Cleanliness is everything in hotels
Written by Stuart Derricott
FCS Director of Sales for Europe
There’s a television program in the United Kingdom called “Four in a Bed”. Owners or managers of small hotels and Bed and Breakfasts (B&B) visit each other’s establishments to decide which place provides the best stay-in experience.
In each episode, four locations are normally featured. Each hotel/B&B owner would welcome the other hoteliers to their property, show them to their room and tell them how much they would be expected to pay for their night’s stay. The visitors are then left alone to spend some time in the room and investigate its features. The winner is chosen by deciding if the guests would pay the full price for their stay based on the room’s advertised rate – the one with the highest percentage against the full price for the room wins.
Decisions on payment-level are based on certain criteria such as how they are hosted, how comfortable the place is, the amenities, etc. But there is one key benchmark that is always at the top of the list of things they investigate – cleanliness! They also answer one vital question at the end of their feedback – Would you stay here again? In 9 out of 10 cases, the reason for deciding that they return as a guest there again involves an issue with cleanliness.
When the visits are over, the owners all meet to discuss each other’s feedback. Often, this can cause heated debates or arguments as the owners become upset that their hotel may be considered as being substandard. Sometimes, the complains are about a noisy road disturbing their night or a bed that is too soft. But the thing that makes the owners react the most are the claims that they haven’t cleaned their property properly, with even claims made about the “introduction” of stray hairs by the guest to win the competition, as the owner can’t believe that the cleanliness standards were not met.
Although this is a slightly forced format and they may be casting a more critical eye than most guests over the cleanliness level standards, they do uncover some common issues, such as dirty extractors in the bathrooms, hairs on pillows, dusty draws, and so on. While they may be searching for issues as part of the competition, the fact that cleaning routines are so often the key to winning or losing the show is an interesting thought.
What would you complain about most?
If you had to rate your own stay in a hotel on a feedback site, what would you complain about the most or would put you off from staying there again? Is it a faulty lift and having to walk up a couple of flights of stairs? Or is it the fact that the room cleaning standards made you feel uncomfortable to stay there?
Unlike the participants of the show, it may be true that most of us would not go to the extremes of taking the drawers out in our room to check for dust inside or taking the sheets off to inspect the state of a mattress. However, when a guest does notice something that has been missed in a cleaning regime or that makes them feel uncomfortable, the battle to keep your online reviews positive and increase the rate of repeat guests is lost.
The need to feel safe has increased from expected to essential.
Right now, we are still living in a locked-down world. Travel is almost a memory, and many hotels are still closed while awaiting the news that we can return to normal. This is the time for hotels to review how they plan, manage, and record their cleaning regimes since the top priority for guests would be cleanliness and sanitization.
The need to feel safe has increased from expected to essential. And when guests feel unsure about the standard of cleaning completed in a room, they can be shown the details of the regime used to bring that room up to the expected standard. This additional step would mean additional workload and records, but FCS can help with this. We can help you to manage how your team works and ensure that your hotel meets the highest standards that guests expect, even more than they did before. With FCS Housekeeping, you can easily streamline your daily operations for guest rooms and public areas.
Optimize and coordinate your housekeeping and cleaning operations. No more pen & paper; no more hours of planning.
- Automated scheduling of daily cleaning job assignments
- Real-time overview of room & public area cleaning status
- Automated assignment of inspection jobs
- In-app access to hotel guidelines with photos
- Inventory management
- Lost & Found registry
- Image & voice attachments
- In-app ad-hoc messaging
- Report builder & scheduler
- Enhance guest satisfaction through quicker turnaround of cleaned rooms & public areas
- Improve staff productivity and room cleanliness
- Save time and money with efficient manpower allocation
- Eliminate manual paperwork while saving paper, trees, and the environment
- Allocate resources effectively
- Manage inventory based on guest room occupancy forecast
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