• Stephan Busch

The Chief Housekeeper is dead! Hotels & Housekeeping – How cheap will it get?


How much did we fear the Chief Housekeeper – how much did we hate her when we were Apprentice in a five star hotel! She saw everything, she was everywhere and only the thought that she might be approaching made you automatically start cleaning something. Anything – and if it was the button on your uniform - just don’t let her find you standing idle around.

She is gone!

She is gone! And you can see it! After all my years as General Manager and today also training Housekeeping teams – I miss her! When she was around the house was clean, you could not only see it but smell it too. Now you can see that she is gone. In some places you can unfortunately also smell it.

Owners don’t care!

What always surprises me is that most owners seem to care so little about their places. They buy marble and golden water taps so it looks good for the opening alone – so it seems. After that they want more profit a higher return on investment and don’t care if everything gets dirty. Some places up to the point when you don’t want to stay anymore.

Managers have to make career – a little dust won’t stop them

Hotel companies and chains – the budget is more important. Outsourced staff, Chief Housekeepers as cheap as possible will have to do so the manager looks good. When he leaves after his two year term the next manager will cut more as he has to look better.

Protect the environment? Really?

And than we start protected the environment! Throw your towels on the floor or we will not change them is the classic one. Half asleep as I am in the morning I hang them as I do at home everyday. Who throws towels on the floor? Most people don’t. Saves cost for the owners too. Housekeeping as an option only is the next one - to save detergent and protect the environment – sure - most hotels require you to hang this sign out in the evening that you don’t want housekeeping – you little Angel. This way its early enough so they can order less staff from the outsourced company for the next morning.

And as one CEO pointed out that he cancelled turn down service only to protect your privacy and not to disturb you. Next he properly also save on the printing cost for the “Do not disturb” sign. His hotel chain will soon be a turn down by itself.

Some secret places still exist

I am always relieved that there are some places were the real Chief Housekeeper still exists. Mostly private hotels or companies that understand that investment in staff delivers a better bottom line than listening to inexperienced managers who just need to shine shortly to reach the next step on their career. A Manager should make his team shine ! At the end the house will shine. And even though I couldn’t care less – at the end the owner will shine too.

I wish we could let the good old “Governante” shine again!

© 2017 by Stephan Busch