Thiesfeld’s Tips for Travel

Our Senior Vice President of Sales, John Thiesfeld, spends more than one third of his year on the road. This makes John our most well-traveled team member and our go-to expert for traveling advice. Whether you fly once a year, or multiple times a week, John’s tips can turn even the most inexperienced flyer into a traveling connoisseur!

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Move away from checking a bag.

“It not only saves you time on departure, but you have everything you need if your flight gets canceled. This allows you to get on a different flight without worrying about your possessions.”

 

Sign up for TSA Pre ✓.

“It is worth every penny of the cost, even if you don’t fly often. Knowing you will rarely have a long wait for security is reassuring.”

 

Pack smart and be prepared.

“If you are traveling for business, pack your dress shirts and suits in the plastic bags from the dry cleaners. It keeps them fresh and less wrinkled. If you can, always have a bag packed with your regular travel items; this saves time and stress when a trip comes up last minute.”

 

Pack healthy snacks.

“Always keep healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Though most airports sell healthy options, you can bring your own for a fraction of the cost”.

 

Charge electronics.

“Make sure to charge all electronics the night before your flight. Some airports are loaded with outlets, while others keep you searching.”

 

Sign up for an airline lounge membership.

“If you fly at least once per month, make sure to sign up for an airline lounge membership. They are a great place to re-charge before a flight. The flight attendants are able to do everything a gate agent can, and sometimes more if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.”

 

Stick with one hotel company / airline.

“Try to stick to one airline and hotel company. I know with so many travel options available, including Airbnb, it may seem silly, but the perks available (even at the lowest levels of some programs) are worth it.”

 

Sign up for frequent flyer programs

“Sign up for different airline’s frequent flyer programs, even if you are not sure if you will ever fly them. Being a member and downloading their respective apps can help you if your airline of choice is not available or if there is a problem with your flight. You can often find new flights on the app much faster than trying to call the airline and it is faster than going to the customer service counter.”

 

Book non-stop flights.

“If possible, make sure to book non-stop flights. Many times, the stress and potential problems that can occur with connection flights, especially those with a tight timeline, are not worth it.”

 

Take the early flight out.

“It is never fun to wake up at 4 am for the first flight out, but statistics don’t lie; the first flight of the day rarely gets cancelled or delayed. The first flight sets the tone, so the airline will do whatever it takes to get the plane out on time.”

 

A round trip ticket may not be the best option.

“Though a round trip flight may look easier to book, two one-way tickets may be cheaper. Also, if one of those flights gets cancelled, it is much easier for the airline to change one ticket, as opposed to the airline having to re-issue a round trip ticket.”

 

Print a boarding pass.

“There have been multiple occasions where the TSA processors were down or the actual check-in machines for the flight were inoperable. The only people allowed through were those with paper boarding passes.”

 

Exercise and explore the area.

“As a runner, I appreciate a well-equipped fitness center, but my preference is to run outside; it gives me a feel for the destination. If running isn’t your thing, get out of your hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Not only is it good for your health, but you never know what you may be missing!”

 

Smile and be kind.

“Travel can be stressful on both the traveler and the airline/hotel associates. Make sure to smile and be kind; it is always better than the alternative.”

 

 

Our Dedication to Service Through The Service Code

As the nation’s one-stop-shop for services to the gaming, hospitality, and facility services industries, we believe approaching our work with dedication, a keen attention to detail, and a quality standard driven by our Service Code lead to best-in-class results. It is essential for every member of our team to ‘live our brand’, and because of this we created The Service Code as a guideline for our daily conduct, attention to detail and the quality of our work.

 

Service is not what we do – it is who we are.

We make service our main focus to ensure our teams are prepared to accommodate your property like no other. Through our weekly pre-shift meetings, comprehensive training and Quality Assurance and Quality Management programs, service is an essential part of our daily routine.

 We come to work to make our customers SHINE.

 Well-versed in quality cleanliness and customer relations, we guarantee your guests a positive first impression that will keep them coming back for years to come. Our rigorous inspection processes and lists of policies and procedures keep designated areas spotless as we deliver unmatched customer service.

 We are guests in our customer’s ‘house’.

We fit seamlessly into your operation by tailoring our training programs and operating policies to fit your property’s unique needs. We work with property leadership on processes, procedures, and standards to ensure our associates look and perform their best when representing your brand.

