The efficiency and potentiality of housekeeping department basically evaluated based on the operational performance of housekeeping control desk. All operational and functional activities of housekeeping department are executed by the housekeeping control desk which makes it the nerve center of whole department.
It works as a central part from where all relevance information is conversed to the other section of housekeeping department. Therefore, the desk has to provide nonstop service to ensure well communicated and coordinated guest service. It is generally located nearby to the office of executive housekeeper. Housekeeping control desk also have to ensure proper synchronization between housekeeping and other departments for qualitative guest service such as maintenance, front office, food and beverages, security, sales and marketing and so on.
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The main job of housekeeping control desk is to maintain smooth communication process in order to complete daily housekeeping operation. The general roles of housekeeping control desk are as follows at a glance:
- Recording hotel room numbers especially of the groups.
- Recording room numbers of crews staying in the hotel.
- Maintaining night cleaning schedule.
- Keeping records of VIPs staying in the hotel.
- Making weekly cleaning schedules & follow that.
- Preparing daily roster of general housekeeping staffs and supervisors.
- Any relevant information about in house hotel guest that may be necessary.
Functions Performed By Housekeeping Control Desk
- A) The housekeeping attendant of control desk is assigned for collecting all the messages that are requested from the hotel guests including, requirement of spare blankets, baby-sitter services, refrigerator, flower arrangement or any other room service. After receiving request, the control desk attendant passes through to the floor supervisor for taking further action.
- B) The housekeeping control desk generally responsible for directing all housekeeping employees, such as assigning them at their prescribed duties such as cleaning, maintenance and servicing of guestrooms and other public areas, providing briefing, taking their beginning and ending work report, collecting keys and signing for them.
- C) When a guest check out then collection of departure room number from the front office and transition of that number to the floor supervisor are done by the control room attendants.
- D) Key cabinet is one of the main physical substances of housekeeping department which is located in the control desk containing all floor masters keys and store keys.
- E) The control desk maintains various important records, registers, forms and formats to make easy availability and accessible for managers and supervisors of the property.
Coordination with Front Office
- A) The housekeeping control desk always has to coordinate with front office to get the list of the status of the property such as occupied, vacant, on change, out of order (OOO), under repair in order to provide instant ready room to the guest.
- B) Once rooms are cleaned and ready for sale then the floor supervisor informs the desk attendant to transfer the status of room to the front office.
- C) The control desk must maintain effective contact with the front office department to communicate information on occupancy levels in order to forecast occupancy for the entire year, establish par stock levels and estimate required staff force.
- D) The control desk must have to be aware of the existing and expecting groups with the help of front office. Generally a group maintains a similar schedule for arrival, departure, sightseeing tours and meals. Thus their rooms have to be prepared and cleaned together within strict time parameters.
- E) An effective communication between front office and control desk helps the control desk to know about the daily room report and housekeeping inconsistency report. It also beneficial for preventing loss of revenue by renewing and spring cleaning in low occupancy periods. .
- F) Whenever any special or VIP guest arrive then the front office transfer this information to the desk attendant so that the housekeeping staff become able to properly arrange the room with extra facilities (ex-bathrobe, bath slippers, extra soaps, hangers, and glass tumblers etc) as per policy of the hotel.
- G) Night report is prepared daily which designate the rooms that are occupied that night and ones that are to become check-outs the following day. Based on the night report which is prepared by the front office, the executive assign employees for servicing rooms.
- H) Crews in the house: in most hotels a set of room on floors are reserved particularly for the crews. A well-coordinated relation with front office will help the desk attendant to be alert about the schedule of crews as they arrive and depart together. Sometimes, housekeeping staffs have to provide ready room or arrange the room for new arriving crew within short period of time just after departure of current crew due to overlap of schedule.
Coordination with Engineering Department
The room attendants may find some deficiencies in the hotel properties, such as faulty electrical plugs, dripping faucets, leaking pipes or malfunctioning air-conditioning units etc. during servicing and cleaning. All room attendants register such deficiencies with control desk attendants. To fulfill the maintenance request the housekeeping control desk have to coordinate with the engineering department.
The control desk attendant generally maintains a register book to record these depends on maintenance request including the number of the room and name of the floor supervisor. Then the desk attendant makes twice copy of a maintenance slip. First copy is sent to the engineering department and the second copy in the register book. A ‘work order slip’ is then forwarded to the concerned technician prepared by the engineering department. The floor supervisor will sign on work order slip if the maintenance request have fulfilled satisfactorily
After completion of whole process the technician will transfer the work order slip to the desk attendant to record it against the complaint that is record in the register book.
It is said that prevention is better than cure. Once in a year, most preferably in off peak season, maintenance department runs preventive maintenance work schedule where they looks after every single improvement possibilities of equipment and facilities used in hotel by maintaining good coordination with housekeeping department. They also keep records of every single item which improves all those amenities for future service through housekeeping department.