order to staff the department within the limitation with the hotel operating budget plans. Housekeeping Managers must know how long it should take a room attendant to perform the major cleaning tasks identified on the cleaning frequency schedules such as guestroom cleaning. Once this information is known, productivity standards can be developed, performance & productivity standard should be carefully balanced. If the quality expectation are set too high, the quantity of work that could be done may be low.
#Recycled & non recycled inventories: The Executive Housekeeper is responsible for 2 types of inventories. 1) Recycled inventory : It includes linen equipments & some guest supplies like extra bed, iron ,etc. The no. of recycled items that must be on hand to ensure smooth operations is expressed as a ‘PAR’. It refers to the standard number of items that must be on hand to support daily routine housekeeping operations eg. One par of linen is the total number of items needed to outfit all the hotel guestrooms once. Most sister hotels would on a ‘four-par’ of guest rooms linen (guestroom, floor pantry, laundry & linen). 2) Non-recycled inventory : They include cleaning supplies, guestroom supplies, guest-amenities like toothbrush, hair-conditioner,etc. They are used up during routine activities of the housekeeping department. A purchasing ordering for non recycled inventory items established a ‘par’ no. based on 2 figures i.e Maximum & minimum quantities.Tge minimum quantity is the least amount at which reordering is done taking into consideration the lead time (it is time taken by the supplier to convey goods from the time the order is placed).The maximum quantity is the amount ordered.
Guest room Inspectitions
Guest room inspection.
Check guest room entrance door.
Note any scratch marks, sumdy or dirt/dust on surface.
Check for ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign on inside knob of the door.
Check proper operation of locks, chains and door stops.
ii. Check condition and cleanliness of light switches and surrounding wall area.
iii. Scan ceiling, walls, woodwork for any damage, dirt/dust.
iv. Check curtains for stains, check that hooks are in place and the rods work correctly.
v. Check window sills window for cleanliness, make sure windows are locked and that locks work properly.
vi. Make sure heating and air-conditioning unit is free from dirt and dust, operates correctly and the temperature is set according to property standards.
vii. Make sure telephone is clean and works properly.
viii. Check the bed
Make sure that the bed has fresh lineu.
Check condition of the bed spread and check the edges of the bed.
Look under the bed for trash or guest item.
Check head board for the dust.
ix. Check room furniture for scratches damage and dust check upholstery for stains.
x. Check lamps for starches and dust. Make sure light bulbs are of proper voltage.
xi. Turn –on television set to check for proper operation, turn-off and check for scratches , damage and dust.
xii. Check carpets and bade oafs or skirting boards for dirt, stain and dust.
xiii. Check that wardrobes are clean and have the proper anonym of hangers.
xiv. Check pictures and mirrors for dust,
xv. Check that bedroom amenities such as stationary and match-boxes are properly stacked.
xvi. Make a final check around the room to make sure that all items are well positioned and that all areas ceiling to the floor are cleaned and well maintained.
xvii. Complete a work order request and/or notifying the appropriated department for any item needing attention or repair.
i. Check bathroom door for scratches, marks or dust in the surface
ii. Check condition and cleanliness of light switches and surrounding wall area.
iii. Scan ceiling, walls and tiles for any damage, dirt and dust.
iv. Check shower area check tub and fixtures for watermarks, soap films and hair.
v. Check fixtures for correct position and operation.
Make sure bath not is in place.
vi. Inspect vanity and sink area
Check sink and counter area for watermarks, soap film and hair.
Check mirror for spots.
vii. Check toilet for cleanliness, flush to check for proper operation.
viii. Check floor and base board for dirt and dust.
ix. Make sure that towels are neat and cleanly arranged on towels racks.
x. Check toilet and facial issue and supply.
xi. Check that bathroom amenities such as soap, shampoo and mouth wash are properly stacked.
xii. Make a final check of bathroom to make sure all items are well positioned and that all areas from ceiling to floor are clean
xiii. Complete the work order request and/or notify the appropriate dept. for any item needing attention or repair.
ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS IN THE HOPITALITY INDUSTRY
The IHEI (International hotel Environmental Initiative) was founded in 1992 by 10 multinational hotel groups. The main objective was to :-
1. Raise environmental awareness in the hotel industry
2. Development of hotels specific to environmental information enabling hotels of all sizes to implement environmental programs
3. Promote the hotel sector to position itself as a leader in sustainable development within the tourism industry.
The 3 major basic principles of environmental conservation are –
1. Reduce: use less resource – leads to immediate cost savings.
2. Reuse: eg – laundry bags, washable napkins, rechargeable batteries
3. Recycle: eg – papers, bottles etc.
Following eco-friendly products can be used in hotels –
• Civil Work:
1. QED wall panels(Quite Easily Done) – It is used for internal partitions. Material is 4 inches thick per block and is made from fertilizer waste – terulite and vermin proof and is fire resistant.
2. Siporex – Used for external walls. It is completely inorganic, totally incombustible and offers twice the fire protection of concrete. As strong as R.C.C. but 1/4th its weight. Saves 30-40% cement and 35-50% steel compared to ordinary R.C.C.
3. Key Stone Kool Desk – Used around the swimming pool – a concrete desk surfacing material which lowers surface temperature and is completely non – skid.
1. Aerators/Flow Restrictors: Used in all taps and showers which will reduce water usage by restricting water flow
2. Sewage treatment plant: The waste water is treated and recycled for use in air-conditioning and gardening purposes.
3. Stockosorb Super Absorbent Polymer: Used for landscaping and gardening purposes. Specifically designed to improve the capability of soil to hold water and plant nutrient. It reduces the amount, frequency of watering required – it is non-toxic, environmentally safe and does not contaminate plants, soil and groundwater.
4. The Geberit Concealed Cistern for W.C.: it has a unique water-saving system which uses 6 lit of waters per flush(the conventional flush uses approx 15-20 lit of water).
5. Geberit Urinal Flush Valve: it ensures a definite flushing after every use as it is activated by infra-red sensor(the time set flushing system works irrespective of usage or not leading to water wastage)
Green Guest Rooms
1. Rubber wood: Processed and upgraded recycled wood – used for furniture and window frames
2. Nuwud MDF(Medium Density Fibrewood): Used for interior made from recycled waste wood.
3. Hangers: made from pressed particle board.
4. Eco-Directory: placed in a guest room, making the guest aware of the hotel’s environment awareness programs, it is energy saving program and how the guest can preserve the environment. Eco-tips and eco facts are also provided.
5. Hotel uses herbal products for guest amenities and soaps, shampoos, moisturizers etc.
6. Cloth laundry bags are used and newspapers are delivered in cane baskets
7. A Control Panel – known as green button is installed on the bedside table. The thermostat of the AC unit is stepped up by 20% saving in electricity. This is translated in rupee terms and displayed on the guest folio and profile
8. Eco Harvest: Basket containing of herbal pillow placed under the pillow to give sound sleep. Two aromatic oils and a bunch of neem sticks and 5 herbs.
9. Pen/Pencil: Eco-pens are made using recycled cardboard, reprocessed plastic and scrap wood.
10. Stationery: made from hand-made paper or recycled paper.
11. Eco-friendly slippers used in guest-rooms made from natural materials like jute.
12. Recycled Bin: placed in guest rooms with a sticker for guest use.
13. Guest Bathrooms: Glasses are placed upside-down – avoiding the use of plastic wrappers. Guests are requested in occupied rooms to reuse the towels. Soap dispensers are used near wash basins. The toilets have an option of water spray or toilet paper mae from recycled fibre upto 69%.
14. Photo Electric Controls for Lighting: These are sensitive to natural daylight and suitable for entrance light and corridor light as soon as daylight is adequate.
15. Heat pumps: the heat generated from AC can be used to heat the water used in kitchen and laundry.
16. Paints: the paints for the exterior of the hotel is water based paint with negligible V.O.C (volatile organic compound) contant of only 0.125% and the paint used for interiors has zero VOC content. If the VOC content of the paint is high it emits fumes which are harmful to the environment.
