Best practice makes perfect – Five tips for victory in housekeeping & operations

18 March 2022

There are plenty of life tips, hotel hacks and urban legends floating about online regarding how guests assess the state of their room upon first arriving. But where are the main areas to concentrate on, both for that first impression and lasting memory? 

Here’s how good habits and great processes can help housekeeping and operations boost the bottom line.

First let’s look at the main problem areas.

1. Smart buys will last. Good quality, fit-for-purpose furnishings will be easier to clean and stay looking good for longer. While cheaper furniture might be a ‘quick fix’ it can be a false economy when your rooms wind up looking shabby – which affects the way they are viewed by guests. Replacing furniture is also an expensive and disruptive exercise, which can be minimised by buying appropriate products from the start.

2. Check the secret spots. There is little worse than finding a reminder of previous guests under the bed in your room. While we all know other people have been in these rooms, every guest wants to feel as though their room is fresh and new. Check under and behind all furnishings and in all cupboards and cabinets for any left items that can tell an unwanted tale of previous guests.

3. Avoid scarcity of toiletries. As the great Joni Mitchell once sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” Ensure rooms are well stocked with soap, shampoo, toilet paper, coffee, tea and milk if provided. Running out of any items mid-stay can be an annoyance for guests and will give an unprofessional impression of the place in general.

4. Say good riddance to bad rubbish. We’ll lump a lot of unclean or unhygienic practises into one point here: remove all dust from surfaces; hair from the bath, shower and floor; empty and wipe out rubbish bins; take care to empty the water from the kettle and clean it when necessary; wipe fingerprints from shower walls and windows and toothpaste splatters from mirrors.

5. Use the right products. A purpose built cleaning trolley will have everything your housekeepers need to efficiently clean and freshen guest rooms, from rubbish bags and rubber gloves to replacement toiletries and tea bags. These trolleys will also have space to hold vacuum cleaners, making it easy for housekeepers to move between rooms. The Henry vacuum cleaner is designed to withstand high levels of use (and to bring a smile with its cute face!) A variety of replacement parts are also available, should anything get broken in use.

Even with the best intentions, mistakes can happen. The key steps to avoiding these issues are:

Time. Overworked and hurried staff, no matter how experienced and dedicated, will slip up occasionally. So, even if guests are knocking on the doors, it is best to allow housekeepers the maximum possible time for cleaning. If necessary, stall incoming guests by letting them know cleanliness is the hotel’s priority, offering to store bags and providing a welcome drink. This will ensure the crew has enough time to get the job done right.

Training. Rather than throwing the cleaning crew in the deep end without proper instruction, comprehensive training on how to clean rooms efficiently and effectively should always be provided. Having new housekeepers shadow experienced staff can be one way to do this – as long as you can trust that your experienced staff aren’t cutting corners. Regular, random checks are a good way to ensure quality control.

Checklists. Sometimes it’s easy to take things for granted. For example, it can be easy to forget to look up and make sure all lightbulbs are in working order. A clear and easy-to-scan checklist attached to the cleaning trolley can be a great way for housekeepers to leave a room with peace of mind that nothing has been missed.

It is also difficult to do a job well if you don’t have the right equipment. Email us to request a copy of our new catalogue. There’s plenty of good stuff in there to help your housekeepers work efficiently, resulting in cleaner rooms and a better reputation for your establishment.

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