One of the major expectations of a hotel guest is cleanliness and it is something most of us take for granted. The Housekeeping department is usually only commented on by the guest if something is dirty or has been overlooked when servicing the guest room.
Whilst hotel and motel rooms may vary greatly in the quality of furniture, fittings and soft furnishings, cleanliness should be of the same high standard.
A room sold to a guest for the purpose of sleeping, eating, bathing and entertaining should always be in pristine condition and any evidence of previous guest stays must be removed during the cleaning process. For this reason a detailed cleaning plan and correct methods of cleaning should be in place and all cleaning staff should have thorough training in all Housekeeping tasks to ensure that standards are met.
All rooms should be presented to the same standard so that a guest can be assured that, on each return visit to the property, they will receive the same level of attention and detail in their guest room.
As you study this unit, you will become aware how important it is to set and maintain cleaning standards and the tasks involved in turning round a room from vacant dirty to vacant clean so that the next guest to check in will be absolutely happy with the standard of cleanliness.
Prepare for Room Servicing
The preparation and cleaning of a hotel room or suite is one of the most important functions of the Housekeeping department. It has been well researched over the years that whilst a hotel guest may choose to stay in a particular hotel initially through reputation, location or brand name (e.g. Hyatt Hotels) , return guests consistently rate cleanliness as one of the most important factors in their decision to return to a property.
Identifying Rooms Requiring Service from Information Supplied
Before starting work on cleaning rooms you must, of course, know which ones need to be serviced. Most hotels will therefore have a room report. This is a report generated from the Front Office specifically for the Housekeeping department to advise the status of all rooms so that Housekeeping is aware of the movements of the guests to permit the rooms to be cleaned. This system is a central part of the establishment’s commitment to customer service, WH&S and hygiene responsibilities as well as following confidential security procedures.
A room report usually includes some or all of the following information:
Floor number or section number.
Name of today’s room attendant.
The room numbers.
The status of rooms.
The guest name.
The guest arrival date.
The guest departure date.
The guest departure time (if known).
How many people are occupying the room.
Rollaway beds or baby cots.
Columns to write in the amount of linen used in each room.
Whether the linen is to be changed column (usually in small hotels where linen is not changed daily).
Select and Prepare Room Servicing Equipment and Cleaning Agents
The average room attendant will clean between 13 and 18 rooms depending on the size of the rooms, the amount of guest giveaway items that need to be replaced, whether or not the bed linen is changed daily and what types of surfaces are to be cleaned, and all of this is completed in an eight hour shift so good time management is essential.
Good preparation for a task is therefore vital; in order to work well, you must be well organised. This means having everything you need for the job on hand ready to use. The equipment you will need may include;
Vacuum cleaner – can be used on tiles, wooden floors as well as carpets. Vacuum cleaners general come equipped with small brush attachments that can also be used for curtains or upholstery.
Steam mop – used for heavy wear areas where there are likely to be spills of food, beverages and/or oils and chemicals. A steam mop provides heat and therefore sanitises the floor. Because it does generate high heat, in order to create steam, great care should be taken in using this equipment to avoid burns.
Brooms – brooms can be made for outdoor use (stiffer bristles) or indoor use. When sweeping move any furniture or mats that could be in the way. Start in one corner or edge and work towards the centre of the room or the doorway. Sweep debris into a small pile and collect it in a dustpan for disposal.