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Author Archives: William D. Frye

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The Evolution of Housekeeping

The Evolution of Housekeeping

As LODGING celebrates its 40th anniversary, we can reflect on the changes to hotel housekeeping that have occurred during this time period. Though not driven solely by technology, there have been some noticeable transformations that have affected how housekeepers do their jobs: Linen re-use programs. Both as a commitment to minimizing the impact on the environment and laundry expense, hoteliers have realized that most guests neither require nor prefer that their linens be changed out each day of their stay. Washable duvets, coverlets, and decorative throws. The industry has embraced duvet covers and thinner coverlets that can easily be swapped out and laundered when a guest checks out. New-age cleaning supplies. With the help of new tools like electrostatic rags, microfiber wet and dry mops, water-activated micro scrubber sponges made from melamine foam, and green cleaning chemicals are derived from organic sources, housekeeping duties are more safe, expedient, and efficient to complete. Non-flip mattresses. Hotels have realized the value of mattresses that do not require flipping. Whether it is a pillow-top, latex, or high density open-cell poured polyurethane foam mattress, these mattresses are meant to be rotated, not flipped. This change has also helped reduce housekeeping employee injuries associated with ...

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Top Five Overlooked Tasks When Cleaning Guestrooms

Top Five Overlooked Tasks When Cleaning Guestrooms

When room attendants are centrally focused on cleaning the more visible living areas of the guestrooms, some items may go overlooked. Here are the top five tasks room attendants often fail to complete when cleaning an on-change guestroom: Lighting. Turn on every light to ascertain if any bulbs need to be replaced or if a lamp has been unplugged by a previous guest. Television and remote control. Clean the TV screen with a dry dust rag, and sanitize the remote control with disinfectant. Test the remote to ensure the TV turns on and off and receives a clear broadcast. Leave the volume setting at a moderate level. Alarm clock. Ensure the clock is plugged in and operational with a correct time setting. Double check that the alarm mode is deactivated so it will not go off in an unoccupied room and ring incessantly. Seat cushions, mattress, and bed frame. Inspect removable sofa or armchair seat cushions for stains or damage, and clean or replace as needed. Cautiously inspect between cushions, between the mattress and box spring, and under the bed frame for misplaced or dangerous objects. (Note: Never stick your hand or fingers between seat cushions or under a mattress ...

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Determining the Proper Order to Clean Guestrooms

Determining the Proper Order to Clean Guestrooms

Many housekeeping attendants often express confusion about the proper order in which guestrooms should be cleaned each day. The ideal order should be based on ensuring the front desk has an appropriate inventory of clean and vacant rooms to assign to arriving guests, as well as honoring special requests from current guests: Honor guest requests for early cleaning first. Make up VIP rooms of stayover guests. Note: Any VIP rooms that request early cleaning should always be cleaned first. Clean any rooms that are blocked for early arriving guests, assuming the room is vacant or was placed out of service the previous evening. Thoroughly clean vacant, dirty rooms. Start with the guestroom closest to the one being serviced at the time. Service remaining stayover guestrooms that are currently vacant. Attend to any remaining guestrooms that have not been cleaned yet. Of course, any request from the front desk for a “rush” on a particular guestroom or room type must always take priority. Determining the exact order will continually evolve throughout the workday based on which rooms become vacant. Dr. William D. Frye, CHE, is an associate professor of hotel management at Niagara University and coauthor of AH&LEI’s textbook Managing Housekeeping ...

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Eliminating Linen and Amenity Theft

Eliminating Linen and Amenity Theft

Theft of housekeeping supplies is detrimental to the department’s bottom line. Here are some suggestions to help housekeeping managers minimize housekeeping losses. Keep housekeeping closets and storage rooms locked. Some guests will seize an opportunity to raid supplies. Restrict access to storage areas to the housekeeping staff assigned to that floor. Avoid leaving stocked housekeeping carts in the hallway unattended. Restock carts at frequent intervals through the day, or consider investing in carts with locking covers, drawers, and panels. Only replace bed and bath linens in stayover rooms on a “one-for-one” basis. If a guest requests extra sheets or towels, these extra linens should be recorded in the daily linen/amenity disbursement log for special requests. Have room attendants count the number of bed and bath linens retrieved from checked out rooms. They should immediately report any discrepancies to their supervisor or the front desk for follow up. Conduct monthly linen and amenity inventories. Keep records of these inventories to analyze for spikes in use or replacement that are not warranted by a correlated occupancy. Maintain a “linen discard record” for sheets and towels removed from service. Dr. William D. Frye is an associate professor of hotel management at Niagara University ...

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Reducing the Spread of Contagious Illnesses

Reducing the Spread of Contagious Illnesses

Winter months bring an increase of cold, influenza, and other communicable illnesses to the workplace. To reduce the spread of germs and cross contamination, housekeeping departments should focus on common contact points. Sanitize Hard Services. Most hard surfaces, such as doors, drawers, telephone receivers, TV remote controls, light switches, toilet handles, and in-room directories, can be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant cleaner on a daily basis. Returned guestroom keycards should be placed in a separate bin for disinfecting. All guestroom glassware must be thoroughly washed with hot water and detergent—in a dishwasher or three-compartment metal sink—before being placed back into service. Improperly sanitized glassware and utensils can transmit mononucleosis, herpes, E. coli, salmonella, hepatitis A, influenza, and even staph infections. Hotel glassware should never be washed in a guestroom sink. Wash Your Hands Frequently. Infectious diseases are commonly spread through hand-to-hand contact. Scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and rinse them with warm water to loosen and remove bacteria. Dry hands with a clean disposable towel or warm air hand dryer. Use a disposable towel to turn off the faucet and open the restroom door to prevent recontamination. Antimicrobial wipes or towelettes are an effective alternative ...

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