17. Cut flowers v/s potted flowers: rooms should have natural plants, with use of cut flowers to a minimum for few flower arrangement put in public area only.
DAILY ROUTINE OF HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENT AND ROLE OF THE FLOOR SUPERVISOR
There are generally 3 shifts in HK dept.:
1) Morning Shift(7am-4 am):In the morning shift, the major cleaning of all guest rooms is done and general cleaning of public areas.
2) Afternoon Shift(1pm-10pm)/(3pm-12am):Turn down service is given to guest rooms, second service if required, departure room clearance is done by the second shift and public area functional areas are checked.
3) Night Shift (10pm-7am):Thorough cleaning of public areas is carried out.
THE ROLE OF THE FLOOR SUPERVISOR
The floor supervisors have an overall responsibility for the floors allotted to them. They are responsible not only for maintaining hygiene and cleanliness but also responsible for work force like GRA and houseman for their work and overall behavior. While working they also deal with guest complaints and requests demonstrating the following qualities:
3. Presence of mind
4. Eye for details
They should be prompt enough to attend to these in such a way that there is quick and effective solution. At the same time they carry out the task of training their subordinates in various standards of work. Also they train and brief the GRAs and houseman about use of various equipments and cleaning agents, safety and security, inculcate qualities like punctuality, etiquettes and manners while dealing with the guest. It is a job of middle management personnel. They report to their senior authority i.e. assistant housekeeper floor, deputy housekeeper.
Each floor supervisor is usually responsible for 50-60 rooms. Thus he/she is responsible for 1 or a maximum of 3 floors.
The staff enters the hotel premises through the time office in order to punch in their time cards. Each floor supervisor then collects the room status information sent by the front office to the house keeping. It states the early morning expected arrivals and departures of the day, group check ins/ check outs of the day, VIP inhouse guests. Any special request for extra bed, baby cots etc should be noted. Any supplies due to be returned from the check out rooms that day should be noted. The floor supervisor also finds out about the GRA working under her, goes through the duty roster. She checks the logbook for various messages regarding her floor. At the end she signs the key register, proceeds to the floor taking the necessary floor keys.
On the floor, the floor supervisor also helps to keep a check on the movement of the staff working under her. She checks the uniform of the room attendants, briefs them on the special cleaning tasks of the day and gives them the complementaries and supplies required for the guestroom. It is noted in the housekeeper day book or staff placement register. The book serves as an attendance register and is kept with the desk supervisor to help him/her to page the staff if required for any reason. Depending on the allocation of the section, pass keys(section/floor master keys) are collected and signed in the register. The room assignment sheet is given to the room attendant who is expected to fill while cleaning the room. The floor supervisor then records the first room occupancy at about 8:30 am. This also gives her an opportunity to check the corridors, elevator areas, fire exits and service area. It is also simultaneously recorded in the floor register.The physical occupancy report is submitted to the desk housekeeper who in turn prepares room status reports and passes the same to the front office for the necessary action.
While taking the occupancy , the floor supervisor checks the rooms taking the physical check of each room on a floor.She checks the occupied room for the number of guest present in the room.If the supervisor does not see any guest then the number of beds being used, clothes of the guest, sizes of shoes, number of toothbrushes are taken as indicators to decide number of guest present in the room. Additional information like sleep outs ,scanty baggage, guests who have packed their bags and relevant room number which does not feature in the expected departure list is also highlighted so that the front office can check with the guest if he is planning to cut down stay. A discrepancy report is made by the front office staff and is handed over to the senor authorities for execution of necessary action. The floor supervisor in big hotels has to check the room at least once every day. This report is made thrice a day, one in the morning at 8:30am,12:pm and one in the afternoon before 4:00pm.The room occupancy report is made in triplicate, one copy is given to the front office cashier, second copy to the reception and the third copy is retained with the housekeeping for their reference. The room occupancy report is then cross checked and compared with the front office department and the discrepancy report is made by the front office. The duty manager is informed accordingly for the necessary action.
