Dynamic planning, real-time status updates and instant communication can lead to unprecedented cost management for a hotel. For example, when a guest checks out, housekeeping could be automatically alerted via a smartphone or device so they don’t need to wait around or manually check at reception if it is ok to prepare the room for the next guest.
Timely and professional housekeeping management is at the epicentre of the guest experience and therefore the heart of a successful hotel operation. 86% of hotel guests cited cleanliness as the top criteria they look for when reading online hotel or holiday rental reviews. Guests who arrive with no queues at the front desk – and a professionally cleaned room that is ready for them – are guests who return time-and-time again.
You should be able to run your hotel with less resources and deliver a higher quality experience for guests.
The future of hotel housekeeping lies in mobile apps
Housekeeping is the most inefficient operation in any hotel. Amidst a labyrinth of rooms with enigmatic guests slipping in and out, clipboards and printed reports are too often the only compass housekeepers have to navigate through their daily chores. Housekeepers spend about 10 to 15% of their time just trying to find the next room to clean.
Most hotels still use walkie-talkies to communicate between front office and housekeeping but with the technology now available, maids could use a smartphone, potentially their own, to login into the PMS and check which rooms are ready to be cleaned, change the status of the room when they are cleaned and inspected, or even check the guest’s name before knocking on the door.
Hotels need to adjust housekeeping requirements guest-by-guest, room-by-room and minute-by-minute. They need to be able to rely on their system and know that when a room is inspected it will instantly be returned to the front desk. Having more availability allows receptionists to move bookings around faster without having to interrupt housekeeping workflows with a constant barrage of re-prioritizations.
Easy to use solution
Clipboards, common errors such as cleaning the wrong rooms and an inability to communicate during emergencies should be relics of the past. Although hand-holding is important for the transition to digital, hospitality software companies need to build easy to use solutions for housekeepers that don’t require days of training and which are affordable for even the smallest of operators.
In addition to helping hotels increase productivity and automating workflow schedules, mobile solutions can aid in the elimination of paper waste created by the multiple printouts in many housekeeping departments. The digitising of data also makes it easier for managers to compile and pull reports in real time for overall operations status.
Last but not least: the housekeeping carts. A housekeeper’s cart is their de facto office. A well-organised and well-stocked housekeeping cart is the key to efficiency. It enables room attendants to avoid wasting time looking for a cleaning item or making trips back to the linen room for more supplies. The specific amounts of items loaded onto a cart will vary according to the types of rooms being cleaned, the amenities offered by the property, and, of course, the size of the cart itself. A room attendant’s cart is generally spacious enough to carry all the supplies needed for a half-day’s room assignments.
As housekeeping managers are inspecting rooms, they should conduct a housekeeping cart inspection. They can create a contest to see who can keep their cart organized and clean the longest and reward those who pass inspection with a gift card or item from the gift shop.