Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
Housekeeping is defined as the provision of clean, comfortable and safe environment. It is management and maintence of the property and equipment of an institution or organization, a house, industrial or commercial institution. Cleanliness, comfort and safety are essence of housekeeping.
1.2 What is Guest Supplies?
Guest supplies are the items provided in the guest room to make guest feel comfortable. These are provided as freebies like writing stationery, alarm clock, fresh fruit dish etc. The number of items and quality of such items may vary with the size, quality of hotel and room rent.
What is Laundry Supplies ?
Laundry is the process of washing, cleaning & drying of clothes and linen to remove the stains and smell. Laundry supplies refer to the chemicals, detergents, equipment required in the process of washing & cleaning of clothes / linen.
1.3 Trends in Guest Supplies
There has been upswing in guest supplies provided by each hotel, with hotel trying to provide as much as possible to win the customers. Good quality hotels enjoyed their position of less competition provided few items like glass of water, shaving kit etc. However, with mushrooming of hotels all round, they face stiff challenges and have started many more items like stationery, alarm clock, television, newspaper etc. to win the customer and stay ahead in the competitive industry
1.4 Trends in Laundry Supplies
Hotel industry has seen sea change in laundry supplies. In olden days they were dependent on outside agencies for washing and cleaning but with passage of time and technological development, hotels are becoming independent by constructing laundry rooms within the premises.
Chapter 2 GUEST SUPPLIES
2.1 Difference between Guest Supply and Guest Amenities
Guest supply are those items which are conducive to the guest’s material and comfort and convenience. Whereas Guest Amenities are luxury items that a hotel gives away to its guests at no extra charge although the cost of those items are often hidden in the room rate.
Guest supplies are expected to be used up by the guest that cannot be classified as luxurious and are essential to the guestroom.
2.2 Amenities Provided
Hotel room amenities provision consist of amenities provided in the guest room which include clothing care, bathroom supplies, beverages, bedside and other items. These items are most important aspect in preparing the room for a guest and creating a long lasting impact on his mind.
The planning and design of the guest room requires extensive efforts and could take time of few months. The hotels identify the amenities they would supply and identify different teams for arranging them. in the room and then form separate teams for each are of supply i.e. bathroom supplies, bedside supplies, clothing care, other amenities like safe, stationary, iron, crockery etc. These items have to be elegant but also cost effective. The hotels also have to lure the guests by being innovative in their amenities. The quality and number of amenities is dependent on the rent for the room
2.3 Bathroom Amenities
Hotel bathrooms are reflection of the hygiene standards of the hotel. The bathrooms have to very clean and should supply various items of daily in sufficient quantity for use by the guest. The items to be supplied are bath towels, toilet papers, facial tissues, shaving kit, bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, hair cream, body lotion, dental kits etc. The supply should be enough for two to three days and replenished as required.
Good quality and star hotels have practice of providing tea / coffee maker, water bottles, small bottles of soft drinks, fruit juices etc. They also provide cookies or biscuits as part of tea / coffee kit.
2.5 Room Amenities
These are items which the guests may require during the stay and should be put on the desks besides the bed. These items could include alarm clock, writing pads, pens, local maps, local telephone directory, hotel directory, glasses with covers etc. Some good quality hotels provide welcome trays with fruits, small pack of welcome drink etc. This provides convenience to the guest and goes long way in creating positive impression on the guest.
2.6 Other Supplies
The list of these items may vary according to the quality of the hotel and room rent charged. These items could include Television, phone, remote controlled curtains & lights reading magazines, newspapers, shoe polishing machine, irons, mini fridge, safe, baby cribs, scales etc. These items give the guest comfort, convenience and contribute in generating loyalty within the guests.
Chapter 3 LAUNDRY SUPPLIES
3.1 Types of Laundry
Each hotel has its own arrangements for laundry. The arrangement depends on the size of the hotel and its standard. In earlier days the washer man would come to the hotel for collecting the dirty clothes. These clothes were returned to the hotel duly washed, dried and ironed by these washer men. Now some of the big hotels prefer to have their own laundry rooms fitted with all high tech equipment which are capable of doing multimode washing & drying. This is commonly known as On Premises Laundry. Other hotels have arrangement with the washing companies who collect the dirty clothes, linen wash them at their own locations and deliver cleaned clothes back to the hotel is known as Off Premises Laundry.