Computerized status system: the problem in reporting housekeeping status to the front office can be eliminated when the computer system is directly connected to guestroom telephone with such a network that a floor supervisor can inspect guestrooms. Determine their readiness for sale and then enter a designated code on the room telephone to change the room status in the hotel’s computer system. This procedure can reduce not only number of guest forced to wait for the room assignment but also decreases the length of their wait.
FORMAT OF ROOM OCCUPANCY/STATUS REPORT
Room Occupancy Report
No. of guests
No. of guests
_____________Signature of the desk housekeeper
The desired results of an established cleaning system are best achieved only when a guest room inspection is done. This serves the purpose of rectifying any problems that may have been previously overlooked during cleaning, before the guest notices. Room inspection not only helps to identify ordinary problems with cleaning but also helps to identify areas requiring special cleaning or maintenance.
An Inspection programme can be done in various forms. In some properties especially in smaller properties, occupied rooms are spot checked while the departure rooms are definitely checked daily.
Each floor supervisor is usually responsible for a certain number of rooms (45-60) and must be aware of the current status of each room that is assigned to her/him. The room is checked to ensure :
1) Correct standard of cleanliness has been maintained.
2) For any technical repairs(if any)
3) Correct room complementaries and adequate guest supplies have been provided.
A room inspection report or a check list should be completed by the floor supervisor who notes down the condition and proper operations of various fixtures of the room. It is also simultaneously recorded in the floor register so that a continuous record is maintained. An inspection programme is not effective if no follow up is given to an identified problem. Depending on the hotel procedures the floor supervisor is responsible for filling out work orders or maintenance request that are needed. The work order or job order is made in triplicate. Two copies (the original and the duplicate) are given to the maintenance engineer. The third remaining copy remains with the housekeeping department. The maintenance engineer hands over both the copies to the concerned technician who is required to attend to the complaint. The technician goes to the respective floor and asks the floor supervisor or GRA to open the concerned room. He then attends to the complaint and signs on both the work orders, writes the time and date against work completed. He takes acknowledgement from the floor supervisor. He hands over the original copy to the housekeeping department and the duplicate copy to the maintenance department. The copy given to the floor supervisor is then given to the desk housekeeper who files it in the work order files. At the end of the day a report is made by the desk housekeeper about complaints attended to in the day, that are to be followed up the next day, major maintenance complaints that can be attended to only by taking the rooms on O-O-O status. Thus the original copy is retained by the maintenance department for its future reference.
Inspection Programme Technology: (Guest Room Inspection)
A barcode is a group of printed bars, spaces and numerals that appear on the packaging of every retail item. These codes are to be scanned and read into a computer system. Each guest room is identified with a barcode tag. The tag is placed in a secret spot such as behind the door frame. The floor supervisor is given a barcode scanner and a set of carde that will feature condition of each item that needs to be inspected, attended or repaired. On entering the room, the supervisor scans the barcode tag this will now record the room number, time and date in the scanner. The condition of each inspected item is noted by scanning the proper barcode. Depending on the programme and the property’s needs, the information can be presented in a summary or report format with an overview of the condition of each inspected items.
Room Inspection Report/Checklist
Room boy: James Bond Floor : 7
Dep #s : 701,702, 705.
Vac #s :703, 706, 707.
Occ #s : 704.
VIP #s: 706
Extra item provided
A.C. not working
___________ Signature of Supervisor
Discrepancy Report: (made by front office)
Status as per Front Office
Status as per Housekeeping
Informed D.M(duty manager) and security
Guest Room Inspection:
A supervisor has to check all the rooms on his/her floor, including all vacant room, departure room, expected arrival, VIP arrival, group arrival, blocked rooms and under repair rooms both out of service and out of order. After the end of the shift the floor supervisor has to take hand over from the GRA and make the entry in the floor register. The supervisor has to make the entry of all the DND, R/S, L/S on the floor.
