Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

State of the Industry: Searching for Hospitality Staff

As leisure travel fiercely rebounds and the country steadily reopens, the hospitality industry is facing an unparalleled staffing shortage. The industry is down 2.8 million jobs since February 2020 and hotels, casinos and resorts are struggling to fully staff their properties to accommodate the increase in travelers. This has presented a unique set of challenges to the hospitality industry:

  • Limited room occupancy offering to future guests due to lack of staff
  • Reliance on non-compliant labor
  • Challenges sustaining a consistent level of service to their guests
  • Delayed financial recovery
  • Poor reviews and guest feedback leaving potential guests up for grabs to competitors

The demand for hospitality staff has increased total labor costs from 37.4% to 60.5% between April 2020 and March 2021. In times like this, you need a service provider you can rely on and trust to deliver services that meet and exceed your brand standards. As one of the few nationwide integrated services providers, we not only provide creative, unique and proprietary staffing solutions, but also manage and take on the responsibility for our clients’ departmental operations, training, recruiting, guest satisfaction scores, and more.  

The Service Companies – an Avendra-approved supplier – has provided innovative and customizable services, built on a commitment to quality, to our hotel and resort clients for over 30 years.

Like to learn more? Download our case study on how we’ve removed the burden of our clients’ most challenging departments in tight labor markets.

Summer Travel Tips

Opened door of hotel room in morning with copy space, sunlight effect.

With summer travel starting there are many dynamics to consider in order to best prepare your team. Since our clients have properties in all regions of the US, preparations vary based on weather, school schedules and other factors.

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 to need more to accommodate the summer crowds.

As the temperatures begin to rise, it is time to determine the appropriate summer 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 and warmth, keeping draperies closed a bit more will assist in cooling down the room throughout the summer.

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

Staffing Plan

Prior to the start of the season, it is crucial to plan accordingly for the higher volume of business. It’s 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 to accommodate summer travel. 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 the summer season typically has higher guest counts and a longer length of stay, this usually requires additional servicing time
  • For our clients’ 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 on 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 of, the influx of travel may have begun with the spring break travel, but as the country is returning to normal, families and transient business will only increase throughout the summer. It is important to continue discussing the unique needs of travelers during these periods.

There Where You Need Us

Diversified, Integrated Solutions. Nationwide Footprint.

Did you know that The Service Companies (TSC) operates on a nationwide scale? For decades, TSC has provided turnkey solutions to our valued clients across the
U.S. At TSC, we are a strong team of dynamic individuals with the industry knowledge and expertise to get the job done. Whether we are working with partners in big cities or in remote locations, we offer unparalleled cleaning, staffing, facility maintenance, and pandemic support services.

Map of all TSC locations

What differentiates TSC:

A Partner that Understands Your Company’s Culture

Industry Experience
  • Over 30 years in the business
The Full Package
  • Integrated services delivered seamlessly, offering clients a “one-stop-shop” experience.
Talent Acquisition
  • Our experienced Talent Acquisition team is able to hire staff nationwide, even in remote locations.
  • Task force to establish connections in the local community
  • Best-in-class benefits offerings, including on-demand pay through Dayforce Wallet.
Onboarding New Accounts
  • TSC has reliable, time-tested processes in place to successfully onboard new clients.
Cutting-Edge Clean Technology
  • Technology that ensures safety and cleanliness in the age of COVID-19


Nationwide Footprint

Below are some of the locations in which we have clients around the country, as well as the services we provide to each:

Northeast Region:

1. Mashantucket, CT

  • Stewarding

2. Boston, MA

  • Specialty Cleaning

3. New York, NY

  • Specialty Cleaning

Southeast Region:

1. Washington, DC

  • Overnight Public Area Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning

2. Cherokee, NC

  • Housekeeping
  • Public Area Cleaning

3. Asheville, NC

  • Overnight Public Area Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning

4. Charleston, SC

  • Overnight Public Area Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning

5. Atlanta, GA

  • Overnight Public Area Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning
  • Staffing

6. St. Simon’s Island, GA

  • Overnight Public Area Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning

7. Bradenton, FL

  • Housekeeping
  • Overnight Public Area
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Staffing

8. Key West, FL

  • Housekeeping
  • Public Area Cleaning

9. Orlando, FL

  • Staffing
  • Pressure Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning

10. Carolina, Puerto Rico

  • Public Area Cleaning

Central and Gulf Region:

1. Cincinnati, OH

  • EVS Cleaning
  • Kitchen Cleaning

2. Lake Charles, LA

  • Housekeeping
  • EVS Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning
  • Stewarding
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Staffing

3. Shreveport, LA

  • Housekeeping
  • EVS Cleaning
  • Stewarding

4. Memphis, TN

  • Staffing

5. Multiple Locations, TX

  • Specialty Cleaning

Western U.S.