3.1.1 On-Premises Laundry
The term On Premises Laundry means the hotel has laundry facilities within the premises. The term can also be described as “In House Laundry”. This facility is normally available at large hotels.
• Customer Satisfaction
• Hygiene quality is maintained.
• Helps in extending the useful life of the clothes & linen
• Heavy initial investment from own or borrowed fund
• Consumes space within premises
• Depreciation of machinery
3.1.2 Off-Premises Laundry
The term Off Premises Laundry means outsourcing the process of washing, cleaning & drying clothes / linen to outside agency or washer man. This agency or washer man will collect the items from the hotel as per agreed schedule.
• No Capital Investment
• Cost incurred in purchase and maintaining inventory of washing chemicals is not required.
• Staff cost for laundry section is saved.
• Reduced customer satisfaction
• Reduced useful life of linen/clothes
• Compromise on hygiene quality
Laundromat can be stated to be place with multiple washing machines, driers used by individual customers on paid basis, usually by coins. This is operated on commercial basis. The customer carries his own clothes to the Laundromat at his convenience. Since this facility is normally operated by some commercial organization, they work out to be resource efficient.
• No Capital Investment by the hotel
• Hygiene quality is maintained
• Helps in extending the useful life of the clothes & linen
3.2 Chemicals Used
Traditionally, the clothes / linen were washed in water using detergent soap. The soap is made from lye (alkaline solution rich in potassium carbonate leached from wood ashes) and fat. The chemicals used for washing & cleaning clothes / linen can be segmented as below:
• Biological Detergents:
These detergents contain enzymes cultured from microorganisms (bacteria) that can survive in hot temperatures. The function of biological detergents is to breakdown the proteins starch and fat from stain caused by food, sweat etc. The biological detergents which remain on the washed clothes may cause skin disorder as they continue to work on the skin of the use upon use of clothes.
Bleaching is stage within laundry during which the stain are removed, disinfected. Bleaching powder contains chlorine which cleans the clothes. The active agent in chlorine could be sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite.
• Laundry Detergents
Laundry detergent is mixture of chemicals used for cleaning laundry. These are less affected by hard water. The laundry detergents are available on solid and liquid forms. The laundry detergents contain various chemicals for cleaning, bleaching, water softening, foaming etc. These detergents have their own share of problems related to skin disorder
3.3 Eco-friendly Laundry
The detergents contain many toxic chemicals and the softening agents contain tallow (animal fat). The toxic chemicals damage the ground water, thereby making it unusable. The laundry consumes important and scare resources of our lives – water; electricity; time. The people have become more aware of the environmental damage caused by these toxic chemical and more inclined towards using products that are environment friendly. This is also known as Green Washing, term introduced by New York environmentalist Jay Westervelt in 1986. Many people call this as “Sustainable Washing” as it helps to reduce the environment damage.
The laundry detergent to be tagged as ‘Eco Friendly’ should satisfy the following three fundamental traits:
It should be phosphate free
It must have bio-degradable ingredients
Detergents are packed in recycled materials
We should adopt the steps given below for eco-friendly laundry
Used specified amount of eco-friendly detergent.
Wash temperature should be 300 Celsius.
Use products made using grain alcohol, coconut and other plant oils like rosemary, sage etc.
Hotels can play an important role in furthering cause of Eco Friendly Laundry by placing placards in their rooms requesting guests to avoid frequently washing clothes, reduce use of water and electricity
Chapter 4 CASE STUDY
Taj Lands End is located in Bandra area of Mumbai at the end of the land. The location give this hotel best of both, best of sea view and bustling city life. This hotel has 493 rooms including 33 suites. The rooms are categorized as Deluxe / Luxury, Grand Luxury, Taj Club Rooms, Suites and Presidential Suite. The supplies provided in each room depends on its category.
The Deluxe / Luxury Rooms provide Wi-fi services, Telephone services, mini bar, light make-up, hair dryer, In-room electronic safe, complimentary newspaper, turndown service etc. They also provide roll away beds, baby cribs, DVD Player etc. on request.