We trust our co-workers, in all ways.

Our on-boarding process has taught over 15,000 associates the skills needed to succeed in providing our customers and their guests a high level of service, while giving them access to a support system comprised of company leaders. The Service Companies is a family. We work together to help one another, and your property, progress each day.

We leverage our expertise to solve problems.

700 years of industry expertise within our executive and management teams combined with the industry’s most innovative technology differentiate The Service Companies from other service providers. We use these differentiators to solve your most challenging problems, increase efficiency, and increase your bottom line.

 

For more information about how we utilize The Service Code to deliver best in-class results, visit our website or contact one of our industry professionals today!

Why Preventive Maintenance Strategies Create Value

At The Service Companies, our Engineering Services team strives to be at the forefront of the facility maintenance and operational strategies. We have invested heavily in software, processes and people to ensure we deliver custom service delivery models to each of our customers. Our team utilizes up-to-date software to plan, document and protect client assets and train associates. We also produce monthly reports on staff performance, equipment and utilities.

Our maintenance plans are built in a proactive manner with unplanned downtime avoidance at the heart of the program.

Our Approach

Engineering Services’ non-destructive testing methods mimic equipment operating conditions and schedule maintenance based on the collected data. This procedure results in increased:

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Implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy eliminates much of the unplanned maintenance expenditures that are experienced in a “run-to-fail” model. Based on historical data, the initial savings generated by effective preventive/predictive maintenance programs fall into the following areas:

  1. Elimination of unscheduled downtime caused by equipment or system failures
  2. Improved manpower utilization
  3. Increased uptime
  4. Increased useful life of the equipment by 33%

Preventive maintenance is key to the custom service delivery models Engineering Services develops for each of our customers. For more information about our customized Preventative Maintenance programs, visit our website.

2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Services Awards acknowledge The Service Companies’ top performing associates who have shown great customer service, leadership, and dedication to our company. Chosen by our executive leadership team, the winners are an elite group recognized among thousands of associates in our managed services department.

Recipients of the President’s Awards and the Distinguished Service Awards were evaluated on the following categories: associate, customer, and guest satisfaction, and compliance with company / property requirements and procedures. Our Manager-level award winners, along with the categories above, were evaluated on their implementation of the SHINE campaign and their financial management.

We are proud to recognize the following associates who continue to make our company SHINE!

President’s Awards Winners

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Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

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Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

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Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

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Associate of the Year, Eastern Region – Oscar Pena

Felicitas Arrizon (1)

Associate of the Year, Western Region – Felicitas Arrizon-Ledon


Distinguished Service Awards Winners

Gilda Postigo Dist. Svc (1)

Manager – Gilda Postigo

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Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

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Central Region Associate – Terry Anderson

Orlando Rosario Astacio Reno (1)

Western Region Associate – Orlando Astacio

Case Study: Luxury Casino Hotel in Mississippi

A reliable stewarding team, along with a professional EVS and housekeeping team, is key in the success of your casino hotel. The Service Companies has the expertise needed to provide a superior quality of service that generates positive shifts in service scores. Take a look at how the introduction of our services benefited one of our casino hotel customers in Mississippi:

Situation Overview

A 65,000 square foot casino with a 505 room hotel located in Tunica, MS, which is part of a large American gaming corporation, approached us to provide managed EVS, housekeeping and stewarding services in 2010. The property leader had previous positive partnership with our managed services team and brought our team in to implement the same positive results.

Challenges

At the time, the property was struggling with staffing shortages and poor quality of cleanliness. The property was ranked at the bottom of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness and the property’s leadership team desired to achieve a higher level of expertise and cleanliness.

Opening Process

On November 12, 2010, our Heart of House Services team took over the Housekeeping, EVS and Stewarding departments utilizing a task force of 14 trainers with significant experience in each area. 155 property employees transitioned to The Service Companies, leaving 20 open positions for our team to fill.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms, and deep cleaned the casino and other public areas to bring them up to standards. The deep cleaning process also served as training for the transitioned and new employees.

Housekeeping productivity standards were established and training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

Results and Current State of Partnership

Guest service scores improved immediately and at the end of Q1 2011 Room Clean at Check-In and Overall Casino Cleanliness scores increased by 9.48% and 7.4% respectively QOQ. At the end of 2011 the property ranked in the top 10 of all of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness.