1. Laughlin, NV

  • Housekeeping
  • EVS Cleaning

2. Tahoe, CA & NV

  • Housekeeping
  • EVS Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning

3. Las Vegas, NV

  • EVS Cleaning
  • Specialty Cleaning

4. Jean, NV

  • EVS Cleaning

5. Seattle, WA

  • Staffing
  • Specialty Cleaning

6. San Francisco, CA

  • Staffing
  • Specialty Cleaning

7. Los Angeles, CA

  • Staffing
  • Engineering
  • Specialty Cleaning

8. Denver, CO

  • Specialty Cleaning

9. Multiple Locations, HI

  • Specialty Cleaning

To learn more about TSC’s nationwide footprint and experience serving clients in remote locations, please contact our sales team, at sales@theservicecompanies.com.

What To Expect When Partnering With The Service Companies

Hotel lobby

During every conversation with the leadership team at a hotel, casino or resort client exploring our various cleaning services, we are asked, “What does your property onboarding process entail? How will you ensure success for our property?” In today’s climate, when properties aim to rebound from the last year, these are important questions. Our pre-opening period lays the groundwork for a successful partnership and future success for the property.

Our pre-opening planning can begin up to a few months before we assume responsibility of a housekeeping, public area, EVS, stewarding, or overnight floor care. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Transition Road Map – We’ve built a transition road map, tailored to each property, that outlines all responsibilities, tasks and processes pre- and post-opening. No matter the situation, we bridge the current staffing situation (your outgoing vendor, for instance) and offer construction clean up before a property opens its doors.
Transition Critical Path Example

2. Recruiting Management – We work with property management to verify and finalize staffing needs. Our first-class benefits, bonuses and engagement programs are the basis for our recruitment programs and enable us to recruit compliant labor, even in tight labor markets.

3. Weekly Client Recaps – You and your property management are always in the loop. Beginning four weeks prior and continuing until four weeks after the opening, we share weekly updates on projects completed, staffing progress and our team’s focus for the coming week.

Weekly Client Recap example

4. Tailored Processes & Procedures – Our best-in-class cleaning processes and procedures are tailored to meet and exceed your brand standards. We create inspection forms, grooming standards, and visuals (property boards), all customized to your property’s needs.

5. Training – Each employee completes a 10-day training process that includes chemical, bed bug, equipment and safety training. Refresher training continues on an ongoing basis based on a specific and predetermined interval. Employees in lead, supervisor or management roles complete the virtual Certified Supervisor Training. Property boards and brochures provide ongoing training and support to employees.

Certified Supervisor Training logo

6. Equipment and Chemical Inventory and Purchasing – We will assess our client’s equipment condition, conduct an inventory and purchase new equipment based on need. Chemicals are determined based on the specific need of each cleaning process and surface. We introduce technology solutions like autonomous cleaning robots or AI sensor technology to save labor costs without sacrificing quality of service.

7. Engagement & Recognition – Our employee recognition program – in place for over 10 years – recognizes individual associates or teams for going above and beyond for our clients.

Group of the five key contributor award members.

8. Corporate Support – Our clients’ support system and resources go beyond the on-site property management. Each property has a dedicated Area Senior Vice President of Operations, HR and Talent Acquisition member and a full team in Miramar, FL that supports pre- and post-opening.

If you’d like to learn more about our client onboarding process, contact our team at sales@theservicecompaies.com.

A Full-Service Partner You Can Trust

Who We Are: Innovative. Responsive. Trusted. Count on TSC.

At The Service Companies (TSC), we are a trusted service partner providing cleaning, staffing, and facility maintenance services. Our experience and diversified expertise allow us to deliver services that improve health and cleanliness and ensure that our clients maximize efficiencies, streamline processes, and better manage their most challenging departments.

Industries TSC Services:

  • Hospitality
  • Corporate Cafeterias
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Stadiums
  • Commercial Facilities

“We take a personalized approach to our work. We get to know our clients and their objectives, and our experience in myriad areas allows us to deliver on these needs.”

Pat Harlow, Chief Executive Officer

What Sets Us Apart:

A partner that understands and represents your company’s culture.

  • Ability to align with a partner’s culture
    • Customized solutions for each of our unique clients that match their brand.
  • The Full Package
    • Integrated services delivered seamlessly, offering clients a “one-stop-shop” experience
  • Technology that ensures safety and superb service in the age of COVID-19
    • High quality service while social distancing
  • Over 3 decades of experience
    • Founded in 1987
  • Strong, Mutually-Beneficial Partnerships
    • Transparent Communication
    • Symbiotic Growth
  • Experience working with large accounts

Cleanliness, Safety, and Your Peace of Mind

We use proven cleaning and disinfection procedures to keep spaces to the highest cleanliness standards. TSC provides innovative solutions that clean and disinfect using EPA-registered chemicals recommended by the CDC for use against emerging pathogens.

