Housekeeping is much more than toilet brushes and bed making – it’s the heart of any hotel, undergraduates at the Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex and Wivenhoe House’s housekeeping staff were told by a panel of experts during a day- long
Representatives from Omni Facilities Management Ltd, Brown’s Hotel, London, Coworth Park Ascot, Casna group, as well as Lorraine Dale, Head Housekeeper in the Royal Household and chairperson of UKHA London and the South East, and hotel consultant Liana Sparks explained to the audience how important housekeeping is to the success of any business.
Christoph Hoffmann from Omni Facilities Management who organised the interactive workshop said: ”Housekeeping has a huge impact on the people in the hotel, the quality of the guest experience and, ultimately, the bottom line.”
His view was echoed by the panel, including Margus Saareoks, who was Executive Head Housekeeper at St Pancras Renaissance but has just taken up a new role as Director of Operations for Casna group: “The hotel is housekeeping, it is the core of the hotel. If you are willing to be part of that team, you are at the heart of the hotel.”
Having captured the audience’s attention, founder of Omni Facilities Management Priscilla Ladha, then profiled the perfect housekeeper: “You have to be passionate about hospitality. Curveballs get thrown at you all the time, while you are setting standards that all changes dependent on what each guests wants.”
The panel was all emphatic that to be a great General Manager you had to understand housekeeping. Marius Paunescu, Deputy Head Housekeeper at Coworth Park said: ”If you know how to manage a hotel housekeeping team, you can manage a hotel.”
Lorraine Dale added: “It is a diverse role, you are not desk bound, every day you can add value. Housekeeping can take you anywhere in the hotel industry, you learn how to manage people, money, interior design, uniforms, there are so many different areas you can go into.”
Sebastian Dabrowski, Executive Housekeeper at Brown’s Hotel, London also highlighted that “housekeeping is not a female only department. Looking at the panel: half of the panel is male and this is a true representation of today’s housekeeping operations.”
The experts then split into groups to work with the undergraduates on three key areas, creating and presenting a training session on how to use bathroom /bedroom cleaning materials, another on creating a quality checking tool for hotel bedrooms and another to create a cost effective rota for hotel housekeeping operation.
Undergraduate Sasha Glucksmann-Smith said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to have so many knowledgeable people in one place. I graduate soon and housekeeping is definitely an area I am interested in, particularly now I know how of the different opportunities it opens up.”