Over the next two months, well over 100 million, or 1-in-3 Americans will travel for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, according to 2018 data from AAA. While many may be staying with family or friends across the country, hundreds of thousands will flock to hotels for their holiday accommodations. Hotel cleaning crews are in for a challenging busy season, but with proper planning and preparation, your staff will be ready to handle any challenges the holiday season may bring. Keep reading for tips to prepare your hotel for Thanksgiving and beyond.
1. Engage Your Staff
Newer cleaning staff may feel anxious about the approaching holiday season, but veteran housekeepers have seen it all. Set up a staff meeting before Thanksgiving to make sure your entire staff is prepared for the weeks ahead. Ask staff members who’ve been around for a while to share their best tips with newcomers. In a 2017 article from care.com, hotel housekeepers from around the country offered their best cleaning tips. Make sure these tasks don’t go overlooked when the busy season hits:
- Create a Cleaning Plan – having a cleaning plan in place will ensure each room gets the attention it needs between guests. Refresh all staff on the standard cleaning plan for your hotel. (For example – start cleaning at the top! Dust settles, so cleaning top down will prevent housekeepers from having to repeat steps)
- Don’t forget the furniture – cleaning a hotel room is about more than vacuuming the floor and changing the linens. Make sure your cleaning crew takes a few moments to give attention to sofas, upholstery, and even curtains in each room.
- Use Caution with Chemicals – Many traditional chemicals are harmful if inhaled, and many should not be combined or they’ll create dangerous reactions. Just this summer, two cleaning employees were hospitalized for improper chemical use. Make sure your staff is properly trained on how to use the chemicals in their cleaning cart. Or, consider switching to safe and non-toxic electrochemically-activated solutions like this luxury resort did.
Ask veteran housekeepers for their best cleaning tips.
2. Consider Going Green
More and more hotels and resorts are making efforts to implement green cleaning programs. These initiatives are not only good for the environment, they can make housekeepers’ jobs easier during the holidays. For guests staying more than three nights, offer rewards for opting out of full daily housekeeping services. This will reduce the amount of water use and allow housekeepers to have more time to focus on rooms where guests are checking out. Many hotels are also cutting down on plastic use by replacing individual toiletries with wall-mounted dispensers. In addition to being better for the environment, housekeepers will not have to spend time restocking every room with miniature toiletries.
Many hotels are going green by replacing individual toiletries.
3. Make a Good First Impression
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure the moment guests enter your hotel they’re getting a good one. Take the time to give extra attention to your entryway, lobby, and front desk so guests feel welcome and at home upon arrival. Stock up on salt and floor mats so you’re not caught off guard when the first snow hits. Bulk up on staffing during this time of year so guests aren’t waiting long for bellhops, towels, or checking-in. Incentivize your staff with bonuses or gift-cards if they are working extra hours during the holiday season.
Make a good first impression by paying special attention to entryway details.
4. Have a Post-Holiday Plan
Don’t let your mind get so bogged down in the details of the busy season that you forget to plan for the months after. Take the time now to plan for any major project cleaning after the New Year. This might include high dusting/vent cleaning, deep carpet cleaning, or floor stripping and polishing to ensure your hotel looks just as good after the holidays as it did before. If you require outside contractors to handle these tasks, schedule them now before they get booked up by other facilities.
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be stressful for many industries. By taking the time now to prepare your hotel and your housekeepers, you can ensure an equipped staff, happy guests, and 4-star reviews.