The Grand Luxury Rooms are situated on higher levels of the building and offer beautiful view of the sea. The amenities provided in these rooms are Wi-fi services, Telephone services, mini bar, light make-up, hair dryer, In-room electronic safe, complimentary newspaper, turndown service etc. They also provide roll away beds, baby cribs, DVD Player etc. on request. The additional amenities as compared to Deluxe rooms is television with music system and softer boards.
The Taj Club Rooms offer a blend of luxury and comfort with soothing atmosphere. The rooms offer wooden floor. The bathrooms have LCD TVs’ also. The amenities provided Personalized butler service, Access to the Taj Club Lounge, In room electronic safe, Wi-fi services for resident guests, Flat screen TV with DVD player & surround sound, Dual line telephones with voicemail and data capabilities, Mini-bar, Luxury bath amenities, Plush bathrobes, Lighted make-up mirror, hair dryer and scale, Suit, skirt and padded hangers, 24-hour in room dining, Complimentary morning newspapers, Turndown service, Sewing kit on request, Choice of smoking and non-smoking floor.
• The suites have relaxing living rooms and sophisticated bedrooms. A perfect ambience is created by providing chocolates, fruit basket and fresh flowers. The various amenities provided include Highly personalized butler service, Separate bedroom and living room, Complimentary bottle of wine, Chocolates, fresh flowers, and a fruit basket, In room electronic safe, Wi - fi services for resident guests, Access to the Taj Club Lounge, Flat screen TV with DVD player & surround sound, Dual line telephones with voicemail and data capabilities, Mini-bar, Luxury bath amenities, Plush bathrobes, Lighted make-up mirror, hair dryer and scale, Suit, skirt and padded hangers, 24-hour in-room dining, Complimentary morning newspapers, Turndown service, Sewing kit on request, Choice of smoking & non-smoking floors, Rollaway beds and cribs available upon request.
• The Presidential Suite has classy wooden floored living room, graceful dining room, extravagant bedroom attached with dressing area, pantry, powder room, kitchenette and number of other luxurious facilities. This suite provides amenities like Highly personalized butler service, Access to the Taj Club Lounge, Separate bedroom, living room, dining room, office and kitchenette, Bathroom with Jacuzzi, Frette Linen, Complimentary bottle of wine, Chocolates, fresh flowers, and a fruit basket, In room electronic safe, Wifi services for resident guests, Flat screen TV with DVD player & surround sound, Dual line telephones with voicemail and data capabilities, Mini-bar, Luxury bath amenities, Plush bathrobes, Lighted make-up mirror, hair dryer and scale, Suit, skirt and padded hangers, 24-hour in-room dining, Complimentary morning newspapers, Turndown service, Sewing kit on request, Rollaway beds and cribs available on request.
Chapter 5 CRITICAL ANALYSES AND CONCLUSION
Sustainable development is need of the hour and very much a necessity for continued survival of our planet. Guest supplies, housekeeping and laundry are the primary functions of the hotel which are unfortunately are not given due importance and are placed at the bottom on the priority list. With the passage of time & technological advancement, new scientific environment friendly techniques are being developed for treatment of waste water generated by the hotel & laundry. Any investment in waste treatment should be considered as an investment and not expense, as they go long way in sustainable development. The hotels should consider training of their staff to make judicious use of the resources, setup plant for water treatment and also make alternative use of the treated water for gardening etc. Presently many hotels do not recognize this requirement as their responsibility, except for some big ones. All the hotels should be brought within the ambit of green revolution, norms should laid down and they should be measured against these norms.
Despite guest supplies, housekeeping and laundry being low on the priority list, the success of hotel is dependent of these two pillars. The customer is more educated now and there has been sea change in their demands and expectations.
It can be concluded that guest supplies, housekeeping and laundry need to be recognized as important contributors to the success and revenue generation of any hotel and should be given their due importance.
1. Singh, A. “Hotel Housekeeping Modern Practices, Challenges And Opportunities- An Appraisal”. International Journal of Research in IT & Management (IJRIM). 4(3) (2014)
2. Karthik, M. “A New Trend in Hotel Housekeeping Practices and Challenges”. International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (IJIRSET). 4(6) (2015).
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