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Today, we continue to manage all three departments with a total employee base of 175. Guest Service scores and company ranking remain in the top tier of all of the parent corporation’s properties, while saving over $1 million annually through improved productivity and lower overall benefit costs driven by our team.

For more information about the stewarding services and the other managed services we can offer to your casino hotel, visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/services/managed/.

What to Look for in a Staffing Agency for Corporate Cafés

One of the best ways to get qualified staff members for your corporate cafeteria or corporate café is to turn to a hospitality staffing agency. Staffing agencies do not necessarily offer the same services or benefits to their clients, and it can be difficult to distinguish the good companies from the bad. Consider the impact a poor organizer or a sub-par chef could have on your company’s reputation. Hiring top talent is imperative and we have put together some things to consider when selecting a hospitality staffing agency for your business:

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  1.  Experience working with your type of business– Every kitchen and front-of-the-house is unique (that’s the best part of the industry!), and not all staffing agencies are familiar with the needs of every setup. For example, a company that routinely places candidates in traditional restaurants or hotels may have little experience finding the right person for the job with a university food service contractor. Kitchen environments are diverse; choose a hospitality staffing agency that has experience working with your type of corporate cafeteria operation.
  1.  Broad pool of candidate backgrounds and skill sets– This should seem obvious, but it’s something that cannot be emphasized enough. Just because a company claims to find candidates for hospitality jobs does not mean it has a large pool of them available. Many generic staffing agencies will bill themselves as offering corporate cafeteria staff members, but that does not mean they’ve courted many people with the right experience. There are many diverse skill sets needed to run or work in a hospitality setting. Focus on industry-specific agencies that have a diverse array of hospitality candidates with the exact backgrounds you need.
  1.  Assistance with screening and interviewing– The best hospitality staffing agencies not only connect you with candidates, but can pre-screen them using your criteria and even conduct a first round of interviews for you. This saves you time and money on your search.
  1.  Timely & Accurate Invoicing– Different staffing agencies use many varying fee structures but, in general, we believe you should only pay for results. You’ll want to know that your staffing agency is working for you and that they are incentivized to provide only the best candidates possible, all of whom meet and exceed your standards. Always be sure that payroll, taxes, workman’s compensation and fully-bonded insurance are included with your all-inclusive fee. This helps you keep peace of mind and ensures a healthy bottom line.

As the leading National Hospitality Staffing Firm, we look forward to providing your corporate cafeteria or café the top talent you need to be successful. For more information about our front and back-of-house and recruiting solutions, contact us at www.acrobatoutsourcing.com/contact-us/.

Common Issues We See In Casinos

With over 1.1 million sq. ft. of gaming area under contract and over 15 years of experience providing services to the industry, we understand the unique challenges that commercial and Native American casinos and casino hotels face in their day to day operations:

  • The struggle to find legal labor due to low unemployment rates, rising wages, and the ongoing “War on Talent”
  • High workers’ compensation and general liability rates/expenditures/exposure
  • Valuable resources are spent managing relationships in union environments
  • Inefficiencies and lack of productivity in non-core departments
  • Maintaining a consistently high quality of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • High energy usage

These challenges create a large cost burden for casinos, and one option to alleviate these issues is to partner with a well-capitalized service provider (see our previous article on what to take into consideration when selecting a vendor). Our team of seasoned industry experts established a diverse list of services that cater to the common needs of every casino resort.

The Service Companies is the premier provider to the casino industry. We offer managed services, staffing services, specialty services, and engineering services to casino properties across the nation. Backed by a large investment fund, we have the capital to support a casino’s stringent requirements and massive needs and have the years of experience driving productivity and providing solutions that reduce costs and energy.

As part of our commitment to service, our team takes full accountability of recruiting needs, compliance checks, and training to ensure success. To learn more, click on the links to our services above, or contact one of our industry experts at https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

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Tips For Safely Maintaining Your Public Areas During Winter Conditions

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Our Public Area and Housekeeping teams have been digging out from the recent snowfall in many parts of the country though we still have a long way to go.

As we operate properties in all types of climates nationwide, each season brings different cleaning challenges. When asking about top cleaning challenges during the winter season, many will say snow and salt removal. The more it snows the more salt gets put down to melt the snow and eventually gets tracked into our facilities, potentially damaging our buildings and the surrounding environment.

