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Service. Above All

Category: Service

Carpet Cleaning Processes

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The appearance of a property’s carpets can affect a guest’s experience and impression of the hotel or casino. I have seen occasions where carpet appearance has impacted guest satisfaction survey ratings. Carpets throughout the building are exposed daily to high traffic, heavy soils and spills, and chewing gum, and are many times, the first areas of a hotel, resort or casino to show signs of wear and tear. At The Service Companies, we have spent years evaluating different types of carpet care processes for both carpet deep cleaning and interim maintenance to keep our customers’ properties’ carpets in excellent condition. We have furthered that by partnering with Ecolab and Kärcher for our chemical and equipment needs at all of our customer properties.

 

The Importance of Daily Carpet Vacuuming

Customers normally bring soil, dirt and other types of debris into buildings. A daily vacuuming regimen with a strong suction vacuum cleaner is our best tip to maintain the cleanliness of the carpets. This will pick up the debris and soil, leaving the carpets fresh for the next day. It is also the best chemical-free carpet cleaning method for those who want to avoid using chemicals.

If this daily carpet maintenance is done correctly, then, when the time to shampoo the carpets comes, only a mild shampoo and water is required  to clean the fibers. Because of the daily vacuuming, there will be no soil remaining in the carpet fibers to turn to mud. 

 

The Process of Interim MaintenanceED-Carpet-1

Of course, interim maintenance is required on occasion to keep carpets in good condition. The two processes I detail – encapsulation shampoo and dry carpet cleaning (HOST) – are quick and do not use water, which allow the carpets to be open for traffic immediately after the process is complete. They normally clean the top fiber of the carpets and can be applied frequently.

Encapsulation shampoo: Polymers are used to encapsulate and crystalize particles into dry residue, which is then vacuumed from the carpets right after the process is completed.

Dry carpet cleaning (HOST): This involves a dry cleaning compound with mild soap.

The HOST carpet cleaning equipment has brushes which agitate the compound, clean the fibers, and vacuum them.

 

The Carpet Deep Cleaning Process     FullSizeRender (9) (1)

When it comes time to deep clean your carpets, we prefer hot water extraction and steam cleaning.

Hot water extraction: This is the most common method of carpet deep cleaning, and is recommended by many carpet manufacturers.

Steam cleaning:  In the dry carpet cleaning vs. steam cleaning debate, it’s important to clear up the myth that steam is actually used to clean your carpets. While home and commercial machines use hot water, which gives off steam, the steam itself does not clean carpet.

 

To inquire about our carpet cleaning services, visit http://theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

Victor Vargas, Regional Vice President of Operations, launched his career at The Service Companies as a Third Shift Kitchen Cleaner in 2002. With dedication and mastery of his craft, he has advanced through the company into his current role as Regional Vice President. Victor is The Service Companies’ resident expert on all types of floor care and kitchen cleaning.

Leaders in Service: Barbara Johnson

 

Our next feature of the Leaders in Service series is Barbara Johnson, Stewarding Supervisor at one of our casino properties in Shreveport, Louisiana. Barbara has been with the Service Companies for over 10 years, and has shown endless dedication and remarkable leadership.

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How long have you been with The Service Companies?

I’ve been with the company for 11 years, working at two properties in the Shreveport area since I was first hired.

What role(s) have you had here and what is your current position?

I started as an EVS Attendant and was promoted to Supervisor. My background includes working on EVS and Stewarding teams and I work closely with The Service Companies’ customer’s Food & Beverage team here in Shreveport.  

What does your job entail?

My job entails making sure my team is able to do their job, from roll call and pre-shift meetings at the beginning of the shift to making sure my team members are where they need to be and has what they need. I provide my team with everything they need to succeed each day.

How do you stay motivated or how do you motivate your team members/coworkers?

I make sure my team knows that the most important part of their job is about respect for themselves, their team and their guests, and I respect them. I motivate them by making sure they have what they need to do well, and also recognize associates with giveaways and announcements to let them know they are appreciated. This past holiday season, we all pitched in for a Christmas celebration, and I made sure everyone felt included and ate well.

What do you like most about your current role?

I love my team and being around people. I enjoy communicating with them about their jobs and training, making sure they have everything they need to succeed.

You have been with The Service Companies for over 10 years. What has kept you on our team and what do you like most about the company?

I love doing my job and I like my bosses. I enjoy the environment of The Service Companies and being a part of the team.

