The layout of the housekeeping department is the physical demarcation of areas in the department. when the layout is well planned, it enables the smooth functioning of the department. The layout is dependent on the size of the hotel as well as physical space restrictions. Normally, the layout is decided by the executive housekeeper, at the facility-planning stage in a stage in setting up the hotel. The following factors are taken into consideration when deciding on the area and layout.
• Total number of guestrooms
• Number of function rooms and a number of food and beverage outlets.
• Amount of manpower required
• Volume of business anticipated
• Number of jobs contracted out
• Flow of traffic (people and equipment)
The layout of the department indicates the different areas and subdivisions in the department. The layout of the department depends on the following factors:
- Total number of Guestrooms
- No. of outlets and banquets
- Amount of manpower required.
The following areas constitute the layout of a housekeeping department.
Executive Housekeeper’s cabin:
This is the main administrative center for the department. It must be an independent cabin to provide the housekeeper with silence to plan out her/his work. The office should be proceeded by a cabin for the secretary who would control movement into the housekeeper’s office. A glass-paneled office with blinds to provide privacy at times, such as when meetings are conducted and confidential issues are discussed, is most appropriate. The cabin should have one entrance-cum-exit door where entry is controlled by the secretary. Ample built-in shelves and cupboards with locks should be provided to store files and records.
Assistant Housekeeper’s Cabin:
A smaller cabin should be provided for the assistant housekeeper, preceding the executive housekeeper’s cabin. Storage area for documents is essential in the AHK’s cabin.
Desk control room:
This is the main communication center of housekeeping. It is a formation that all information is sent out and received concerning the department. The desk control room should have a desk and a chair with preferably more than one telephone. The desk control room is the point where all staff report for duty and check out at the duty end. It should have a notice board to pin up information for staff and more than one telephone connection as well storage shelves for register and files.
This is the room where current linen is stored for issues and receipt. The room should be large, airy, and free from heat and humidity. It should have adequate shelves, easily accessible to stock all linen. It should be secure and offer no possibilities of pilferage. The room should preferably be adjoining the laundry so that the supply of linen of and from the laundry is quick and smooth. Only authorized personnel working in the linen room should be permitted to enter it.
Linen uniform store:
This room stores the stocks of new linen cloth material for uniform etc. the room should be cool and dry. It should be provided shelves and racks to store all linen and uniforms.
This room stocks the uniforms in current use. It is possible that smaller hotels may choose to combine the uniform room with the linen room. The only difference would be that the uniform room would have adequate hanging facilities as many uniforms are best to maintain when hung.
This room is used for repair work carried out on linen, uniforms, and soft furnishings. It should be large enough to accommodate a sewing machine, an ironing table, and space for items to be repaired.
Lost and found:
This should be a small place away from the thoroughfare, secure, cool, and dry with a cupboard to store all guest articles that are lost and may be claimed later.
This should be an air-conditioned room to keep fresh flowers for such flower arrangements as the hotel may require. The room should have work tables a sink and a water supply.
Each guest floor must have a floor pantry to keep a supply of linen, guest supplies, and cleaning supplies for the floor. The floor pantry should keep one complete set of linen that floor over and above what is circulation in the room.
Heavy equipment store:
This will be room to store bulky items. The room should be clean and dry. It should also be securely locked to avoid stealing or pilferage by another department.
Horticulture equipment store:
There are a number of garden types of equipment such as lawnmowers, spades, rakes, and pots that essential to the gardening operation. The larger the landscapes to be tended, the larger the will be storage measurement.
Through not attached to the department physically, floor pantries are very much a part of the housekeeping department. These are locked on each floor to keep a stock of linen, guest supplies, and maid’s cart and cleaning supplies for that particular floor. The floor pantry should be tucked away from guests’ view and should be situated near the service elevators. It should have shelves and cupboards for linen and supplies, and sufficient area to park a room maid’s cart. It should have a sink with a water supply.
The sample layout of the floor pantry is given below:
Since the floor pantry is used to stock expensive items such as linen, it should remain locked at all times when not in use. The key to the floor pantry is kept by the GRA of that floor a duplicate is kept with the floor supervisor.
The following should be provided in a floor pantry:
• Cupboards to store guest supplies, cleaning agents, and equipment.
• Shelves and racks to store fresh room linen.
• Linen trolleys to store fresh and soiled linen and for transporting/dispatching the same to the linen and uniform room.
• A notice board to display information regarding expected arrivals, VIPs in the house, extra beds, and guest loan items given to guests.
• A sink with hot and cold-water facilities to wash or disinfect glasses, fill drinking water in flasks, and for flower arrangements.
• Guest loan items such as rollaway beds, cribs, and bed boards.
The forms and records maintained in the floor pantry are as follows:
• Room linen Control Form filled by the floor supervisor daily and sent along with soiled linen to the linen room. The signed copy is received back and filed.
• Copy of Room Linen Exchange Form sent from the Linen Room.
• Room Linen Inventory Form.
• Stores Requisitions Form for requisitioning guests’ supplies, cleaning supplies, and Stationery items.
• Floor Duty Chart
• Floor Maintenance Register that records all the maintenance works that need to be completed on the floor.
• Spring Cleaning Register for the periodic schedule of thorough cleaning of the rooms on rotation.