We understand that shoveling and plowing alone cannot always keep the areas safe and that is when salt de-icers come into play. We want to share some cleaning and maintenance tips for these conditions in order to help keep your areas safe and clean, while managing salt being tracked in and around your property.

Many times the person who purchases or applies de-icers at our properties is not the same person responsible for cleaning it up inside or out. The key is to use de-icers moderately and to apply what product works best for your situation. There are many types of de-icing salts such as: sodium chloride “rock salt”, calcium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride, which is far less damaging to concrete, plants and the environment. There is also an opportunity to add sand to provide grit for added traction. Whichever product is being used, there is the challenge to stay ahead of potential damage.

Many times salt is applied very close to the entrance. For maximum melting results, it is best to apply the product more sparingly in the highest foot traffic areas. A salt pattern should begin with product applied more heavily away from the entrance and less as you get closer to the entrance. The natural foot traffic spreads it as people come in.

Proper application can provide substantial cost savings especially for repairs to interior spaces and corrosion of metal door entrances. It also prevents harm to landscaping with over application of salt too close to vegetation.

Proper entrance matting is the next line of defense to keep the “wet” and salt outside.

Take a look at the quality and placement of matting at the property entry points. Entrances may have a scraper mat as you enter so guests can release some of the snow followed by a longer wiper mat made of absorbent material that can wick the water and salt off the shoes as they walk.

If heavy snow fall is occurring, these absorbent mats need to be changed when they become saturated, so be sure you have enough on hand to make frequent changes to all your outside entrances.

Although matting selection and placement is ultimately decided by the facility manager, it is up to all of us to maintain and inspect these often to ensure they remain in good condition.

Even with having extra matting in place, salt will still make it inside!

Your Public Area team must be ready to remove it in the most effective manner. Entrances should be swept and cleaned often during these times.

Vacuuming can work well for salt removal though for safety reasons make sure your team knows not to vacuum damp or wet carpets because it is an electrocution hazard. Also vacuuming up damp salt and soil can damage your equipment.

In addition, it is important to train your staff to thoroughly vacuum the carpeted areas surrounding the matting. Even if sufficient matting is placed, there is always more salt and soil deposited as guests are walking off.

Vacuuming often is a great start, though you must also have a regular interim carpet cleaning program in place in order to tackle problem areas near entry points. This will help eliminate the salt stains that tend to build up and seem to return even after you extracted the area.

We prefer our interim clean be done every couple days during heavy snows and the salting that follows. At times, an extraction method just using hot water with an added neutralizer can provide great results pulling the salt and soil out of the carpets. Although your carpet cleaning generally occurs during off-peak periods, be sure you have a floor blower available to speed the drying time. Once dried, always thoroughly vacuum the area.

Because salt and de-icers can wear on marble, one thing to keep in mind during the heavy winter days is to not grind marble. Reserve this process for days where salt will not be tracked into the property.

Be sure not to neglect your equipment during this period, as they are working extra hard. You will need to provide extra cleaning care and maintenance.

Before you know it, spring will be back again though your work is not complete yet. During any long thaws or once spring approaches, be sure to thoroughly wash down walkways, the base of your building and areas near vegetation to disperse product residue and prevent further damage.

Having a good prevention plan in place and keeping the salt outside your facility should provide a safe and clean facility and you will be off to a fresh start for spring.

Tips For Giving Thanks to Your Associates

We would not be able to provide quality service without the help of our dedicated associates. That is why we have created a work culture that is built on the foundation of associate recognition, celebrations, and engagement. This Thanksgiving, we are sharing some expert tips on how you can give thanks to the associates who work hard to make your business thrive. Want to know the best part about the following tips? They can be used each day throughout the year to recognize a job well done!

