How many rooms does your housekeeper clean?

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Madeleine's picture
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Hired housekeepers only. Not how many rooms do you clean!

Once again we are having a lively discussion about how many rooms one housekeeper should be responsible to clean in a four hour shift.

Please weigh in. I'm considering joining muirford in retirement if I have to have this discussion one more time.

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We had our new hire show up on time today and clean two rooms, sufficiently. Not perfect, of course, but getting the bathrooms scrubbed instead of me doing it them? PRICELESS

I pray she continues. It would be sooooo great.

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So did you daughter get another job?  Hope this person works out.

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EmptyNest wrote:

So did you daughter get another job?  Hope this person works out.

It is a very long traumatic story. Suffice it to say we have many grey hairs from her and a broken heart. She is MIA at the moment. Again. It never worked out helping here.

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Oh I am sorry to hear that. Hope things get better. Has been rough for you I know.

Madeleine's picture
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Yay!

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My daughter has an app that allows you to count your steps, she just came to me and said "I am doing more steps helping you than when I go for a walk to GET steps!"

 

seashanty's picture
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 madeleine, some years back i took a cruise. met the sweetest woman who told me how hard she worked. i'd see her in the evening waitressing and smiling and entertaining and then in the daytime doing dining room detail. it seemed she was always working. she said they slept in the very bottom of the ship and if she could get extra work time she did housekeeping. she was a love and i thought if only i was still innkeeping i'd hire her in a minute! don't know why i'm telling you this ......

Madeleine's picture
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Someone just called and said the 'same' job at a cheap motel in town required 25 rooms AND all the laundry.

I think the person may have misunderstood how many people would be doing the rooms.

Joey Camb's picture
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at the holiday inn where I am its 18 rooms and that's with 1 person

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egoodell's picture
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I have a wonderful friend who comes on Sunday and cleans four rooms, three with tubs, in four hours. Three of the rooms are sizable but there is not a lot of "stuff" she has to clean around.

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seashanty's picture
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sorry. it's been too long for me to answer ... i'd have to pull up the old threads to see.  i remember loving the days with all fluffs - and then freaking when all eight rooms would check out at once and i'd be scrambling to clean them! 

haha. i remember rushing to do the flips and then flopping down in the check-in area, wondering if i had time to 'freshen myself up' only to find that i'd never done the breakfast dishes. i don't know if i could do that today!

if i recall, i'd be pulling sheets and towels out of rooms all at once, dumping trash, opening windows and then circling back to do bathrooms.

i could never decide if it was best to have one person do all the bathrooms and someone else do all the vacuming and then have them make the beds together or if it was better to have one person do an entire room

 

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Here's my detailed answer that I listed out when I was hiring my last housekeeper a couple months ago:

We have 9 rooms - 4 are regular size queens, 2 are large rooms with king beds and steam showers with glass doors and 3 are huge rooms with in-room jacuzzis, separate large bath and king bed.  We have one housekeeper who works 3 or 4 days, 6-8 hours each day.  In the busy season, we have someone on 6-8 hours everyday but Tuesday.  Our housekeepers are trained for a couple days with my husband and from that point forward they are out there doing their work - we don't do it for them or hold their hand.  Of course, we're here to answer questions or deal with issues that arise and until we can trust their work we check every room when they are done.

Upon arrival at 10am, they help clear the dining room of dishes and take to the kitchen.  If they don't have a busy day, then they do all of the dishes in our commercial dishwasher and clean the kitchen counters.  If they have a busy day, then we do the dishes and they head out with their list of rooms.  We find that it takes them about 15 minutes to touchup a room (make bed, empty trash/recycle, vacuum if carpet is messy).  For those rooms with jacuzzi, it takes longer if the tub needs to be filled and rinsed.  The small queen rooms take them about 30 minutes to do a full clean - strip and make bed, clean bathroom, setup towels/amenities, dust TV and nightstands and vacuum.  We have a vacuum on all 3 floors.  The king steam shower rooms take about 45 minutes as they have to clean the shower doors in addition to above.  The jacuzzi rooms take about an hour - when they first go in they fill the tub and run the system clean through it while stripping bed, etc.  It runs for about 10 minutes and then is dumped, the tub cleaned and rinsed thoroughly.  They get this done in about an hour.  But again, they are trained to have two things going at once - the tub is cleaning while the bed is being stripped and remade.  Unless there was something beyond the ordinary in a guest room, they handle it including getting out stains from our Comphy sheets.

When they strip the first two rooms, they put those sheets into the laundry to get them going.  When they are back down in the laundry room with the sheets from another 2 rooms, they can switch them over and start a new load.  Unless they were switching over all rooms, they can get the rooms touched up and flipped, some laundry going, vacuum the entryway, great room and dining room and reset the dining room for the next morning.  They are paid well and get all tips.