The supervisor has to take the handover of lost and found from the GRA for the day. Before coming to the department the supervisor has to check the floor pantry, guest elevator, and service elevator, back-area of the floor, all fire exit and corridor. The supervisor has to check the floor pantry and has to take the count of all the items in the pantry like all loan item (iron board, hot water bag, water flask, weighing machine, etc) and make an entry in the floor register. After that the supervisor has to fill the log book kept in the department. The supervisor has to make an entry of all the rooms checked by him for the day. The supervisor has to fill the key register, hand over register. The supervisor has to hand-over the lost and found and keys to the desk attendant/supervisor before leaving for the day.
While dealing with the guest the floor supervisor comes across various complaints made by guests during their stay. The nature of these complaints is:
1) Technical / mechanical complaints: these are various complaints which include maintenance related problems eg AC not working, the job of the supervisor is not only to pass on these complaints but also to get them attended as early as possible.
2) Service related complaints: they are complaints related to inefficient working or cleanliness standards of the GRA. She briefs the GRA accordingly and attends to the complaint as soon as possible.
3) Attitude related problems: these imply problems regarding the behavior of the GRA which may require counseling ,
4) Unusual complaints: these imply undue demands made by the guest and also bad guest behavior.
5) Complaints like missing items from the room after the room is cleaned by the GRA which calls for alertness, investigation and involvement of seniors.
Communication System Used In Housekeeping Department
1. Telephone: Most common mode of communication in the hotel.
a) Quick contacts
b) Tow-way communication but can not be used for formal communication as there is no proof of what what has been said.
c) No extra labour.
Disadvanages: Distributing to the guest when used on guest floors or public area.
2. Written Memo:
Advantages: Used for formal communication as a proof is available of the document sent.
a) Time consuming as it may have to go through several channels before it reaches the concerned person.
b) One-way communication hence no clarification is possible.
c) Space required for stoppage of documents.
3. Pagers: Each pager has a particular number which is activated either by the telephone operator or the main office of the concerned person . When activated, it makes the sound ,the person inactivates the sound & contact the telephone number displayed on the screen.
4. Electronic room status indicator: There are two terminals, one at reception and other at the house-keeping. It works on a system of lights ; against each room number. There are three lights which signifies -
a) Green light – vacant room.
b) Red light – departure room.
c) white light – occupied room.
The reception can change the lights according to the occupancy of the rooms.
For the house-keeping office, number of lights can be changed. One can only view the status of the rooms at a glance. After the departure room has been cleaned,the room attendant inserts the sub-section is an master key into a key provided ,this changes the red light to a flashing light which is an indication that the floor supervisor has to check the room and then clear it to the reception.
5.Computer system: A terminal can be installed in the house - keeping office which is linked to a terminal like reception and the main computer in the control room. The reception can change from vacant to occupied. Front office cashier can change the status of rooms from occupied to departure and the house-keeping can change from departure to vacant.If the hotel has POS(point of sale). The individual outlets would be able to update the guest folios whenever they avail of credit facilities from their outlets. Any correction of billing would have to be made by front office cashier only.
Additional notes on work order
The floor supervisor informs the desk h/k about the maintenance jobs to be attended to which the desk h/k writes in the maintenance register and makes a work order in triplicate. The original copy is kept in the maintenance file with the desk house keeper and the other two go to the maintenance department. The maintenance engg, gives both these copies to the technician who is required to attend to this complaint. The technician proceeds to the respective floor and informs the GRA and opens the room & both the copies of work order are signed. After the work is done, the technician fills up the date and time against the work completed. One of these copies is given to the GRA/supervisor which is filed into maintenance report file. The other copy goes to the maintenance dept. for reference.
AT YOUR SERVICE DESK:
Nowadays, there is a new trend of At Your Service Desk(AYS) which caters to various guest requests and complaints e.g. second service, AC not working, movie tickets, etc.
Note Imp. Points:
Room occupancy report is prepared by floor supervisor whereas Room Status report is prepared by Desk housekeeper
Refer to notes for all Forms and Formats
Front of the house functional areas of hotel: Are areas in which the employees have extensive guest contact like FnB facilities and the front office
Back of the house functional areas of hotel in which employees have little or no guest contact such as engg. and maintenanence dept., laundry and so on.