The Housekeeping department takes pride in keeping the hotel clean and comfortable, so as to create a ‘Home away from home’. The aim of all accommodation establishment is to provide their customers with a clean, attractive, comfortable and welcoming surrounding 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 guest consider the keeping of the place clean and in a good order a necessity for a hotel to command a fair price and get repeat business.
Housekeeping may be defined as the provision of a clean, comfortable and safe environment, It’s is not confined to the housekeeping department as every member of staff in the establishment should be concerned with the provision of these facilities in their own department, eg. the chef ‘housekeepers’ in the kitchen, the restaurant manager or head waiter ‘housekeepers’ in the restaurant, and the general manager has overall responsibility.
In any establishment there are three departments particularly concerned with accommodation:
- The reception department, whose staff sell and allocate the rooms.
- The housekeeping department, whose staff plan, provide and service the rooms.
- The maintenance department, whose staff provide adequate hot and cold water, sanitation, heating, lighting, and ventilation as well as maintaining and repairing individual articles and area within the operation of the room.
IMPORTANCE OF HOUSEKEEPING
Housekeeping is an operational department in a hotel, which is responsible for cleanliness, maintenance, aesthetic upkeep of rooms, public area, back area, and surroundings. A hotel survives on the sale of room, food, beverages and other minor services such as the laundry, health club spa and so on. The sale of rooms constituter a minimum of 50 percent of these sales. Thus, the major part of the hotel’s margin of profit comes from the 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. The housekeeping department not only prepares clean guestroom on a timely basis for arriving a guest 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.
It is rightly said that housekeeping is a 24 x 7 x 365 operation. Imagine the stacks of linen needed to make up all the beds in a hotel, the miles if carpeting, floor, walls and ceiling to be cleaned and maintained, and cleaning compounds along with special tools and equipment needed in order to clean.
Other than hotels, professional housekeeping services are very much in demand in hospitals, on cruise liners, at offices and more. Since most such organizations prefer to outsource these functions, contract housekeeping is becoming popular in these days.
ROLE OF HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENT
Housekeeping plays a very important role in the hospitality industry such as:-
- To achieve the maximum possible efficiency in ensuring the care and comfort of guests and in the smooth running of the department.
- To establish a welcoming atmosphere and ensure courteous, reliable service from all staff of the department.
- To ensure high standards of cleanliness and general upkeep in all areas for which the department is responsible.
- To provide linen in rooms, restaurants, banquet hall, conference venues, health clubs, and so on, as well as maintain an inventory for the same.
- To provide uniforms for all the staff and maintain adequate inventories for the same.
- To cater to the laundering requirements of the hotel linen, staff uniforms, and guest clothing.
- To Provide and maintain the floral decorations and maintain the landscaped areas of the hotel.
- To coordinate renovation and refurnishing of the property as and when in consultation with the management and with interior designers.
- To deal with lost and found articles.
- To ensure training, control, and supervision of all staff attached to the department.
- To establish a good working relationship with other departments.
- To ensure that safety and security regulations are made known to all staff of the department.