No individual department in any hotel can work in isolation. A willingness to cooperate and coordinate with the assistance of efficient methods of communication is essential if the establishment is to run smoothly. The housekeeping department is just one of the departments in a hotel working towards the satisfaction of the guests, and each department is dependent on others for information and/or service if its work is to be accomplished efficiently. Frictions between departments must be kept to a minimum and there should be close inter-departmental liaison.
Coordination with Front Office
Rooms are of chief concern to the front office and housekeeping departments. It is important for the departments to continuously exchange information on room status. The front office must provide lists for expected arrivals and departures for the day in advance, and notify housekeeping of actual arrivals and departures as and when they occur. The front office is not allowed to assign guestrooms until the rooms have been cleaned, inspected and released by the housekeeping department.
Each night, a front office assistant produces an “occupancy report “also called the night report. This report list room occupied that night indicates guests who are expected to check out the following day. The executive housekeeper procures and consults this list early in the morning and schedules the occupied room for cleaning. As guest check out, the front office notifies housekeeping. Housekeeping ensures that these rooms are given top priority in servicing, so that clean rooms are available for sale. To ensure efficient rooming of guests, both housekeeping and front office must inform each other of changes in a room’s status. Out of order, under repair, or similar, is important for proper room’s management.
A room status discrepancy is a situation in which the housekeeping department’s description of a room m’s status differs from the room status information being used by the front office to assign guestrooms. As unoccupied rooms are cleaned and inspected, the floor supervisors call the housekeeping desk attendant, who in turn informs the front office of rooms ready. The front office then updates the room’s status to ‘vacant and ready’. Promptly informing the front office of the housekeeping status room is a tremendous aid in getting guests who arrive early registered, especially during high-occupancy or sold-out period.
The housekeeping department also receives other important information from the front office, which required special attention:
VIPs in the house – this information is essential so that the staff can take a little extra care and keener precautions in cleaning and supervising VIP rooms.
Group in the house – The group rooming list must be provided before the group’s arrival as groups tend to move together in terms of arrival, departure, sightseeing tour, and meals. Their room needs to be readied together in view of strict time parameters. It is also important to intimate room changes, so that items left behind by guest may be handed over. Group rooming lists enable the department to organize their work and have the group’s rooms ready on time. This particularly crucial when the turnover is high and rooms are experiencing back to back occupancy.
Crew in the house – Under normal circumstances, airline crews are allotted a given set of rooms on a particular floor. However, sometimes, the arrival of a crew and the departure of another crew from the same airline may overlap. In such circumstances, it is important for the allotted rooms to be cleaned within a short period of time. Also, because of odd timing for international flights, these crew rooms may display a “do not disturb – DND “card at times when other guests are normally out, which the housekeeping schedule must take into account.
Flowers – Sometimes the management extends its compliment to a guest with a special gesture of a flower arrangement in the room as recognition of the importance of a person. This requirement of flower arrangements for certain guests is conveyed to housekeeping by front office on a daily basis. Apart from the above communications, the front office needs to depend on housekeeping for the provision of clean uniforms to its staff.