Chapter: 6 – Housekeeping
Grade: XI | Subject: Hotel Management
1. Illustrate an organization chart of a housekeeping department with duties and responsibilities of ‘Executive
Ans: The division and specialization of a housekeeping department
Executive House Keeper is supported by assistants. The team is responsible and accountable for the total cleanliness, maintenance and aesthetic upkeep of the hotel. This Executive House Keeper is one of the most important positions in the hotel to organize, prepare schedules, recruits, training of staff. It is the managerial post. The department needs to maintain close relation with other departmental general managers.
2. Sketch an organization chart of a housekeeping department and explain duties of a room attendant.
Room Attendants/ Senior Room Attendants: These are actual people to clean the guest room. The Senior Room Attendants are allotted the important floor like VIP floor or high category
3. Discuss the quality attributes of housekeeping department.
Ans: Hotels being hospitality industry personal attributes of hotel staff play a very important role. It
- Honesty: This is a very essential attribute for housekeeping staff and specially among the room attendants, as they have access to all guest rooms. Sometimes very valuable guest belongings are found lying around in the room which may arouse temptation.
- Grooming: Floor and public area supervisors, room attendants and housekeeping staffs who are in constant guest contact should be well groomed at all times. The uniform should be crisp, cleaned and pressed. Lady staff wear minimum jewellery, light make-up, light perfume, hair properly tied in to a bun and low heeled shoes.
- Personal hygiene: Housekeeping staff must take bath regularly, fingernails should be short and should ensure that no body or mouth odour is present. Any transferable disease must be reported immediately.
- Eye for detail: This quality enables housekeeping staffs to take consideration of the minute details when the time is still premium. It helps in providind better service to the guests.
- Physical fitness: It requires the strong physical constitutions to meet the demand of housekeeping job as the nature of this job itself is more manual and requires long hours of standing.
- Tact and diplomacy: Often guests may request comfort or facilities or services that are outside the management policy. It takes a lot of tact and diplomacy alone that can diffuse such a situation.
- Courtesy: Floor and public area supervisors, room attendants and housekeeping staffs are constantly in contact with the guests. They should always greet the guest with smile. If any guest requests for some extra service or the other housekeeping services it should be done with politeness and charm (if it is withing the management policy if not should responded politely).
- Cooperation: Co-operation among the housekeeping staff and among the other department is a must because it is teamwork. If they fail to prepare departure room or report the lost and found or fail to report about the mini bar, or if they do not support room service depart, it would be impossible to run a quality hotel.
4. Define linens and uniform used in hotel and explain their inventory and control system.
Ans: Linen refers to clothes used in a hotel. It includes all the fabrics used in a hotel, such as bed sheets, pillowcases, towels, tablecloths, napkins, staff uniforms, etc. The material and tidiness of the linen used in a hotel represent the image of the hotel. So, proper attention for the maintenance of the linen is given.
The linen used in a hotel can be categorized in different system. Generally they are into two main groups; natural fibers and synthetic such as polyester and nylon. The classification and grouping is necessary for cleaning and protection purpose. Each type of fabric should be treated separately.
For the management purpose the linens are grouped as per their use.
- Housekeeping linen is supplied for the room. Some examples of housekeeping linen are
a. Bed linen various sizes of sheets
b. Pillow cases
c. Mattress pad and covers
d. Bath linen-bath towels
e. Hand and face towels
f. Special towels
g. Fabric bath mats
- Food and beverage linen are supplied for F and B service section
a. Table cloth, napkins and slip cloths
b. Banquet linen etc.
- Uniform: Uniform are the special set of clothes designed by management for its staff to be worn while on duty. The uniform help to identify, distinguish the staff from customer to staff and help to differentiate between the different departments. It helps to command, supervise and control staff on duty. It helps the customer to identify the hotel staff. The uniform gives a touch of quality and standard of the hotel.
Inventory and Control
Linen used in a hotel represents the good-will and standard. Well maintained and quality linen
a. Control on misuse, storage and mix-ups
b. Proper storage
c. Regular stock taking
d. Spot checks
e. Proper supervision
f. Periodical pest control schedule.
For the purpose of linen control most of the hotels use to have a provision of Linen Room. The room must be safe from insects and rats. It should be protected against dampness, direct sunlight and chemical fumes. Properly designed racks are easy to work and handle. The racks should protect linens from rust and white ants. Maintain proper security system of entry and exit.
For the purpose of easy and smooth of daily operation,
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5. What are types of keys used in hotels? Explain their controlling system.
