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  • Writer's pictureAdele Gutman Milne, CHBA, CHDM

Every Week is Housekeeping Week with Lonny Wolfe and the Art of Housekeeping

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Happy Housekeeping Week, Hospitality Stars!


Please enjoy this special episode of Get Great Guest Reviews with our guest, Lonny Wolfe of The Art of Housekeeping. Lonny shared some ideas on what he does this week and every week, to infuse the spirit of Housekeeping week into the way he works to support his teams every day.


Lonny and I know that supporting your team to present a sparkling-clean property is absolutely essential to inspiring five-star reviews and the guest loyalty that comes with it. According to Bain and Company, as reported by Harvard Business Review, it costs 25 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer. Additionally, they report that a 5% improvement in guest satisfaction can result in a 25%-95% in revenue.


Therefore, for hoteliers to optimize revenue and maximize profits, we hoteliers need to think of the heart of the house as an extension of our commercial strategy.

Therefore, for hoteliers to optimize revenue and maximize profits, we hoteliers need to think of the heart of the house as an extension of our commercial strategy.


Lonny is the authority on creating great guest experiences through housekeeping excellence, so please listen to his thoughts directly on the podcast. Here are just a few of my top takeaways inspired by our conversation.



Adele's Top Takeaways


Start Every Day Prepared for the Team to Have a Great Day.

This is a great example of Servant Leadership in action. Before the Housekeeping staff comes in, Lonny makes sure they have everything prepared so that the team is set up for success, from their carts being fully stocked to their vacuum cleaners being maintained for optimum performance.


Start Every Day with Energy, Gratitude, and Communication

When the team arrives, he is there to welcome them as one would want to welcome a group of VIPs arriving at the hotel. Welcoming the group with positive energy and gratitude for the work they did yesterday and the great work they will do today, before sharing any special intentions for the day’s pursuit of excellence. Guest feedback is posted, they celebrate the wins and they collaborate to find ways to avoid those issues returning for future guests.


But communication has to be a two-way street, so this is the time to ask how they are doing if they are experiencing any challenges, and what he or the team do to help each of them to be successful. They work as a team and they win as a team!


Walk Through the Hotel With The Eyes of A First Time Guest.

Guests aren’t just looking at the rooms; they look at everything. Walk with your team leaders through the drive up to the hotel, the parking lot, the garden, the driveway, and the building itself. Then the lobby. The corridors, floors, ceilings, and stairwells are all part of the guest’s perception of the hotel. This is not just about beauty, but also about the health and safety of your staff as well as your guests. Maintaining high standards for cleanliness and presentation is the first expression of hospitality, showing guests and team members you care for, appreciate, and respect them.


CHECK, CHECK, and DOUBLE CHECK

One tip Lonny always shares is the importance of having every room inspected by the manager prior to a guest’s arrival. But what about those times when the level of staffing makes that virtually impossible and the room attendant must make their own inspection? In those cases, the attendant should check the room, and then leave the room, close the door, but then return to the room and check it again with fresh eyes and your inspection checklist. Mentally walk through the room as a guest, looking at everything as a guest would, even up at the ceiling, the corners, the bathroom, to see what a guest would see. This solves a lot of complaints before they happen. But if something is missed, they might consider adding that concept to the checklist and the training so that the process supports the housekeepers’ success.


The Marriage of Maintenance & Housekeeping


Housekeepers should be encouraged to to seek out opportunities for improvement before they become guest problems, and report back to the management and maintenance team. Of course, additionally, we should be looking at guest reviews each day for maintenance issues that may have been missed in a room. Then housekeepers can keep their eyes open and spot-check for these issues in other rooms while they are there to report to maintenance. This is a collaboration between guests, h and m to spot problems before they become a liability.


Make it Fun! Recognize, Appreciate, and Reward Winning Behaviors

Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn! Training and Skill Development is something we can do every day. Every month, you can keep the energy high and focused on goals and a shared vision of why our work is meaningful. Prizes and treats are a great way to capture your team’s attention and make a fun game of developing good habits and great skills. No need to wait for Housekeeping Week to elevate the energy of your team. Let them know you appreciate them every day.


These are just a few points, but there is so much more on the podcast!


Please listen, and share your feedback and if you enjoy the program, please share with your friends and your associates. Sharing and talking about podcasts with your team is a simple way to develop and inspire your team on a dime.


Of course, if you want personal attention and a customized plan on how to implement a Reputation Cultivation Program for your hotel or business, please feel free to contact me or set up a free reputation assessment for your hotel here: https://calendly.com/adele-gutman/free-reputation-assessment



Thank you so much to our new sponsor Guest Chat.


If you still haven’t made the move to provide automated assistance for your team to answer common questions and reservation inquiries, now is the time. Thanks to our new sponsor, Guest Chat, you can easily and affordably bring chat box automation to your hotel now.


My friends at Guest Chat are offering a 90-day free trial with no contract or obligation. Just visit https://www.guestchat.com/adele and you can enjoy that free, no obligation 90-day trial.



I am looking forward to hearing from you about how the service at Guest Chat impacts your staff, your revenue, and your guest review scores.


Have a great week and keep reaching for the Stars!








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