Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reception and Accommodation Management 02

1.      What records could a typical housekeeper be responsible for?
Housekeeping records include:
·         A lost property book
·         Every item that is found should be described. Also it should have the date and the place it was found.
·         Room records that would have descriptions of each room, for example if they are double or twin. Also it would help if the guest has extra requirements like a baby cot or extra chair etc that should later be removed.
·         Stock books for linen and inventory for items that the hotel has in storage like fans, vases or other equipment necessary. It is also important to keep a record of supplies ordered such as cleaning material etc.
·         An accident book where any injuries occurring during the hotel rotas should be catalogued.
·         Also head housekeepers in big hotels should keep a record of the rotas of the staff so as to know who was working when, who called in sick etc. These records can help human resources when it’s time for appraisals of staff.

2.      With whom and why, should the housekeeper communicate on a daily basis?
House Keepers must communicate with all the other departments of the hotel:

Manager (room division manager or general manager etc) where issues of the day will be discussed.

Reception. It is extremely important that reception and housekeeping are communicating on a daily bases. Receptionists must know at any given time which rooms are clean and ready to use and housekeeping must have an accurate picture of which rooms will be vacant and need to be cleaned. Computerised system made this communication much easier. Nowadays housekeepers can ‘give rooms to the system’ as clean without actually contact reception.

Maintenance. Room attendants will discover all sorts of things that need attention such as toilets that are blocked, lamps that need changing etc. Housekeeping will contact maintenance immediately so that these details are attended to and the rooms are in excellent condition when the guests need to use them.

Restaurants. Housekeeping is usually responsible for the cleaning of the hotel’s restaurant as well as the provision of linen, tablecloths etc.

Uniforms. Housekeeping is usually responsible for cleaning and repairing staff’s uniforms etc. So communication is essential with all other departments that use them.

3.      Present an outline of the roles and duties of housekeeping staff
Housekeeping roles depend on the size of the establishment. A large unit will have a head housekeeper, a deputy housekeeper, floor supervisors and room attendants. Also laundry staff, public area cleaners etc might fall under the umbrella of housekeeping.

In a medium sized hotel usually there is a housekeeper and an assistant housekeeper, room attendants and linen keepers and perhaps a public area cleaner.

In a small establishment one may find a housekeeper and room attendants only.

Naturally their roles vary. Generally speaking housekeeping must be organised, punctual and with a healthy respect of the house rules, willing to take responsibility and have team spirit.

·         Room attendants’ responsibilities are servicing guests’ rooms and preparing dirty rooms (departures) for new arrivals.

·         General area cleaners are responsible for cleaning the public areas of the hotel, such as reception, restaurants, bars etc.

·         Linen keepers are responsible for laundry and the proper maintenance of the linen stocks of the hotel.

Housekeepers have to supervise everyone and make sure that everything rums smoothly. They are the link between housekeeping and other departments. It is their responsibility to attend to any discrepancies between reception and their records, such as extra arrivals or departures. Also they have to inform maintenance about any minor malfunctions in the rooms (lights that need replacing, toilets not working etc).

4.      What is the difference between a ‘master key’ and a ‘sub master key’
Master Key: Opens all doors of the hotel and is held by the head housekeeper and the manager of the hotel.

Sub Master Key: It opens some rooms and is held by a room attendant that has to service those rooms.

5.      Draw up a schedule of work for cleaning of a hotel bedroom
1.       Clear all trash cans from the room and the toilet.
2.       Check drawers and cupboards for extra trash or forgotten items.
3.       Remove used sheets and bed linen and used towels.
4.       Dust all areas and vacuum the bedroom.
5.       Clean all the surfaces of the bathroom, (sink, toilet, shower)
6.       Use special detergent for the mirrors and the toilet bowl.
7.       Sweep and mop the bathroom floor.
8.       Clean the glass areas and mirrors and windows of the room.
9.       Place fresh towels in the bathroom and replace amenities (soap, shampoo etc)
10.   Set the bed with fresh linen
11.   Check the room one last time and inform housekeeper that it is ready for inspection.

6.      Describe the main elements involved in an accommodation contract
The main elements of an accommodation contract are:

An offer. The hotel when asked for accommodation makes a formal offer in the lines of: ‘Establishment A is offering you Mr so – and – so accommodation for 2 people in a twin room from the 15th of May until the 18th of May at such a price per night that equals to this total amount.

An acceptance. The contract is not valid unless the actual offer is accepted. Usually that also has to be something ‘formal’ or written and among the terms there should be some form of guarantee such as a deposit or a credit card to ‘seal the deal’.

A consideration (price). The price has got to be perfectly clear and it should be defined the nature of the services provided. For example it could be only accommodation or accommodation and breakfast or even extra meals. Also it is best if both the price for one night and the total are mentioned to avoid confusion.

7.      It was recently reported in the local ‘Evening News’ that the manager of the Stork Hotel had seized a guest’s pedigree dog in respect of unpaid accommodation. Was the manager entitled to do this?
It is held that the hotel’s manager right of lien attaches to property as soon as it is brought into the hotel. The guest’s pedigree dog qualifies – in my opinion as property the same way as jewellery for example. By selling the dog the hotel could make up for the loss from the unpaid bill.

8.      Explain the main Common Law duties of today’s hotelier
Accept all travellers. Basically everyone that asks for accommodation is eligible to receive it, provided he can cover his bill.

Accept guest’s luggage. Luggage is defined as any personal belongings the guests brings with them including equipment necessary for his work and clothes etc.

Offer available food. The guest’s expectations however have to be reasonable and take into account the operating times of the restaurant and the type of hotel they are in.

Offer available accommodation. Once again a person can receive accommodation in any establishment provided he isn’t in danger to himself or others and that there is availability.

Take reasonable care to ensure guest’s safety. The guest’s privacy and safety are the responsibility of the hotel, within reason.

Accept responsibility for guest’s property. The guests’ property is also supposed to be safe in the hotel’s premises except on very special circumstances such as an act of God, the negligence of the guest or an action of the crown’s enemies.

9.      What types of fire extinguishers would you expect to find in a hotel and why?
Water extinguishers – used for wood, cloth, paper, plastics and coal. Not to be used for burning oil or short circuit fires.

Dry powder extinguishers – used for paint, oil and electric appliances.

Foam extinguishers – used for wood, cloth, paper and plastics but not for oil or electrical fires.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers – used to put down liquid fires such as grease, fats, oil and petrol.

Some hotels use specially made blankets for kitchen fires to cover flaming pots etc. Also they are useful in case a person is on fire.

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