ITC Gardenia is located in the heart of the city and in Bengaluru’s most prominent business hub. The hotel runs busy through the week with an occasional dip over the weekends. Despite the hotel being fully booked, the housekeeping team works tirelessly to ensure that schedules are met in a systematic and organized manner. Swarnalata Mankikar, Executive Housekeeper explains how.
Preventive maintenance: Each day, maximum of five rooms are taken under repair and handed over to the technical services team where preventive maintenance is carried out. These rooms are jointly checked by the product manager and the preventive maintenance custodian and released for late night arrivals.
Extra cleaning: The room attendants are given two extra areas to focus on daily, example; shower cubicle drain, sliding door grooves, etc. At the end of the week, all areas get covered without intercepting with the regular schedule.
Thorough cleaning: Deep cleaning of two rooms happens daily. On sold out days, the allocation moves to the seccond shift employees.
The housekeepers can share the consumption patterns with the suppliers and stock up for three months. Hence, the hotel can order for the same once a week thus reducing costs, space and storage areas in the hotel.
– Sudesh Kumar Singh
Outsourced schedules: Contractual associates carry out maintenance of specific areas such as carpet cleaning, glass cleaning, pest control, marble polishing and upholstery changing. There is a specific number of rooms to be covered daily.
Overlap cleaning: Deep cleaning of guest/ back areas. Landscape pebble washing, guest elevator grooves, Extra bed maintenance, store setup, etc are allocated to second shift employees in their two hour overlap time.
Low Occupancy zoning: When the hotel occupancy takes a dip, the product managers along with the Executive Housekeeper decide on taking two floors that have back to back arrivals through the week for repair work. These schedules are tracked daily by floor supervisors and records such as Room History are maintained by the Product managers.
In terms of trouble-shooting, she adds, “Housekeeping is considered to be a high expenditure department with minor revenue generating opportunities in Minibar and Guest laundry processing. Hence, it is imperitive that this expenditure is strictly monitored.
“Budgets are allocated at the commencement of each financial year and apart from requisitioning of guest supplies and amenities, the Guest room assets also need to be requisitioned in a planned manner to ensure that monthly and yearly budgets do not exceed. Maintaining room assets is a key challenge. However, processes have been created to ensure that missing assets from the room are highlighted during and immediately post check out of the guest. The same is retrieved or charged accordingly. Separate inventory of such guest preference items that are either complimentary or provided in a customised manner are maintained. Guest feedback always helps us to serve better. the team has a Service Recovery Service design through innovative towel art and the human touch. This ensures problem resolution and guests being assured that their feedback was valued with no added cost of service recovery.”
Housekeeping is the department that strikes a balance between different departments in a hotel. Experience and expertise guide the housekeepers to walk the tight rope efficiently and meet the guest and brand requirements without any slip-ups.