To be honest I was quite in a dilemma when I selected this topic to write on. After all, outsourced housekeeping is a detail-oriented subject and I wanted to make sure every piece of information I wrote down was meticulous and authentic.
To see the picture clearly, I dialed my friend, Harshajit’s number, who is a hospitality expert and has seen the nooks and corners of the industry for quite a few years now.
After an insightful discussion, I was surprised (in a good way!) to find out that outsourcing hotel housekeeping is quite a common thing today and has so many benefits.
Without much ado, I settled on the topic, made my notes, did my part of the in depth-research, and started to pen everything down.
First things first, before starting with the benefits, let’s first know what is outsourced housekeeping.
What Is Outsourced Housekeeping?
Outsourced housekeeping is exactly what it sounds like – getting your housekeeping staff from a third-party or external agency rather than hiring them directly under your brand name.
Many hotels, irrespective of their size, have invested in outsourced services and are reaping benefits.
Wondering why? Here are some stats:
- Hotels have seen a drop of 25% in labor costs when the housekeeping services were outsourced.
- Properties have reported witnessing a consistent quality of housekeeping when it was outsourced from an external vendor.
These aren’t the only advantages of outsourcing hotel housekeeping, there are other benefits too!
Let’s dig into them.
Advantages of Outsourcing Hotel Housekeeping
Outsourcing housekeeping for hotels was ignored for a long time but lately, it has gained some limelight.
Why? Because of the numerous benefits that come with it. Here are some of the advantages you must know:
1. Quality of service
Outsourcing companies that provide housekeeping services make sure they assist their clients with the best staff. Right from world-class, modern-day training facilities to ensuring each and every individual needs of hotel brands are met, these vendors leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing quality service.
Outsourcing from these vendors also guarantees that you get consistent, superior quality services that not only reflect your property’s standards but also keep your guests happy and satisfied every time they visit.
Specialization is a vital element to consider in outsourcing just like in other businesses. It involves paying attention to a few common fields or products and expertise in them- that can be a boon during emergency situations.
Not quite clear? Okay, let me explain with an example.
Let’s say your housekeeping staff enters a room to clean and finds the guests occupying it struggling to turn on the TV. In such a situation, the common thing that a housekeeping staff does is call for an electronic repair person. Now wonder if you have a specialized outsourced housekeeper who has basic knowledge of electronics. She enters the room- takes hold of the situation- understands it’s a minor problem- brings in a pair of tools available and repairs the TV.
See what I am saying? Just like emergencies related to electronics, these outsourced staff can handle other situations too and avoid creating chaos.
3. Increased resources
Outsourcing your hotel housekeeping staff means more resources. More the number of staff, more convenient for you to ensure all your tasks are up to date, all rooms are cleaned, services are delivered and all housekeeping operations are completed.
Additionally, you can focus on all other departments with zero worries and leave housekeeping to them. An extra workforce ensures the less-focused departments like marketing and guest communications.
4. Competitive advantage
Competitive advantage is another plus point you get with outsourced housekeeping. You may wonder how? Well, just think of it this way-
You own a hotel and outsource your housekeeping services from a firm whereas your competitor depends on in-house housekeeping only. You hire housekeepers who are already trained, know their jobs, and efficiently play their roles from the first day. And your competitor undergoes a tiring recruiting process, training and internship after which it gets a batch of housekeeping staff.
And that’s how you have a competitive advantage over your competitor by saving your time, resources, money and energy.
5. Flexible labor hire
Another simple yet important benefit of outsourcing your housekeeping is the freedom to hire the staff you want. Simply speaking, if you are dependent only on your recruited in-house housekeeping staff then you are always bound to them as you have spent exhaustively on training and recruiting. On the other hand, if you are outsourcing you are at your liberty to choose the firm. If you don’t like the services, you can shift to other firms with zero liabilities.
6. Peace of mind
Once you have tick-marked all the above benefits, you know you have leverage over your business. With less money to spend, quality services, and reliable staff you have peace of mind guaranteed and can focus on more productive endeavors.
But wait, does that mean all outsourced housekeeping firms provide reliable services and peace of mind? Of course not! You need to filter out the best among them. How?
Tips on picking the right housekeeping vendor
Picking the right housekeeping vendor is actually very easy, given you follow a few criteria before investing in one.
Being in the industry for quite some time now, one thing I can assure you- reputation actually matters. The easiest way to pick the right vendor to outsource your housekeeping needs is to go for the vendor with a good name in the market and this can be done easily through referrals.
It is important to see the experience of the vendor you are shortlisting. The more years a vendor is in the industry, the more trust you can place in them. However, make sure their experience is coupled with reputation before finalizing.
Expertise is another factor that you must consider while choosing any vendor. If a supplier has expertise and reputation only in kitchen staff then you must make a mental note of it and look for another vendor.
And another important factor to keep in mind is the contract of outsourcing in housekeeping. To ensure all your needs are met- like the timeline, payment, and legal steps, consider more than one contract and settle for the one that works best for you.
The whole reason for outsourcing is to save your hard-earned money. So make sure you get what you are paying for and at the same time, their quotations meet your budget.
An outsourcing contract is a legal piece of document like an agreement, that contains every key detail of the deal with the outsourcing company like the timeline of the deal, the number of staff involved, payment terms and conditions, and all other factors.
Of course not! Flexibility with labor-hire is the biggest advantage of outsourcing, meaning- the pricing is not fixed. It depends on the number of staff you choose and the vendor.
Any hotel with a housekeeping department can invest in outsourced housekeeping services.
Though housekeeping covers a wide range of tasks and contracts, the major types are cleaning, linen, furniture and equipment, laundry, decorations and flowers, and pest control.
Outsourced housekeeping is actually not unknown in the hospitality industry but due to some reasons, it is not much leveraged. I have tried to include as many aspects as possible in this blog and hope they will help you. Though it might sound a bit overwhelming at first, with the right outsourcing vendor, your property can actually keep your guests satisfied and impressed.
Do you think I have missed any aspect of outsourced housekeeping? Do let me know in the comments below and I will be happy to include them.