  1. A day does not go by without employees giving their all. It is all about leaders giving back and recognizing that hard work as often as possible.
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  1. When guests share positive feedback, or a great service rating, spend time researching who made that possible.
  1. Always post and share customer compliments with your team. Take it a step further by including the associates’ photo and highlight details about the recognition.
  1. Write a personalized note of appreciation.  A simple “thank you” is great, though, be specific in how they made a positive impact.  We expect employees to be detailed with their work, so we should be detailed with their feedback.
  1. We all love a surprise treat now and then. Keep some goodie bags handy for that perfect moment to make someone’s day. You can always drop in your personalized note to make it extra special.  Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 9.32.26 AM (1)
  1. Some accomplishments happen without a manager noticing.  Encourage associates to share and acknowledge other team members whenever possible by creating a post-it board for their notes.
  1. Recognize their special dates outside of work such as work anniversaries or birthdays. More importantly, if they’re working that day, go out of your way to make the day extra special.
  1. Utilize every outlet to share recognition and congratulate team members. At The Service Companies, our leaders have several opportunities to share successes and engage in employee recognition by participating in the following:
  • Mandatory pre-shift meetings each day
  • Weekly recognition in SHINE on You through our company wide SHINE on Shift email
  • #TeamMemberTuesday across our Social Media platforms
  • Monthly recognition of our Top Performers through inspection and incentive programs
  • Quarterly In-brief newsletter
  • Annually through our company wide President’s Awards
  1. With all recognition, be consistent!  Morale can easily decline the moment you forget someone’s special day or don’t recognize a team member’s achievements. Robert Knowles- 70th. Birthday(2) (1)

For more information about how we focus on associate engagement to promote success at each property, visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

 

 

Cleaning The World One Community At A Time: The Service Companies Teams Up With Caesars Entertainment and Clean The World On A Service Trip To Zambia

As the service and hospitality industry experts, we know that effective hygiene is one of the most important elements to ensure the health and safety of our customers, their guests and our associates. It is important to us, though, to do this beyond our own departments and properties. That is why our housekeeping teams partner with Caesars Entertainment and Clean The World throughout the year to collect partially used soaps for hygiene kits that are distributed in underserved communities.

For the sixth consecutive year, we were able to send another team member on a trip of a lifetime to assist in the distribution of recycled soap and hygiene kits. Catherine Francois, a housekeeping team member from one of our casino hotel properties in Laughlin, Nevada, was selected to represent our company on a service trip to Zambia, Africa, along with members of Clean The World and Caesars Entertainment.

Catherine Francois

When Catherine arrived in Zambia, she was able to visit three underserved communities and, with the other Clean The World and Caesars Entertainment participants, distributed soaps and hygiene kits, taught families how to properly wash their hands, and participated in skits to enforce good sanitation practices.

After returning from her trip, we were able to catch up with Catherine to hear more about her experience and how the service trip made an impact on her life. Check out the interview below to view photos and learn more about Catherine’s time in Zambia.

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

When I heard that I was selected to go to Zambia with Clean The World I couldn’t contain my excitement. I jumped and shouted with joy. I couldn’t stop talking about it.

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

Before going on this trip, I tried not to have any expectations. I was looking forward to the experience and hoped that I would not be disappointed. However, this trip surpassed all that I had imagined.

What Clean The World initiatives did you participate in during your time in Zambia?

In Zambia, I participated in each Clean The World activity. During our first performance, I played the role of “Super Soap”. In the second and third performance, I played a germ. I also demonstrated good hand washing techniques to the audience during our second site visit. I sang and distributed soaps during all three site visits.

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 Besides soap distribution and sanitation education, what else were you able to experience while in Zambia?

I was able to experience a few things in Zambia. In Lusaka, I experienced several different restaurants. I also visited the local markets to look around, shop for souvenirs, and interact with locals in the area. In Livingston, I was able have a fascinating experience when I saw Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Great Victoria Falls. Last but not least, I experienced a safari ride where I was able to see many animals in their natural habitats.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

The most memorable part of my trip was all the different ways the people welcomed us. I will always remember the faces of children patiently waiting for hours to receive their soaps, as well as their excitement once they saw us arriving on site.
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What did you learn from your trip to Zambia?

I learned that Clean The World does not just give hygiene products to these families. They keep track of their progress throughout the year. They make sure that these communities are using what they learned to stay healthy and   check in to make sure kids are not missing school due to hygiene related illnesses.

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How has this trip impacted you?

This trip has impacted my view on life. It has forced me to look at things differently. It also made me think of what I can do to help others who are less fortunate.

Would you recommend others take a trip with Clean The World? Why or why not?

I would recommend that everyone take a trip with Clean The World to see how even the smallest efforts have the ability to make big impact on the lives of others.

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