Tag: hotel staffing

Preparing for Hurricane Season

With a large number of our properties in the southeast regions of the United States, preparing for hurricane season is something we take very seriously at The Service Companies. As a business partner to resorts, casinos, hotels and various other facilities at risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, we train and make our associates aware of each property’s emergency plan right from the start.

Storms in these regions are inevitable this time of year, but it is hard to be sure when, and where, a hurricane is going to hit. After experiencing some of the most severe tropical storms and hurricanes, our team knows that the key to ensuring safety on property is to be prepared, and with hurricane warnings coming days in advance, there is some time to prepare your building and guests for the storm ahead.

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Here are some important tips to remember when preparing for a hurricane:

Hurricane season calls for extra support, but staffing may be limited due to road conditions and the need for associates to be with their families. To work around this issue, it helps to have a “Storm Team” in place. This team, comprised of associates from different departments, is given living accommodations on property for the duration of the storm to support efforts.

While you have more manpower several days out, get exterior preparations done early. Anything that is not securely mounted must go indoors. Items such as waste receptacles and exterior furniture need to be moved to a safe location within the garage, storage area or lower level of the building. Balcony tower furniture can be stacked inside of the guest rooms. This also comes in handy for people to rest and ride the storm in the lower level of your property.

Many times, your hotel guests are unable to travel during the storm and must stay on property. If this becomes the case, remember to do the following:

  • Keep guests informed through regular communications. This includes items such as storm updates, evacuation plans and stairwell locations, safe areas to be within the building (i.e. away from windows), available food options and services during this period.
  • If your property rooms have outdoor space, be sure guests know to bring any personal items inside. Before heavier winds approach, take walks around the building to verify all is clear.
  • If you have guests in need of extra care or that use assisted equipment, make sure to make this information known to your team in the case that they need immediate assistance during the storm.
  • Pre-pack emergency kits so they can be delivered and/or available to each guest. Kits should include: bottled water, flashlights, extra linens, paper products, amenities, trash bags, and dry snacks.
  • Have battery sources available to charge devices, as this is a common request when electricity goes out.
  • Organize indoor activities and keep an inventory of games, especially for families with children.

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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