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The Caterer

Head housekeeper

27 April 2005
Head housekeeper

What does this job involve?

  • Supervising and training staff. This includes planning staff rotas. In a large hotel, you will have supervisors to control the work of room attendants, and probably linen-room staff and someone to issue the cleaning supplies.
  • Dealing with the suppliers of linen, cleaning materials and guest supplies such as sachets of tea and coffee, soap and shampoo
  • Stock-taking
  • Managing budgets and other paperwork including maintenance reports, room check sheets and safety audits
  • Liaising closely with other heads of department and the general manager. Good relations with reception staff are crucial, so that they know when rooms are ready and you know when rooms can be serviced, and which rooms are taken by departures, arrivals or VIPs, or have special requirements. Maintenance is another department that you need to work closely with, so that repairs are carried out promptly and rooms are kept in good order.
  • You will be closely involved with renovations and new developments, working with architects, interior designers and other specialists.
  • Checking that high standards of cleanliness are maintained, rooms are correctly serviced, and equipment kept in a safe condition (for guests and staff). Some cleaning materials are hazardous, and it is your responsibility to ensure that staff are trained to use them safely. Health, safety (including fire safety) and security will be ongoing concerns.
  • Lost property may be handed to you for safekeeping until it can be returned to the owner.

What skills and attributes do I need?

  • Organisation skills
  • People-management skills
  • Budgeting skills
  • Attention to detail
  • High standards of cleanliness
  • Administration skills

How can I get this job?

Often, the head housekeeper will have worked as a housekeeper for a while to ensure they have a though understanding of the job. Larger employers will have training available.

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