This week we were closed until today.  So she had Sunday off for Easter and on Monday she cleaned rooms from the weekend and did laundry.  Yesterday morning she finished laundry and then removed furniture from two rooms and deep cleaned the carpets.  She'll put those rooms back together again tomorrow after she touches up the one room for tonight.  When we are slow, we give her projects to give her at least 24 hours a week.  Next week she'll be outside with me if it's warm weeding.

I have no problem sitting in my office reading the forum, paying bills, finding new recipes or doing whatever while she is in the Lodge working.  That's her job.  And if my kids are at school and I feel like watching my favorite cooking program, then I'm off to my bedroom to have an hour to myself.  My day starts at 6:30 (3 1/2 hours before hers) and since we do checkins up to 9pm, my day doesn't stop until long after she's gone home.

I would ask your husband to think about all of those hotels out there - the general manager doesn't do rooms, the housekeepers do while the GM is busy building the brand, working with the marketing folks, etc. to make money which is our job.  Hope the detail isn't too much, but I wanted to really answer your question on what we expect from our housekeepers.

Carol

Madeleine's picture
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Bingo! That's what I expect an employee to do. Not dh. He expects the one person to clean 4 rooms in 4 hours with NO other responsibilities. NONE.

Four small rooms. Nothing fancy. Showers in each room but one. 

I'm dragging just cleaning 2 days/week.

Job listing has been posted. We'll see what we get tomorrow.

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I think when you have been running an inn for x number of years it surely would be nice to leave some of the manual labor to someone else. Just sayin'...it wears you down pretty quickly. "We own our own inn" hurray and we get to clean up your crap and vomit or whatever. Not the most glamorous job in the world, is it.

I am of this mindset, if I can bloody well do the clean up then a hired person can bloody well do the same. I shouldn't have to do it. THIS is what many don't realize when they are aspiring.It really is not muffins and lemonade.

At some point I want to be the owner.

white pine's picture
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EXACTLY!  Thank you!

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Joey Camb's picture
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sitting down working is more valuable - my time is best spent doing blog articles, direct marketing and so on - earns us 100 times the money id save by having a chamber maid.

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I think the original question is not the real question.

OnTheShore's picture
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Yeah. We figure we are going to be cleaning cottages for the rest of our lives, so we try to hire enough housekeepers that we do as little of it as possible! Our job is to facilitate them doing their job! And to take care of the inevitable issues that arise that are beyond their pay grade...

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Madeleine's picture
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That's how I see it. We clean rooms ourselves from Nov to May. Then 2 days/week the rest of the year. 

Facilitating is a good word. We set the employee up, take care of the blood, vomit, extraneous stains, etc, they make beds and clean bathrooms, tidy up and vacuum, run the dust cloth around.

I finally just told dh to tell the employee whatever he wants and give me my marching orders as to what he expects me to clean and then leave me out of any employee issues because we so badly disagree on this.

Oh, and I also cannot tell the employee when they mess up because he's afraid they'll quit so I have to fix whatever they did wrong and shut up about it.

I hate having to hire people!

white pine's picture
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"Facillitate them"!   Wow...  We had dinner last night with one of DH's old business friends.  Their firm no longer does "performance reviews", they now are focusing on the employees "goals" and "mentor" them in their job to accomplish them!  No wonder no one works anymore! YIKES!

Madeleine's picture
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white pine wrote:

"Facillitate them"!   Wow...  We had dinner last night with one of DH's old business friends.  Their firm no longer does "performance reviews", they now are focusing on the employees "goals" and "mentor" them in their job to accomplish them!  No wonder no one works anymore! YIKES!

Facilitate just means providing them with the tools to do the job and guidance to do it right and well. It's not a bad thing!

white pine's picture
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Actually facilitate means "to make easier".   While I don't want to make things "harder" I expect people to be able to do their job without my doing the hard part or the icky parts they don't want to do.

Madeleine's picture
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white pine wrote:

Actually facilitate means "to make easier".   While I don't want to make things "harder" I expect people to be able to do their job without my doing the hard part or the icky parts they don't want to do.

It's the way I meant it. It's my job to make their job easier, not to do their job. If the housekeeper has to search for supplies or is not trained properly or isn't told what we expect or the sheets aren't labeled as to size then the job is harder.

We do the slop work because it takes a lot longer and it needs special supplies and we want the housekeeper moving along not spending 3 hours to get mascara out of the carpet. Or clean the disaster off the floor and walls after a guest gets food poisoning.

It's all about timing. And it's facilitating getting the job done to have a swat team do the grunt work.

OnTheShore's picture
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You are right (I had to look it up!). So maybe not the right word. Maddie seems to understand what I meant, though -- as a manager, it is my job to make sure that my workers have the tools and supplies, and the guidance and direction, that they need to do their jobs. This is not about making it easier, it is about getting the job done efficiently.

The part about work above their pay grade, I was referring to repairing broken plumbing and stuff like that. The cleaners need to keep cleaning, but they need to let us know about the issues like this, so that we can deal with them.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Even DH gets it that when I am sitting at the computer I am NOT always playing Words, that I am working most of the time.