Ans: Traditionally a key to be a metal rod to open lock. But in modern hotel it is a card, cod or plastic card used for opening or closing a lock. Keys are either manual or card. Manual keys are the most extensively used systems. In this modern world of electronic and computer world card keys are substituting the manual keys for security reason. There are several types of keys used in a hotel and their control system is discussed below.
Different types of keys:
a. Guest Room Key is the individual key used for each room. The key is kept and issued by the front office to the guests to open and close their room.
b. Floor Section Key opens all the rooms in section of the floor.
c. Floor Master Key/ Public Area Master Key. This key is issued by the assistant housekeepers to opens all single lock room of the concerned area of operation.
d. Master key. There are two master keys in a hotel, one with the Lobby Manager and the other with the Executive Housekeeper. The key opens all the double locks of the hotel. The lobby manager and executive housekeeper are responsible for the control of the master key.
e. Grand Master Key is maintained by the lobby which can open all the room, public area, back of the house area, safe deposit locker. The use of this Grand Master key should be notified to the general manager and kept in safe deposit locker in front office.
f. Emergency Key opens all the guest rooms, public area outlets and also double locked guest rooms. General Manager, Lobby Manager and Security Manager handle this key but only at the time of emergency.
g. Pad lock keys of office are used for stores and lockers, racks and other outlets in the back area. These keys and referred to as miscellaneous keys. Proper attention must be given to control keys as it is related to security of hotel and guest property.
- Maintain a log book to monitor the distribution of master key.
- Keep room keys in secured place.
- Use key card/ regular inventory of key should be carried out
- Unauthorized staff should not have access to keys
- Use key control sheet.
6. Write down the basic handling of unusual situations of hotel guests performed by house keeping staffs.
Ans: Hotel industry is one of the most complicated businesses, as it is related to service industry. It is related with luxury concept. A small happening also affects the hotel’s goodwill. At the same time any small event attracts news and journalists. So every event must be treated in the most professional way. A hotel operates in social interactions. It includes different public contacts, employees and guests. A hotel operates 24 hours and 7 days and 365 days of a year, so there are high chances of happening unusual events.
Guest Complain: Hotel business is also known as hospitality industry thus, it is expected that every customer is satisfied every time. Every hotel guarantee the service but 100% satisfaction for everyone is not the reality. Many guests complain as hotel designed format and forms. But some guests are aggressive and start to create problem.
Sick Guest: In case of sick guest, the housekeeping is responsible to provide with the best medical assistance available. That is known as “A home away from home”. For this purpose proper co-ordination is maintained with Front Office. Find out their guardian, family address in case of the serious medical condition.
In case of the room being in DL or DND status for two shifts, it is the duty of the housekeeping department to take necessary action. First of
Dead Guest: This is a very rare phenomenon in a hotel but no one can deny that it will never happen. The housekeeping is the first one to know about it. The very precaution is not to touch anything in the room and seal it and inform senior manager through Front Office. The Front Office will report to the police and contact family member and if it is necessary inform the concern embassy also. It is advisable to keep the matter secret and main calm. The big cry will disturb the other in-house guest remain and it may affect the hotel reputation.
7. Make a list of 10 contents and supplies kept in the guestroom by house keeping.
Ans: A hotel contains different facilities and equipment for the guest’s comfort. Hotel bedrooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The shapes and layout in many big hotels are standardized. The size of the room and facility it contains determines the class of the hotel. The rooms are furnished in a number of different ways, which is based upon the class of the hotels, management policy, and is largely decided by how many beds are in a room.
Contains and supply of a room depends upon types of client such as business people or general. It also depends upon the types of hotel such as motel, hotel, resort, etc. The facility and quality of the facilities in the room is based upon the class of hotel. Below given are some of the items supplied in the room.
A Room supplies
Besides table/ cabinet/console
Dressing table/desk and stool
Storage space for clothes
Waste bins and ashtrays
Picture, wall hangings and other ornaments
Define the House Keeping?
Ans: The House keeping department creates the facilities, services in the room and that is what a tourist hotel is selling “sleeping for pleasure, comfort, relax,” which is created by housekeeping. House keeping deals with providing cleanliness, creating comfort and aesthetic value of a hotel. The department is responsible of making the guests feel at home and their entire stay is very comfortable. The primary function of the housekeeping department is the cleaning of guestrooms, corridors and public areas and maintains provisions uniform. F & B table linen, to provide lost and found services, etc. The department is also responsible for pool and health club facilities, back of the house areas, flowers arrangements and banquet set-ups.
Explain the Uniform and upkeep
Uniform: Hotel is a service industry and service is provided by staff. So their image appearance, dress etc is the key factors
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