The world has changed a lot in the last two years, and the hotel industry is no exception.
Travel ground to a halt at the beginning of 2020. Since then, hotel owners and operators have been constantly treading water to keep their business profitable throughout the pandemic.
We’re coming out the other side now, and things look a bit different. Many businesses were hard-hit, and have had to introduce a number of measures to keep the wheels turning behind the scenes.
Now more than ever, hotel operations need to be a well-oiled machine, with maximum efficiency.
You can’t have a hotel without housekeeping. It’s central to the hospitality industry. While the core of housekeeping — cleaning rooms — has stayed the same over the last century, the process has shifted and evolved over time.
The COVID pandemic really shook up the hotel industry, and one of the key changes post-pandemic has been around housekeeping. Rather than a daily cleaning service that guests could opt out of, it’s now the opposite. In the majority of hotels, rooms are cleaned on an opt-in basis, sometimes with an extra charge for guests.
It makes sense! And with all the new changes coming into the hotel industry as we adapt to living with the pandemic, it’s a great opportunity for hotels to change how they manage their housekeeping operations.
We’ve pulled together our best housekeeping operation tips and tricks. This should help you save time and run a more effective service.
To ensure that all your staff are being as effective as possible, they should set a timer as they clean each room. Suites and large rooms will definitely take longer, but keeping track of each cleaners’ times will help you identify any issues with efficiency and ensure the rooms are being cleaned thoroughly.
Having an estimated average time as a guide will also give your staff a clear idea of how they’re working, and the standard you expect. The HelloShift app allows you to start a timer for each room with the click of a button.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but it’s important to have a standardized method across your housekeeping team. Create an ordered checklist for each room, starting out with opening the windows, spraying chemicals, and stripping the bed. Think about a process that makes the most sense — eg. dusting should come before vacuuming.
Make sure every team member understands the process. The last thing on the list should be a final check of the room as they leave. Remember, your last look is your guest’s first look.
There are a few simple checks that each housekeeper should do in the process of cleaning a room. Checking the lightbulbs, power outlets, water pressure, and stability of furniture only takes a few seconds, but can save a lot of time in the long run.
Any issues should be instantly flagged with maintenance so it can be addressed before the next guest arrives. This is where using a tool like HelloShift can come in handy, for quick and streamlined communication across teams.
Rather than having a separate housekeeping unit for each single hotel, it makes the most sense to cluster the operation with one central team managing multiple properties.
With cloud-based housekeeping management software, it’s easy to sync up teams across different locations. For years we’ve centralized business support functions like accounting, payroll, and marketing, why not do the same with housekeeping operations?!
A happy and stress-free team will encounter far fewer problems than an overworked one. Keep your housekeepers across their work with a realistic schedule that allows them plenty of time to deal with issues that could arise.
Using a management software can help with this –– all the jobs are laid out clearly in the HelloShift schedule, which staff can access on their phone or tablet while working. Our simple interface makes it fast and easy to see what rooms have been assigned and the order in which they should be completed.
Many hotels have had to completely change their laundry service in response to COVID. To minimize direct contact between staff and guests, it’s become common for there to be no linen changing service at all during a guest’s stay, unless they directly request it.
Despite working with reduced laundry staff, some hotels have adjusted wash temperatures higher in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and added an extra step in the cleaning process.
Automated towel folders and ironers have revolutionized many hotels’ laundry service. The contact-free process is essential for reducing the spread of germs, and is more cost-effective than hiring personnel to do those tasks.
You’ll never get caught with an empty stash of carpet cleaner if you keep track of your supplies. Set a minimum quantity for each product that’s used in your hotel, and be sure to check each day that you don’t need to order more of anything. Or, with HelloShift’s inventory feature, you can automatically create tasks to keep track of PAR levels, so you don’t have to check each day.
Schedule the same workers onto the same shifts. Not only does this minimize direct contact for a safer workplace, but it also allows your employees to build relationships with each other.
After working with the same people for an extended time, we tend to become more in sync, leading to a more productive workflow.
A tool like HelloShift is a game-changer for hotel operations. It allows you to digitize your whole process, from guest messaging to housekeeping schedules.
For the housekeeping industry, it’s a godsend. Having everything, from room assignment and early check-ins, to time tracking and maintenance requests in one place makes the housekeeping process a lot smoother and pain-free.
HelloShift connects your guests, staff, and operations in an all-in-one platform that is as easy to use as Facebook. Get in touch today for a demo and see how it can work for you!
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Hospitality has always been about building human connections. During the pandemic, many of these interactions moved to the digital realm. Overnight, "high tech" became the way for hotels to convey "high end" without the "high touch."