We are thrilled to have such a tenured member on our team. Through the years, we imagine you have experienced and learned a great deal. Is there any advice you’d give to a team member who has joined The Service Companies?

I would tell them to have a positive attitude, by happy and cheerful, and get comfortable with their job.

Outside of work, what are you passionate about? What do you do when you are not working?

I like spending time with my friends and family, and being there for them when I’m needed.

At The Service Companies, we understand that our people are what makes our company great and enables us to provide our customers Service. Above All.

No matter what level, property or department, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

Tips for Spring Break Travel

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When the spring crowds begin to arrive there are many dynamics to consider in order to best prepare your team.  Since we have properties in all regions of the US, preparations vary based on weather, school schedules and other factors.

We have already begun speaking to our leaders in the field to prepare our teams for what will be happening one or two months from now.

 

Advance Planning

Advance Planning is critical when it comes to added stock of supplies, your staffing plan and seasonal uniform changes.

Get an earlier start on inventory of supplies. Since many of these may need additional budget approval and have longer lead times, you don’t want to find yourself running out of items such as; cribs, rollaway beds, room linen and pool towels.

If you haven’t begun pulling your extra pool and deck furniture out from storage for an inspection and deep cleaning, it is definitely that time. Even though resort properties may have a busy pool deck all year around, it is very common needing more to accommodate the spring break crowds.

As the temperatures begin to change, it is time to determine the appropriate spring HVAC “comfort” settings with your facilities team. We want the first impression at check-in to be a comfortable and welcoming experience. In addition, determine the best placement for your window treatments. As we welcome more sunlight during the winter months, keeping draperies closed a bit more will assist in cooling down the room during spring and into summer.

Review your uniform par levels for departments requiring a seasonal change. Ensure your associates are looking and feeling their best.

 

Staffing Plan

During these seasonal periods, the typical staffing plan will fail. Expect higher volume in all areas and plan accordingly. It is important for the leaders to communicate adjustments early so associates can make arrangements outside of work as well. Extra support will be needed in rooms, public areas, and food & beverage outlets. Some areas to consider;

  • More frequent public restroom checks and monitoring of high traffic areas
  • Providing extra support in the laundry department to expedite additional guest room, pool, and food & beverage linen demands
  • Accommodating additional food & beverage covers and extended outlet hours
  • Anticipate extended time needed in guest rooms. Since spring break typically has higher guest counts and a longer length of stay, this usually requires additional servicing time
  • For our resorts and coastal properties, ideal weather conditions usually prompt later checkouts, so if the weather is cooperating schedule staff accordingly for late services. I find starting some associates an hour later helps cover the late checkouts
  • Since we offer transportation for team members in many markets, this period may require more frequent stops

Many of our associates have children taking school breaks as well, so we try to be as accommodating as possible to allow them necessary time with their families. Sometimes a slight shift on their schedule is a big help during this period.

 

Setting Your Team Up for Success

Just before the crowds arrive, everyone should be well informed on how they can best contribute to your operation. As we know, in order to be successful with the influx of transient business you must adjust your usual agenda and methods of cleaning.

Be sure your daily pre-shift meetings include these important reminders and everyone is well-informed of the special activities and events happening at the property and surrounding areas. Keep daily events posted and copies readily available for your staff members.

Prepare all the extras for multiple guests and families; items such as extra pillows, blankets, rollaways and cribs. Many of these requests come in during the afternoon and evening hours so be sure to have them “delivery ready” and staged in convenient locations.

Be proactive by delivering extra items during regular services to accommodate multiple guests. In addition to stocking items for guest requests, there are a few to consider as part of the daily service such as; increased linen pars, soap and shampoo. Also, be sure to stock extra paper products in public area closets.

Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your repeat customers that may be visiting during this period.

For many, this kicks off the start of a long stretch throughout the spring and summer where families and more transient business visit your properties. It is important to continue discussing the unique needs of travelers during these periods.


The Service Companies’ unique turn-key model provides complete oversight of the housekeeping, public area, EVS, and stewarding departments, including accountability over the productivity, operations and success of the departments. These services allow hotel, casino and resort customers to focus on driving revenues. To learn how The Service Companies’ turn-key model can help your property, contact us.

Laurie Katinos is one of the leading hospitality operations directors. Her expertise in housekeeping operations spans over 20 years, with the majority of her time spent with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and The Service Companies. Her knowledge and operations savvy has contributed to The Service Companies becoming the unrivaled provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services in the hospitality industry.

