Housekeeping may be defined as provision of calm, comfortable, safe and an aesthetically appealing environment. Housekeeping department is an operational department in a hotel, which is responsible for cleanliness, maintenance and beautification of the hotel and its surroundings such as guest rooms, public areas, back areas and surroundings.
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It provides clean and comfortable environment. The effort that a housekeeping department makes in giving a guest a desirable room has a direct bearing on the quest’s experience in a hotel.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENT
- Cleans and maintains everything in the hotel so that the property remains fresh and attractive as the day it opened for business.
- Establish a welcoming atmosphere and ensure courteous, reliable service from all staff of the
- Provide linen in rooms, banquet hall, conference venues, etc. as well as maintains an inventory of the same.
- Provides uniform for all the staff and maintain adequate inventories.
- Cater for the laundering requirement of hotel, linen, staff uniform and guest cloth if need be.
- Deal with lost and found articles.
- Ensure training, control and supervision of all staff, attached to the department.
- Establish a good working relationship with other departments.
- Provide and maintain the floral decoration and maintain the landscape area of the hotel.
- Ensure that safety and security regulations are made known to all staff of the department.
- What is housekeeping?
- State three responsibilities of housekeeping department.
Housekeeping personnel/staff are divided into three categories:
- Managerial – Chief Executive/head housekeeper
- Supervisory – Assistant housekeeper, floor housekeeper or supervisors
- Unskilled – Room attendant, housekeeping porter, public area cleaner (PA)
FUNCTIONS OF HOUSEKEEPING PERSONNEL
CHIEF EXECUTIVE/HEAD HOUSEKEEPER
The executive house keeper is expected to:
- Organize and supervise the work of housekeeping department.
- Draw up duty rosters and ensures it is followed.
- Supervise the discipline and conduct of the staff.
- Liaise between maintenance and housekeeping department.
- Provide uniform to the hotel staff.
- Organize and supervise the training of the staff.
- To ensure uniform observation of hygiene and safety precautions.
- Deal with the articles which the guest has left behind in the room.
- Inspect and approves all supply requisition for the department.
- Hire new employees and discipline the erring ones.
- He reports to the executive housekeeper and does his/her job when the executive housekeeper is not around.
- He checks and ensures that all the guest room, public area and back of the house areas are clean and well-maintained.
- He keeps an inventory of all housekeeping supplies and check regularly.
- He updates records, register and file.
- He provides the front office with a list of rooms ready for assignment to guest.
- He is responsible for the hotel linen and checks its movement and its distribution to room attendants.
- He provides the necessary information to executive and assists the executive officer in staff appraisal in areas of disciplining, termination and promotion of staff.
FLOOR HOUSEKEEPERS/FLOOR SUPERVISORS
- He reports to the assistant and the executive housekeeper and he is in charge of three or more floors.
- He ensures supply of equipment, maintenance and security of floors and public areas.
- He issues floor keys to room attendants.
- He releases clean rooms to the reception.
- He supervises the handing over of solid linen to the laundry and supervises the requisition of fresh ones from housekeeping.
- He handles minor complaints and requests made by guests and staff.
- He also ensures all staff on his floor follows housekeeping policies, systems, procedure and standards.
ROOM ATTENDANTS/CHAMBERMAIDS/ROOM MAIDS
- They are responsible for servicing the guests’ bedrooms, private sitting rooms, bathrooms and toilets. One room attendant cleans 12 to 15 rooms per day.
- They change the bed linen.
- They clean and tidy the room and sanitary installation assigned.
- They should attend daily briefing.
- They undertake the evening check of rooms.
- They handover to the housekeeper any lost articles.
FLOOR PORTER/HOUSE PORTER
- All heavy work such as the moving of furniture or heavy linen baskets is done by the house porter.
- He/she is directly responsible to the head housekeeper.
- Assist with any guest room change by helping the guest to carry his luggage.
- Assist room attendant during peak periods, like rushing period- festival periods.
- Assist room attendant in deep cleaning activities.
- State three functions of executive housekeeper.
- Mention the categories of housekeeping personnel.
Bed linen includes all the material/fabrics used in making bed. They are:
- Mattress cover- used for covering the mattress to protect it from dust and dirt.
- Bed sheets- used for making the bed.
- Pillow cases- used for covering the pillows.
- Bed spreads- used as a spread over a made bed and as a covering for the person lying on the bed.
- Blanket- used as a covering for warmth in cold nights.
Characteristics of a good bed linen
- A good bed linen must be comfortable.
- It must have a good appearance.
- It should be grease resistant.
- It should be cool and absorbent.
- It must be smooth but not slippery.
- It must also be durable and withstand abrasion while on bed and during laundry.
Materials required for bed making includes:
- Bed and mattress
- Two bed sheets (the bottom and top sheets)
- Pillows and pillow cases
- One bed cover/ bed spread
- A blanket
- An underlay (or mattress overlay). It is a thick layer of padding between the mattress and the bedding.
- List four materials for making bed.
- State three characteristics of a good bed linen.
THE RECEPTION/FRONT OFFICE
In relation to the hospitality industry, reception can be defined as the art of receiving and welcoming people officially into the hotel premises to make them feel at home with prompt and adequate attention given to their requests for immediate satisfaction of their needs within the scope of operation of the hotel or the organization.
The reception is the main sales outlet of the hotel. It is the place where guests first assess the type of services rendered in the hotel and make necessary enquiries. Guests also check-in, check-out and pay their bills at the reception.
A receptionist is a sales personnel or clerk in a hotel reception. A receptionist is always found at the front office of an establishment. He/she must have good general education and thorough knowledge of the organization.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A RECEPTIONIST
- He welcomes, check-in and registers guests.
- He/she confirms room status with housekeeping departments.
- He carries out any bill adjustment.
- He deals with customers complaints.
- He keeps the reception books up to date.
- He carries out customers check out.
- He prepares departure list.
- He sends arrival list to all departments.
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- Explain five responsibilities of a receptionist.
- State three responsibilities of an executive housekeeper.
- Mention the major work of floor porter.
- State three responsibilities of a floor supervisor.
- State four responsibilities of a chamber maid.
- Which of these is used in making bed? A. Carpet B. Rug C. Bed cover D. Table
- An appealing environment is put in place in a hotel by ____ A. bar dept. B. restaurant dept.
- kitchen dept. D. housekeeping dept.
- Someone who works in the front office of a hotel is called ____ A. manager B. storekeeper
- receptionist D. housekeeper
- ____ organizes and supervises the work of housekeeping department. A. Executive housekeeper B. Assistant housekeeper C. Floor housekeeper Lobby house keeper
- Which of these are examples of bed linen? A. bed spread, bed sheet, blanket. B. pillow, pillow case, mat. C. mattress cover, blanket, flower. D. rug, cruet set, hardware.
- Mention three characteristics of a good bed linen.
- Mention categories of staff in housekeeping department.
STANDARD AND LOCAL MEASURING EQUIPMENT- FULLY EXPLANATION