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September 23, 2020

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Housekeeping Strategies for a Changing Industry

Housekeeper Holding Stack of White Towels

Housekeeping staff are some of the hardest working individuals in the industry, and their service and dedication significantly impacts the quality of the guest experience. And yet for housekeeping managers, dealing with turnover and helping the team stay energized can be a challenge. There are also a tremendous number of details for housekeeping to address on a daily basis, from inventory checks and addressing par levels to meeting with the laundry and front-office teams, and time is always of the essence.

Even as the travel industry continues to rebound, additional cleanliness precautions and new hotel protocols related to COVID-19 may also add extra time to guest room make-up, heightening the need for hoteliers and their housekeeping teams to create efficiencies wherever possible.

Discover how Kentucky’s largest hotel is managing COVID protocols

From a hotel management perspective, every minute of housekeeping time per room adds cost, and depending on the size and scope of the property, one minute may cost upwards of $1.5 million annually.

Addressing Hospitality Industry Changes

As a recent panel of hospitality insiders noted, the housekeeping process requires increased complexity as a result of COVID-19. Staff may have new cleaning measures in place on top of standard room cleaning and make-up requirements.

Thoughtful, proactive steps to help increase housekeeping efficiency while also removing some of the physical and mental burdens on the housekeeping staff can result in significant operational savings and a more engaged team.

Taking OneSTEP® for Greater Efficiency & Savings

Standard Textile’s OneSTEP® (One Solution to Enhance Productivity) system was created with housekeeping teams in mind. We recognized that the experience of making guest beds and refreshing the bath linens could be simplified. While each OneSTEP® solution offers a unique set of benefits, when combined they offer housekeepers and laundry professionals tools to shorten processing and room make-up time.

Streamlining Sheeting for Hotels

Showcases balanced hems for hotel sheets OneSTEP program

Balanced hems eliminate the need to distinguish the top of the sheet versus the bottom.

As we all know from making beds at home, it can be tricky to tell the difference between the top of the sheet and the bottom. With our bi-directional fabrication, we’ve designed matching two-inch
hems for both the top and bottom of the sheets—avoiding all of that frustrating twisting, turning and repositioning. Housekeeping can simply place the sheets on the beds directly from the laundry’s folding process, using either end as the top. Simple as that!

It can also be tough to identify the center of a sheet when making a bed. To achieve a clean, crisp, balanced look, a housekeeper may have to walk from one side of the bed to the other several times to ensure that the sheet is centered. We created Center-Lock Labels that position the product label precisely in the middle of the sheet’s hem. All to help room attendants easily find the center point for easier bed make-up.

Color coded thread identifies the sheet size.

Color-coded thread identifies the size of the hotel sheet.

And sometime the best ideas are the most straightforward: color-coding. EZ ID® size identification uses a different color for each sheet size so that housekeeping can quickly grab what they need. Our patented EZ ID® solution provides fully integrated color-coding of the selvage yarns running down the side of the entire sheet, making it clear what size each item is without compromising anything about the feel or appearance of the linen itself.

Plus, color-coding breaks through language barriers, and can help simplify and improve inventory management.

Simplifying Terry for Hotels

Color-coded labels indicate the weight of a towel.

Avoid confusion over towel weight with color-coded labels.

EZ ID® color-coding for terry products also enables staff to easily identify towel weights by a distinct color bar on the sew-in label.

One of the biggest frustrations for managing a hotel’s towel supply is unnecessary damage and wear to the product. Our dimensionally stabilized dobby borders will maintain the shape and form you expect from a towel by eliminating the unsightly hour-glass effect normally associated with processing terry products at high temperatures. OneSTEP® terry is constructed with a proprietary, high-density, multi-layer fast selvage. Product strength and appearance is significantly improved when compared to traditional construction, resulting in fewer discards and decreased re-order rates.

Housekeeping managers don’t have to worry about the quality or appearance of the towels on their team’s carts.

Demonstrating the square corner weave of a white towel.

Square-cornered wash cloths hold up better over time.

Additionally, our wash towels are woven just as if they were miniature towels. Square-cornered wash cloths are designed to eliminate “whiskering,” extend service life and enhance your guests’ satisfaction.

Room Ready – From Box to Bed

Room Ready for You® Laundered with Tide® is a signature, exclusive service from Standard Textile, in which sheets and towels come pre-washed and laundered, immediately ready for guestroom use.

“Because we wash the product for the first time as part of the manufacturing process, we are able to wash 60% more efficiently than if a hotel washed the product themselves,” shared Standard Textile’s Greg Eubanks in an interview with Hotel Business. “Once a towel or sheet is woven, we have to wet the product in order to finish it, so while it’s already wet, we go ahead and wash it in Tide. This allows the hotel to skip the first wash cycle and rewetting the product.”

Housekeeping teams know that Room Ready for You® linens are clean, fresh, and ready to be placed directly into the room. And hoteliers bypass the time, labor, and additional costs of up-front processing.

Supporting Housekeeping Teams

Housekeepers, room attendants, and custodial staff are dedicated to keeping hotel guests safe and happy. As the industry continues to navigate through the challenges of the pandemic, supporting these essential team members is critically important. To discuss incorporating OneSTEP® strategies at your property, please contact a member of our team.