Posts Tagged ‘Housekeeping’

Make It Sparkle!

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

When one considers all of the things that go into making a your hospitality operation distinctive and appealing to its guests or members, one of the most visible is its cleanliness.  Whether a facility has its own housekeeping staff or contracts with a cleaning service, cleanliness is an essential element of a quality operation.  As with any other aspect of quality, standards must be defined and ensured.

The following list includes some of the essential areas that must be monitored for a high level of cleanliness:

Entryways are one of the most visible areas of the facility through which every member or guest will pass and often make the first impression of any visit.  Sidewalks and pavers must be constantly blown or swept.  Cigarette butts must be policed continually; trash or butt cans must be cleaned and emptied frequently.  The entry door must be appealing.  Smudges and handprints on glass doors or sidelight windows are unsightly and require constant wiping.  The doorsill or plate has edges and grooves that collect dirt and debris and is often overlooked.  Entry walk-off mats need to be removed and cleaned daily.

Restrooms are areas where members or guests expect the highest level of sanitation and cleanliness.  They are used constantly and need constant attention.  Sinks and counters need to be wiped down.  Mirrors get spattered and must be cleaned.  Trash cans, particularly on busy occasions, can overflow with hand towels and waste.  Supplies must be checked and replenished as usage levels dictate.

Dining Rooms and Bars, because of the food and beverages served, must be kept clean and “appetizing” at all times.  Trash cans must be emptied frequently, wiped down, and sanitized to avoid offensive odors.  Carpets around tables and chairs receive spills and dropped food items.  They must be vacuumed thoroughly on a daily basis and shampooed with some frequency.  The furniture itself must be cleaned daily to prevent food buildup.  Young children can make a mess of highchairs.  These must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.  Menu covers can quickly get smudged and grimy and should be cleaned or replaced often.

Lobby or Seating Areas often have large overstuffed furniture.  These should be vacuumed daily, particularly the cushions which collect dust and debris, under cushions, and along raised seams.  Tables and bookshelves need to be dusted daily.

Picture Frames, Paintings, and Window Molding need frequent dusting and are often overlooked, particularly if high on a wall.

Windows allow light to enter and Mirrors reflect that light.  Often one doesn’t notice how dirty they can get until light hits them in a certain way and this will most certainly to be noticed by members or guests.

High Ceilings, Chandeliers, and Ceiling Fans give dramatic effect, but are the perfect place for cobwebs and dust to collect.  Inspecting with a keen eye and the use of a telescoping duster should be a daily habit, particularly in food service areas.

Verandahs and Porches require the same discipline, but even greater vigilance given their exposure to the elements and outdoor bugs and spiders.

While not as visible, Sanitation is of even greater importance given the health and hygiene implications.  A recent television report claimed that tests had shown that the handles on grocery carts harbored more germs than toilet seats.  While hospitality operations don’t use grocery carts, the undeniable implication of this story is the near universal transmission of germs by people’s hands (and this takes on even greater importance in light of the recent flu season).  A further story had a doctor saying that the most effective habit in avoiding the flu was constant hand washing.

These two stories combined point out the necessity of using disinfectant cleaners on any surface touched by human hand.  Some surfaces that readily come to mind are door knobs and handles, banisters and railings, flush handles on toilets, sink handles, armrests on chairs, bar and table surfaces, water fountains, ice machines, dish or glass washers, or any other surface or place frequented by members or guests, and employees – particularly those employees who handle food and drink.

Paying attention to these issues of cleanliness and sanitation will go a long way in creating the very real impression of a quality operation.  While the housekeeping staff or contractor is charged with the tasks of cleanliness and sanitation, it is still the managers’ responsibility to establish the standard and to ensure it is met.  Making all employees aware of the need for a clean and sanitized operation, and providing the necessary tools and training for each department to clean whenever there is spare or down time, will ensure that everyone recognizes the shared responsibility of keeping your facility clean.

And giving it that extra sparkle will help your operation and reputation shine!

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

What I Expect from my Facilities Manager

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Clubs of any size, particularly those with multiple facilities and a wide array of amenities, usually have a Facility Manager or Maintenance Chief who is responsible for the maintenance and housekeeping functions.  Depending upon the size and age of the facilities, the responsibilities of this position can be large and complex.  As the General Manager, here are my expectations for this key department head:

  1. Documented Building Systems.  All building systems to include electrical; water and sewer; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC); fire safety pull boxes; electrical meters and labeled electrical panels; kitchen fire suppression systems; security systems; phone, data, and POS systems; and public address and music systems must be detailed in an easy-to-access, written form, compiled in multiple three-ringed binders for each department heads.  This information is critical in any sort of emergency and must be available to the manager-on-duty, as well as all department heads.
  2. Building, Systems, and Equipment Reference material.  For maintenance and repair purposes the Facility Manager must have an organized, easy-to-access library of material to include:  Architectural As-built Drawings of all buildings that include floor plans, building mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and safety systems; Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Manuals for all systems and major pieces of equipment; Paint Schedules for all buildings; and Maintenance Contracts for all contracted services such as elevator and HVAC servicing, waste removal, and cleaning of kitchen fire suppression systems
  3. Written Standards, Policies, and Procedures (SPPs) for maintenance and housekeeping responsibilities.  These will serve as the basis for consistent training and execution of all requirements.  This is particularly important for housekeeping.  Don’t expect that each housekeeper will have an appropriate or consistent way of cleaning or know what standards are required.  In addition to providing cleaning standards for all areas of the club, the SPPs will specify cleaning equipment, tools, and products to be used.
  4. A Prioritized Work Order Program to allow necessary maintenance, repair, and new work to be reported and tracked.
  5. A detailed Preventive Maintenance Program and Schedule based on the requirements of system and equipment O&M guidance.
  6. An Outreach Program whereby the Facility Manager visits each club department head on a monthly basis to discuss needs and issues.
  7. Monthly and Annual Benchmarks for departmental labor, work orders, preventive maintenance program, and utilities (electrical, gas, water).
  8. Formal Inspections.  Monthly for all departmental areas to identify maintenance and housekeeping needs.  Annually for structures, building systems, and grounds.  These should be documented with standardized inspection forms or checklists to ensure everything is covered.
  9. Monthly Maintenance/Housekeeping Meeting with the General Manager to review work plan and goals, budget, benchmarks, inspections, and maintenance and housekeeping efforts.
  10. Administration of Club and Departmental Assets.  This includes maintaining the Master Asset List and assisting department heads in performing the Annual Asset Inventory.  Reporting inventory results to the General Manager.

While this list of expectations lays out a comprehensive summary of responsibilities, given the cost of the club’s physical plant and the need to keep it well-maintained and clean, it is extremely important that the Facility Manager has a complete understanding of the requirements of the position.  Once these disciplines are firmly established, the maintenance and cleanliness of the club’s facilities will become routine.  The result of this is a higher state of maintenance and housekeeping, lower costs, and fewer breakdowns and emergency repairs.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

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