To learn more, visit our website, call us at (305-681-8800), or send us an email at sales@theservicecompanies.com.

Supercharged Compost Tea for Plants

Microbes play an important role in the health and growth of plants. Beneficial microbes, including bacteria and fungi, help plants predigest their food, breaking down dead plant material to make the necessary nutrients to promote new growth available. In exchange, the plant can feed these “miners” their excess sugars, creating a beautiful symbiotic relationship.

Compost Tea is an extremely effective method to introduce these microbes – which build up a plant’s immune system, protect them from the sun, and resist pests and diseases – to your plants. Compost Tea can be applied to the plants in your garden with a watering can or in a spray bottle to coat the plants.

Our Seattle based chef, Brian Dawson, shares YouTuber MIgardener‘s recipe for Compost Tea with us in honor of Earth Day.

Ingredients

  • 5 gallons water (allow to sit for at least 24 hours in open air to dechlorinate, if using city tap water)
  • 1/4 cup molasses, unsulphured
  • 3 tbsp. humid acid
  • 1/4 cup rock dust
  • 1/4 cup  seabird guano 
  • 3 cups worm castings
  • 3 tbsp. fish emulsion w/kelp (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drop a fish tank bubbler stone into the bottom of your 5 gallon pickle bucket filled with water (after letting water sit for 24 hours, if applicable).
  2. Pour in the remaining ingredients and let the mixture bubble for a day or so. The bubbles that form on top of the brew are digestive gases emitting from our garden guests (a good thing). The bubbles begin to fade over a few days. When this happens, add more molasses to get the mixture to start bubbling again.
  3. Apply the mixture liberally to garden plant and soil surfaces. Spread throughout your whole garden! 

How to Approach Facility Operations During a Period of Low or Zero Occupancy

What to do if you have low occupancy or shut down your building

Last year certainly presented its share of challenges relating to building and facility operations due to the pandemic and the way facility managers do business. As locations were forced to close or reduce operations, facility managers were forced to adapt their operations to ensure the safety of their employees, guests and vendors. Some of them decided that zero occupancy is the best method to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid additional challenges to their business.

With shutting down or reducing occupancy in your building or facility, critical areas to consider are:

Building Domestic Water Systems
  • Do not shut down
  • Flush water on a regular basis: sinks, showers, drinking water fountains, etc.
Cooling Towers
  • Do not shut down
  • Continue current treatment program since water safety is still a concern
  • Maintain appropriate building temperatures to avoid building damage

Once your occupancy rates begin to increase you need to give special consideration to re-commissioning your water systems. This will have a positive effect on ensuring the safety of your people, equipment, and business.

Recommissioning Your Building

Once your occupancy rates show an increase, consideration should be given to the following programs:

  • Coil cleaning to maintain peak efficiency. We offer an enzyme-based, 100% biodegradable solution that is odorless and has zero effect on the environment or the building air quality. The process is applied while the systems remain on line so there is no disruption to guests and/or tenants.
  • Consider bringing in a certified testing agency to perform tests on potable water and cooling towers. Through our partnerships with some of the best companies in the country, The Service Companies runs programs like this for all facility types.
  • Perform cleaning, testing, and disinfection/shock treatments on cooling towers. This is a good preventive measure that costs very little, especially when compared to the realized benefits in preventing any type of airborne issues in your building.

To speak with Cornel or our team of experts about your facility, contact us here.

Relearning Service Standards Post Pandemic

We are thrilled to hear reports of many clients and industry friends opening their doors again.  While safety is of critical importance when returning to work post pandemic, as a company we have created a mandatory virtual reactivation and orientation for all associates returning to work. This covers many safety protocols as outlined by the CDC and refresher training for PPE and chemical usage. 

We understand in addition to safety training there is an essential need for refreshing service standards when it comes to customer and employee interactions. Many standards that have been ingrained and consistently practiced throughout the hospitality industry over the years look different today. For example, having meaningful interactions while remaining distant, expressing an emotional connection from behind a face covering and the hospitality zone known as “10 & 5” moving to “10 & 6”. 

Since our return to the workplace, we found some helpful tips for managers and team members to adjust to necessary changes and navigate comfortably within our crowded facilities. 