Distributing Soap in Guadalajara with Clean The World & Caesars Entertainment

Social responsibility is important to us and we drive corporate social responsibility among our clients. In early November, we partnered with Caesars Entertainment and Clean The World for the fifth consecutive year to send two members of our housekeeping teams on a service trip to distribute recycled soap and hygiene kits to underserved youth and communities. This year, Cynthia Isrow (EVS Supervisor in Laughlin) and Yerky Santana (Housekeeping Supervisor at a casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip) were selected to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico with Clean The World and Caesars Entertainment’s winners.

Their trip began in Las Vegas, where the group received a tour of Clean The World’s Recycling Operations Center, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary, to learn how Clean The World takes, sanitizes and repackages partially used soaps and hotel amenities collected by our associates. In Guadalajara, through Children International, Cynthia, Yerky and the trip participants spent three days distributing soap to impoverished families and taught them how to properly wash their hands to prevent disease.

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Now that they have returned from their trip, we took some time to speak with Cynthia and Yerky about the trip and how it affected them. Read our interview and view the photos from the trip below.

What was your reaction to hearing you were selected to go on the soap distribution trip to Guadalajara?

Cynthia: At first, I was a bit uneasy about traveling to Mexico. But I was very excited to have the opportunity to go.

Yerky: I was excited to go. I lived in Guadalajara for a time, so I know about the city and the living conditions in which many of the people live. I knew that by going with this group, I would be able to make a big impact. 

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What were your expectations of the trip when you were selected? How were they the same as or different than what you experienced?

Cynthia: I expected that we were just there to hand out soap, but it turned out to be so much more than that. We spent time with the families and children we were helping along with Children International. It was a very rewarding experience.

Yerky: The trip ended up being more impactful than I expected it to be. For me, I left Guadalajara thinking more about how other people live and the opportunities available to them. Before, I was more concerned about my life; now not so much.

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What advice or information can you give our associates participating in the Clean The World initiative on property?

Cynthia: Keep doing it. Collecting the soap is so important. To us, it might just be soap, but to others, it’s life. I am vocal about how important this is on property.

Yerky: People may not think about how much they can help others by collecting the partially used soaps left behind by guests. On the trip, I saw that one bar of soap has a big impact on these communities. One bar of soap for us is not a big deal, but for the people in Guadalajara, it’s life changing. I would encourage everyone to collect as much soap as possible.

Handwashing

It is amazing to hear that one bar of soap, which may be something we take for granted, has such a significant affect on a family or community. Has this trip impacted you in any way?

Cynthia: It has impacted me in so many ways. Other than wanting to be more involved with my team, I am looking at sponsoring a child in Guadalajara through Children International. Hopefully by January, it will be all set up. When I was in Guadalajara, I saw how the programs Children International provides these families are so effective and I want to give one child the opportunity to have his or her education, medical bills and more covered. I left Mexico believing that one person can change one life.

Yerky: When we’re cleaning guest rooms, we don’t think about how the soap or toilet paper we collect is important. I left driven to do more to help people less fortunate. I’m just one person, and even though I can make a difference, this trip made me realize the great potential people with resources have to combat poverty in the world. I made a promise to myself to contribute more, but more people have to get involved.

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What was the most memorable part of the trip?

Cynthia: There was a mother that we met that I will never forget. When we were teaching the kids how to properly wash their hands, each would receive a gold star sticker. She also really wanted to learn and she was so excited to get a gold sticker. She was so thankful and grateful to receive the sticker, which is burned in my mind. This trip put my life into perspective and was a mind opening experience. The people we were helping work from 5am to 11pm each day and only make $150 per month. They make the most out of what they have, which is an important lesson for us all.

Yerky: For me, there were two very memorable parts to the trip. The first was when we visited a family at home. We showed everyone, from the children to the grandmother, how to wash their hands. Visiting them reminded me that my family and I used to live like this in Cuba. I understood how hard they work just to buy some bread and milk. It put my life into perspective. The second memorable experience for me was the visit to the Clean The World Recycling Factory in Las Vegas, where we saw how the soaps we collect are sanitized and repackaged into new soap.

5Are there any other memorable moments from the trip you’d like to share?

Cynthia: There was a moment with Yerky interacting with a child during a home visit that I think was memorable for all of us. Yerky asked the boy how many times he could jump on one foot in a minute. The boy responded with 50 times. Yerky stopped the boy after 30 seconds of jumping and told him that he jumped 78 times in half the time. Yerky told the boy to never underestimate himself and to always realize what he is capable of. Yerky shared that he was poor, just like the boy, growing up in Cuba and being told the limits to what he could do in life. Yerky continued that now he lives in the United Sates working on the Las Vegas strip, has traveled to 48 countries and accomplishing what he sets his heart to.

