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Module 16: Hotel Housekeeping Department

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Housekeeping Department

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Hospitality Management

Housekeeping Department

The housekeeping department is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the guest rooms, public areas, office spaces and back of the house areas in the hotel so that the property is as fresh and attractive as its first day of business.

For both business and leisure travelers, having a clean room is the basic requirement for their staying in a hotel.

is also supported by numerous surveys conducted by the hotel industry which constantly indicate cleanliness as the prime factor in guests’ decision of selecting a hotel.

Housekeeping

A hotel which fails to provide clean rooms to their customers would lead to less business received by the hotel. Therefore, the housekeeping department and its staff play a critical role to ensure the profit and success of the hotel.

In general, housekeeping maintains the cleanliness of guest rooms and public areas in such a way that reflects the hotel's commitment to standards of excellence. In many hotels, the housekeeping department is the largest department in the hotel.

As a support center, the main duty of housekeeping department is to maintain the cleanliness of the hotel, including both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house areas.

Setting good standards in room cleaning and public area cleaning can ensure a comfortable, safe and hygienic environment for hotel guests and staff in the property.

Staff Areas

The cleaning of staff areas involves the following:

Offices of different departments
Staff canteen
Changing and locker rooms
Storage areas

Guest Areas

The cleaning of guest areas involves the following:

Guest rooms
Corridors
Service lift and floor storage areas

Public Areas

The cleaning of public areas involves the following:

Lobby and lifts
Public restrooms
Recreation facilities

The organization of the housekeeping department will vary from one hotel to another depending on the number of rooms and the hotel management.

This department is usually headed by an executive housekeeper, who is often assisted by an assistant and several supervisors.

In the case of a small hotel, an executive housekeeper might have no assistant and is assisted by smaller number of supervisors.

As a result of streamlining many hotels have substantially reduced the number of staff and increased the role of existing housekeeping staff. This helps reduced the bottom line.

The attached image shows the housekeeping organization chart of a large-sized hotel.

The laundry department provides laundry, dry cleaning and pressing services to guests. Some hotels maintain their own laundry, while others rely on commercial operators.

In either case, close teamwork is necessary to assure a steady flow of linen back and forth for restaurants, banquet areas, floor pantry and recreational areas.

Imagine yourself as the executive housekeeper of a large-sized hotel.

Due to recent financial difficulties, your hotel has decided to cut costs by streamlining the organization structure.

As the Executive Housekeeper, how would you redesign the organizational chart of your department, to suit the needs of your hotel?

The housekeeping department is generally the largest department in most hotel operations. A sizeable hotel would typically employ more than 100 housekeeping staff.

Owing to its sometimes complex organizational structure, it is important for every housekeeping staff member to clearly understand their own responsibilities in order to provide the most efficient service to guests.

Executive Housekeeper

The duties of the executive housekeeper include:

Interviews, selects and engages staff in conjunction with human resources
Training
Deployment
Prepares work schedules, work procedures and job descriptions
Compiles duty rotas, holiday lists
Personnel records
Arranges supervision
Staff welfare
Orders and controls equipment, materials and linen
Handles complaints
Key control

Assistant Executive Housekeeper

The main duties of the assistant executive housekeeper include:

Assists executive housekeeper in day-to-day operations
Assumes responsibilities of executive housekeeper in his/her absence
Revises daily work schedule depending on the occupancy rate
Inspects work to ensure prescribed standard of cleanliness
Inspects rooms, lobbies and restaurants for cleanliness
Determines need for renovations and makes recommendations
Coordinates with the front office to screens applicants, train new employees and recommends disciplinary actions or dismissals

Housekeeping staff should be fully aware of all hotel services and ensure the daily cleaning and tidying of all hotel bedrooms and any public areas.

Staff must also ensure that high standards of cleanliness are maintained throughout the hotel.

Assistant Housekeeper

Duties include:

Assists executive housekeeper in day-to-day operations
Dispatches room attendants and floor supervisors to assigned floors
Checks equipment and recommends new purchases
Inspects guest rooms, lobbies and back stairs
Keeps records of extra work performed by housekeeping department
Takes inventory
Prepares attendance records

Floor Supervisor

Duties include:

Checks staff on duty
Supervision of staff
Checks and completes the room inspection list
Conducts induction and general training
Orders and issues cleaning materials
Linen checks
Maintenance checks

The main function of the housekeeping department is to maintain the cleanliness of the hotel.


Brainstorming

Using the information you learned, imagine yourself as a tourist or business traveler, what kind of a hotel would you like to stay in?

Think about a list of the qualities of an ideal hotel. Use as many adjectives or phrases as possible to describe your ideal hotel.