The aim of all hospitality establishments is to provide their customers with clean, attractive, comfortable and welcoming surroundings that offer value for money. Nothing sends a stronger message than cleanliness in a hospitality operation.
No level of service, friendliness or glamour can equal the sensation a guest has upon entering a spotless, tidy, and conveniently arranged room. Both management and guests consider the keeping at the place clean and in a good order a necessity for a hotel to command a fair and get repeat business.
The housekeeping department takes pride in keeping the hotel clean and comfortable, so as to create a “home away from home”.
What is Housekeeping?
Housekeeping may be defined as provision of a clean, comfortable, safe and aesthetically appealing environment“. By another definition, ‘housekeeping operational department in a hotel which is responsible for cleanliness, maintenance, aesthetic upkeep of rooms; public areas, back areas and the surroundings.
Importance of Housekeeping
A hotel survives on the sales of rooms, food. beverages, and other minor services such as the laundry, health club, and so on. The sale of rooms constitutes a minimum of 50% of these sales. Thus, the major part of the hotel’s margin of profit comes from room sales, because a room once made can be sold over and over again.
The effort that a housekeeping department makes in giving a guest a desirable room has a direct bearing on the guest’s experience in a hotel. Guestrooms are the heart of the hotel. Unless its décor is appropriate, the air odour-free, and furnishings and upholstery clean, the hotel may lose the guest as a potential repeat customer.
The housekeeping department not only prepares clean guestrooms on a timely basis for arriving guests, but also cleans and maintains everything in the hotel so that the property is as fresh and attractive as the day it opened for business.
Housekeeping, thus, is an ancillary department that contributes in a big way towards the overall reputation of a property. So this department is known for their 24 x 7 x 365 operation.
Responsibilities of Housekeeping Department
The aims, objectives and responsibilities of a housekeeping department are to:
- Achieve the maximum possible efficiency in ensuring the care and comfort of guests and in the smooth running of the department.
- Establish a welcoming atmosphere and ensure courteous, reliable service from all staff of the department.
- Ensure a high standard of cleanliness and general upkeep in all areas for which the department is responsible.
- Provide linen in rooms, restaurants, banquet halls, conference, venues, health clubs, and so on, as well as maintain an inventory for the same.
- Provide uniforms for all the staff and maintain adequate inventories for the same.
- Cater to the laundering requirements of hotel linen, staff uniforms, and guests clothing.
- Provide and maintain the floral decorations and maintain the landscapes areas of the hotel.
- Select the right contractors and ensure that the quality of work is maintained as at the onset of the business.
- Coordinate renovation and refurnishing of the property as and when, in consultation with the management and with interior designers.
- Coordinate with the purchase department for the procurement of guest supplies, cleaning agents, equipment, fabrics, carpets and other items used in the hotel.
- Deal with lost and found articles.
- Ensure training, control and supervision of all staff attached to the department.
- Establish a good working relationship with other departments.
- Ensure that safety and security regulations are made known to all staff of the department.
- Keep the general manager or administrator informed of all matters requiring attention.