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What an incredible story. Cynthia, how has your team in Laughlin been so successful in collecting unused amenities that are donated to Clean The World?

Cynthia: Through constant encouragement. I think now that I can share my experience with them, they will begin to realize the value of what we do and we will be even more successful.

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Both of you have mentioned that now that you’ve returned, you want to do more. Can you elaborate on that?

Cynthia: I’ve already started looking at hosting community hygiene kit builds and getting more involved with Clean The World here in Nevada.

Yerky: I’d like to start volunteering, even if it’s just one day a week. I know I can make a difference, no matter how small the task.

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The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

Leaders in Service: Jurond Brazile

Jurond-BrazileAt The Service Companies, we understand that our people make our company great and enable us to provide our customers Service. Above All. No matter what level, property or department you look, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we will feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

Our third feature of this series is Jurond Brazile, a Laundry Attendant/Public Area Attendant/Houseman in Key West. We’ve asked him to answer some questions about working for The Service Companies:

How long have you been with The Service Companies?

I have been working for The Service Companies for six years.

What role(s) have you had here and what is your current position?

Since I joined, I have held Houseman, Public Area, Laundry, Carpet Cleaning and Housekeeping positions. Currently, I am a Laundry Attendant/Public Area Attendant/Houseman for a vacation ownership resort in Key West, Florida.

What does your job entail?

I do any job that is asked of me. Since my role with The Service Companies includes Houseman, Laundry and Public Area duties, I help out wherever I am needed. I enjoy it.

That is a great attitude to have, and one that we value at The Service Companies. Our last question for you is what do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I like to read books and play sports, particularly soccer and basketball.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

Commitment to being green

At The Service Companies, one on our primary commitments is providing superior hospitality services to our customers by using the most effective and safest cleaning equipment and chemicals. Equally important, though, is ensuring that we are environmentally conscious at all of our 750 locations across the country. How do we do this? We have set up company-wide partnerships and programs that minimize our environmental impact, but also give our individual teams the liberty to come up with “green” initiatives that are most effective for them. Here are a few of the ways The Service Companies has gone green:

  • Ecolab photo 1 (4)Partnerships with Environmentally Friendly Suppliers: Ecolab is equally committed to the sustainability of their operations and offers products that are environmentally responsible. Our nationwide partnership with Ecolab means we work with their representatives to tailor select chemicals for each of our customer’s properties. When available, our first choice is to source environmentally friendly chemicals and solutions.
  • Durable, Long-Lasting Equipment and Repairs: The Service Companies is committed to using best-in-class, energy-efficient equipment, which is more effective and durable. Our equipment specifications must meet goals for improving or liming the impact to indoor air quality, water consumption, energy consumption and lower chemical usage. By working closely with our manufacturers, including Karcher, we are able to determine the right process to achieve the highest possible results at the lowest possible cost. This means our team is consuming less energy, chemical and water to clean our customers’ areas. Also, instead of replacing equipment at the first sign of an issue, we repair it to its original efficiency, increasing the lifetime of the equipment. When equipment and materials are to be disposed, we never send them to a landfill. The Service Companies contracts with local and regional resource recovery companies to recycle or redistribute material and equipment we no longer have a need for.
  • IMG_6406 (2)Clean The World: For the fourth consecutive year, many of our on-property Housekeeping teams have partnered with Clean The World, an organization that collects discarded hotel hygiene items, re-purposes them in a sanitary manner, and distributes them to people who are at risk of contracting hygiene-related illnesses. Our Housekeepers have been integral to collecting the 40 million+ bars of soap that Clean The World has distributed to over 115 countries.
  • Recycling: We support our customers’ recycling efforts by ensuring proper separation of recyclables from landfill trash. In some operations, we have one person dedicated to this task. Our employees are trained to prevent cross-contamination of landfill trash with recyclables. We use color-coded trash bins that are clearly marked for the type of trash – green for landfill, blue for recycling.
  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: We reduce emissions related to our business by limiting the number of product orders per month, using battery operated equipment where feasible and limiting the use of fuel-powered equipment when work can be done efficiently by other means, to name only a few. We run estimated monthly emission reports that show total carbon dioxide tonnage created and saved in operations. These reports are critical to The Service Companies meeting and exceeding our emission reduction goals.
The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

The results are in: our newest opening

This month, The Service Companies took over third shift cleaning operations at a luxury resort in Florida. The property’s management team looked to us to solve some issues for them. Having previously used multiple cleaning providers to manage the property’s overnight cleaning, the management team sought a strategic partner that would seamlessly integrate into the property’s surroundings and ensure a consistent high level of cleanliness across the property. As a large, well-capitalized hospitality partner, we are one of the only managed service providers able to guarantee and deliver this. Plus, by taking over areas that were previously overseen by multiple independent providers, we were able to provide savings along with a higher level of service than previously provided to the property.