Joey Camb's picture
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I run on the principle of "why buy a dog and bark yourself?" my time is better spent marketing and making sure that my guests are sorted etc - this isn't achieved by being flogged to death every day

Because I am not scrubbing a toilet does not mean I am not working - not by a long shot! I have 2 things I farm out merrily (1) laundry and (2) chamber maid - If I take 2 more bookings due to my marketing in a week I have paid my chamber maid - and I certainly do more than that in a week!

 

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Exactly! And even DH, as holed up from the realities of life that he is, has seen that what I do that sometimes seems so "why did you do that?" has either brought us business or some benefit down the road we did not even contemplate - AND there was no thought of "pay back" when it was done. 

Joey Camb's picture
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our chamber maid does 11 rooms full change in 8 hours at a push - usually DH and I strip and set in that situation

(1) strip off all the beds and bring down laundry

(2) empty all the bins and put new bags in

(3) put out all the clean glasses and cups etc and take the dirty away

Usually there is a mix of changes and services so its not often as bad as that

Usually its 45 minutes for a change 30 mins for a service.

Hillbilly's picture
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I thought that as well for many years. My DW finally sat me down and said "Listen Up, we did not hire a cleaner so we can work harder!" I could not fight her on that comment. Yes, we can do it all, but we can't do it all!

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Hillbilly's picture
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Ok, hotel cleaners do a room every 15 min. I do not see how they can clean a room in 15 min and actually clean it. An hour per room is what we like to clean. If you hustle you can do it in 45 min. We have 7 rooms and not very often all are checkouts and checkins in the same day. If we do, we help him clean. Our checkout is at 11 and check in is at 4. Most of the time we have a early departure and we can start cleaning around 10, so 5 or six rooms is double.

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I have an interviewee coming at 11am.

I had another not show up.

Another share a sob story.

Another not show up.

Another email on her way and say she is pregnant and the dr told her not to work.

So the answer at this point in time is ZERO. crying

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I did 6 a shift as a college kid.   I don't think I always finished in 4 hours.

 

6 is doable and 4 hours might be an easy day, more for a full turnover day.

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Madeleine's picture
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Generally, I run ahead, strip all the rooms, bring all the new linens to the room. I think, doing that, a college kid can get thru 7 rooms in 4 hours. Break included.

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I think the average should be about an hour per room. This is not deep cleaning..but standard switching rooms over. Maybe a little leeway for a newbie but once they get the hang of it...an hour should be plenty of time.

Madeleine's picture
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So a teenager should take an hour to make a bed and clean a bathroom? Uh oh. I don't have 7 hours for someone to clean.

This is the problem. One housekeeper will clean 4 rooms while I clean 3 + answer the phone + talk to guests + do all the laundry + clean the common rooms + weed the gardens. And we're both done at 1 pm but I, the employer, have done 3x the work.

I don't get any time down with that plan! 

We allot 20 minutes for a refresh and 40 minutes for a complete strip. That's 2 rooms/hour on a regular day. That leaves time for messy rooms (we handle all cleaning issues like carpet stains and bedding stains and all of that stuff that slows down the process) and folding sheets.

DH believes the housekeeper should clean 4 rooms and we should do the rest. I cry BS! 

 

Hillbilly's picture
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Your cleaner should be doing most if not all the cleaning and laundry. You hired your cleaner so you can do other things that only you can do. It sounds to me like you are running circles around your cleaner.

Madeleine's picture
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Hillbilly wrote:
Your cleaner should be doing most if not all the cleaning and laundry. You hired your cleaner so you can do other things that only you can do. It sounds to me like you are running circles around your cleaner.

It's not me, it's DH. He thinks it sets a bad example if the boss sits while the employee works. In 10 years I have not convinced him he's incorrect about that.

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Madeleine wrote:

It's not me, it's DH. He thinks it sets a bad example if the boss sits while the employee works. In 10 years I have not convinced him he's incorrect about that.

That kind of surprises me, considering he's a military man. Can you frame it to him in terms of hierarchy, chain-of-command, generals vs foot soldiers to help him see a more effective perspective?

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happyjacks wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

It's not me, it's DH. He thinks it sets a bad example if the boss sits while the employee works. In 10 years I have not convinced him he's incorrect about that.

That kind of surprises me, considering he's a military man. Can you frame it to him in terms of hierarchy, chain-of-command, generals vs foot soldiers to help him see a more effective perspective?

No can do. He is not a hierarchist. Equality is his middle name. 

Working does not involve sitting down.

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OMG.... I would say something a lot stronger...but...Innkeepers never just sit around. There is always something to be done. And even if you do sit...what's the matter with that. Slap him upside the head for me Smiling

Joey Camb's picture
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we have a friend who is currently between jobs and we are seriously considering paying her to sit in in the afternoons so we can have a nap!

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