  1. Keep Smiling! Yes we can still read facial expressions while under that mask. This has been a fun ice breaker for the team.
  1. Associates along with some customers are trying to get used to adjustments for basic interactions, like escorting a guest to a specific location. Even while wearing a face covering we still must provide others appropriate physical space and always keeping our face covering intact, so speak more loudly and clearly while maintaining a safe distance. 
  2. Same as before, eye contact and a nod is important to let a guest or coworker know you are listening intently and understand their message. 
  3. Something as simple as delivering a guest request could feel quite awkward with new safety measures.  While some properties have procedures in place to deliver as far as the door, others may require attendants to enter a guest room.  Whatever the standard, ensure your employees are comfortable and have opportunities to practice each process.
  4. As many in the industry are navigating through this new normal it is important to take a regular pulse on how our employees are doing and feeling. Be sure they know how to escalate a request where they may not fully understand. When in doubt have a manager or office staff follow up to ensure your employees and customers have resources along the way.

It is obvious that nonverbal communication is more important now than ever.  Continue to role-play scenarios during your daily briefings.  The ultimate goal is having an empowered team, well-versed and comfortable engaging with one another, always creating a warm and hospitable environment.

people wearing masks sitting at desks with arms raised

We would love to hear how you have changed service standards within your properties and facilities. Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Leaders in Service – Cornel Sneekes

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

The newest addition to our Leaders in Service series is Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, Cornel Sneekes. Before bringing his engineering expertise to The Service Companies to establish our Engineering Services division, Cornel held key executive positions at ABM, ABLE, ISS and was a co-founder, along with our Chairman & CEO, Mike Latham, of MCR Facility Services (now established as The Service Companies Engineering Services division). Since the start of his career in 1981, Cornel has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of facility systems, staffing, labor relations, contract development and delivery of services for data centers, class “A” high-rise, industrial, hotels, medical, retail and truck route services. Learn more about Cornel and the positive impact he has made on The Service Companies through our Engineering Services division!

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 4.06.45 PM

What is your role at The Services Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I am currently the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, a division of The Service Companies. I joined the team in June 2018.

What does your job entail?

As the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, I am responsible for the delivery of our contractual obligations to customers and expanding our engineering model into different markets across the country. My team and I provide labor, monthly site visits, energy analysis, equipment inspections, preventive maintenance implementation, protection of customer assets and improved ROI on their investments. In addition, I am responsible for the design, development and implementation of custom service delivery models.

What projects have you and your team been working on? 

In my first 12 months my team and I have traveled extensively meeting clients and team members, touring facilities, and introducing our Engineering Services platform to new, existing, and potential customers. We are currently working on a new line of business offerings that will fulfill our main goal of generating value and results for our customers.

Since our Engineering Services division is relatively new, can you tell us what distinguishes our services from other companies that offer engineering services to the facility services and hospitality industries? 

Our greatest differentiator is our ability to adapt and change. We are a group of people that look for continual improvements and out-of-the-box service models that fit the needs of our customers. We accomplish this through the use of technology and strategic partnerships. As a private organization with a senior management team and a board that embraces change, we are not held back by the decision-making processes or “tunnel vision” approaches. This allows us to focus on how to best service and meet the needs of our clients and employees. Change is embraced, communication is valued and employee involvement is treasured.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love the positive effect our team and services have on our customers and their facilities. Creating long-term relationships with these clients, who become friends, is very special. I also enjoy helping my employees see their potential and achieve their personal goals. Having the ability to guide my team members to self-improvement through training, continuing education and working hands-on at the job site brings me a lot of satisfaction. Finding new ways to drive value, improve job site experiences and motivate employees to become their best self brings its own rewards.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team? 

Identifying opportunities for process improvement is hard work that brings many challenges, but having the ability to work with employees at different locations keeps me motivated. The people we have in this company, and their desire to be the best in what they do, drives me to excel in my areas of responsibility.

As for my team, I keep them motivated by proving a positive work environment and ensuring that they feel valued. Acknowledging a job well done creates an environment where each employee is able to do their best for their co-workers and customers. The challenges that come with the job, paired with defined goals and renewed performance standards, are motivators on their own and keep employees engaged.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

My greatest passion is my family. My wife and I have four children and three grandchildren, who are the greatest joys in our lives. Watching my children become parents and take on the responsibility of raising children is something that has had such a profound effect on my life. When I am not working I enjoy outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball and motorcycle riding. I also enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and learning more about other cultures. Finally, I am a sitting board member at PCRF, an organization that is working to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishments have been providing a new, positive outlook on how we are moving forward as a company and being part of a team that is committed to providing consistent improvements to the gaming, hospitality and facility services industries.

What advice would you give those looking to join our Engineering Services team? 

Come ready to work and bring your “A game”! The Service Companies is on the path to becoming the best in our fields of expertise and we are looking for dedicated associates that are committed to professionalism and growth. We can promise you a great working experience where you are valued, rewarded and appreciated for all of your efforts.

Contact us for more about The Service Companies’ Engineering Services division.

2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Service 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 of these employee awards 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

Robin

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

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