With every opening where we provide public area, EVS or third shift services, we start off with a full assessment of the floor types to determine a floor schedule and equipment needs with our equipment partner, Karcher. We also work closely with Ecolab to spec out the right chemicals and cleaning processes for all surfaces to ensure they are perfectly cleaned and maintained. After completing this and only two weeks into servicing the property, our opening team has achieved incredible results. Take a look at our before and after pictures below to see for yourself.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

How to make your marble floors shine

The appearance of a property’s marble floors can affect a guest’s first and lasting impressions of a property. While these floors may have gleamed a few months ago, constant and consistent traffic on the floors can leave them dull and lackluster. What should you do when this occurs? At The Service Companies, we have spent years honing our floor care techniques and have developed a step-by-step guide for you to use. Following this guide will give you the results shown below in our before and after photos, which we’ve taken at a luxury hotel property we recently began servicing.

To receive your copy today, fill out the form below the images!

 

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The Service Companies

How to develop great customer relationships

As we begin 2017, it’s important to remember the value of developing good customer relationships and providing exceptional customer service. At The Service Companies, one part of our Service Code is “Service is not what we do – it is who we are” and we are always focused on providing the best service possible to our hotel, casino and vacation ownership customers and their guests.

As we provide primarily “back-of-house” services, our customers are not only the guests of the property, but also of the various operational departments we work closely with throughout the day and night. I’ve found that good customer relationships stem from delivering good customer service. If your client is happy and satisfied with your work and response, then it is a sure way to not only grow your business, but also to maintain a lasting customer relationship. Here are some tips to accomplish this:

  1. Develop relationships with front office staff. Invite them to a pre-shift meeting so they see and understand your services and operations. Consider sending the front office staff treats during particularly busy times. Being in the hospitality industry, we are all working long and hard hours. It’s nice to show your customers your appreciation for their partnership.
  2. Remember special occasions that are important to your client. Keep track of your clients’ birthdays, anniversaries, children’s birthdays, etc. Send a note on these dates. It will let your customers know you care and that they are important to you.
  3. Communicate with your clients on a regular basis. Even just a short note or, better yet, a call to see if they have any feedback and discuss upcoming busy dates and important group and guest arrivals; this communication is critical to providing the service they need and expect from us.
  4. Make great first and lasting impressions. First impressions are important because a lack of familiarity can raise anxiety and heighten emotions. In the beginning of a relationship, your customer may feel sensitive or tentative. Give them a warm greeting every time you see them. This often translates into a lasting positive memory. Over the course of your relationship, the pleasant, short contacts you have with your customer and the service you provide will increase the perception of friendliness. In addition to this, always be thinking how you can provide a lasting impression, which comes from creating a memorable ‘moment of difference.’ Associates who are always ‘looking to help’ and proactively take action to assist or give information will create the moments customers remember. The lasting impression is the goodbye and, unsurprisingly, a person seems to recall these interactions later in the experience more readily than those earlier.
  5. Create Moments of Difference. For The Service Companies, our customer’s guests and their experiences are incredibly important. To make sure their stays are memorable, create at least one special memory that they will remember after they leave. For repeat guests, aim to build on their memories. Allow staff to be inspirational, help, give information and make recommendations to guests. Give or do something unexpected (for instance, Housekeepers leaving extra tissues or delivering hot soup for sick guests). Give staff enough freedom to be able to provide exceptional service. Finally, have fantastic, friendly and easy receptions with great goodbyes.
Having a distinguished 35 years of experience in all facets of hotel development and operation, Victor Lopez is a true hospitality expert. Before joining The Service Companies, he held leadership roles at Hyatt, overseeing the operations of 32 properties from South America to Hawaii, including all resort properties in North America. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Camp Hyatt, Spa Hyatt, Golf Hyatt and learning vacation programs, as well as the gaming operations attached to Hyatt Resorts.