Hospitality is giving maximum attention to details, to express the best of what an hotel can give to its Clients. We know from our experience in Hotels Inspections the importance of Housekeeping in hotels reputation. That is because this essential aspect of hotel management impacts directly on the overall “Guest Experience”. It really can make the difference between a reputed hotel and one that guests are unlikely to visit again.
Housekeeping: the duties
The primary housekeeping duty is to ensure the cleanliness and orderliness of hotel room.
Standards are established by each brand or owner, and it is the responsibility of the general manager and the housekeeping team to ensure these standards. But there’s much more.
We have recently investigated about the state of the art of this crucial sector of hotel Operations.
The housekeeper is a manager
What emerges at first is that in certain areas of the World housekeeping is considered as much important as the reception or marketing strategies, for example in Germany, Middle East and Great Britain the housekeeper is really a managerial figure.
Elaine Walker has been for years an experienced Executive Housekeeper in most luxurious London’s hotels. She explaines that her job is very hard, starting in early morning with the control of the lists that appropriate software provides. She uses IT tools also to control early check ins, guests’ arrival times and specific requirements. Heading a huge staff, she has strong managerial skills to coordinate everything. And great part of her work is to be responsible of an immense amount of stock: the linen, table linen, towels, hotel toiletries and janitorial equipment, beverage and food as well as coffee and tea supplies for the in-room break.
It’s a tricky job – she says -getting it all right and ensuring everything is done on time!
It’s however rare to find interviews or bios of Housekeeping Managers: I read however some interesting articles surfing the web.
I learned that the bedroom is what is done first and that what is harder is not, as I thought, realizing the “proper corner” of sheets but.. the pillows! The trick to getting them efficiently into the pillowcases is to “chop” each in half lengthwise with your forearm, fold in half along that crease, stuff while still folded into the middle of the pillow case, then slip your hand inside to spread out both sides and adjust. It’s a sort of military precision treatment. Curious also to learn that the housekeeper’s secret weapon are microfiber cloths, that not just move dust about – but really pick it up. (good to know for our houses too J)
Housekeeping in Italian hotels
In Italy the situation is a little bit old fashioned. Paola Pesoli http://www.bellavarsavia.com/ is the founder of “Professional Housekeeping” http://www.professionalhousekeeping.it a consulting company that provides professional training.
She says that in recent years many hotel managers in Italy are understanding that having professional people and long-term employees working at the housekeeping is a competitive advantage and not a cost. For that reason many hotels are investing a lot in professional training. However this awareness concerns mostly 4 and 5 star hotels and in lower star categories this attention is merely absent.
During our Hotel’s Inspections we always look for the behind-the-scenes staff and approach and we really aim that in Italy soon Hotels Managers will consider the Housekeeper as a crucial employee.