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Housekeeping Terminology

Mini bar – A fixture in modern guestrooms, this is a miniature refrigerator stocked with juices, liquor, and snack for the convenience of guests.

Murphy bed – This refers to a bed that folds up into the walls and looks like a bookshelf or cupboard when folded away, being named for a leading manufacturer of such beds. It may also be called a Sico bed ( after another leading manufacturer of foldaway or wall beds )

Nightstand – A nightstand is a small stand or cabinet designed to stand beside a bed or elsewhere in a bedroom, as a place to put anything likely to be required during the night; also called night table.

Operating Budgets – These forecast the expense and revenues for the routine operations of the hotel during a certain period.

Operating expenses – Those cost that the hotel incurs in order to generate revenue in the normal course of doing business.

Operating supplies – The items essential to day-to- day housekeeping operations, including guest supplies and cleaning supplies.

OOO – Out of Order is the status of a guestroom that is not rentable because it is being repaired or redecorated.

OPL – On premises laundry. An in house area in the hotel where linen and uniforms are washed, dry-cleaned and pressed.

On change room – A room in need of housekeeping service before it can be registered to an arriving guest.

Open section – A group of rooms that is not part of a room section for cleaning purposes.

Porch – A covered approach to the entrance of a building.

Pat stock / par number – A multiple of the standard quantity of a particular inventory item that must be on hand to support daily, routine housekeeping operations.

Par level – The standard number of each inventoried item that must be in hand to support daily, routine housekeeping operations.

Performance standards – The quality level that employees’ performance is required to meet.

Productivity standards – The quantity of work expected to be completed by each department employee.

Pre-Opening Budgets – These budget allocate resources for opening parties, advertising, initial generation of goodwill, liaisons and PR. Pre-opening budgets also include the initial costs of employees’ salaries and wages, supplies, crockery, cutlery and other such items.

Pick up rooms – Rooms from the open section assigned to different GRAs to balance out the workload.

Queen size bed – A queen size bed has the dimensions 5 ft 6 in x 6 ft 6 in.

Room assignment sheets – The room assignment sheet indicates the rooms that the particular GRA has to service, giving their status as indicates in the daily work report. The sheet also lists any pick up rooms that the GRA has to service, apart from the rooms in his/her section.

Room status discrepancy – A situation in which the housekeeping department’s description of a room’s status differs from the room status information with the front office.

Room status report – A report that allows the housekeeping department to identify the occupancy or condition of the property’s rooms. It is generated daily through a two-way communication between housekeeping and front office.

Refurbish – To give a new look to a room by re-docarating, renewing soft furnishings, and possibly changing the carpet and touching up the furniture.

Room section – A group of 15-16 guestrooms reasonably contiguous to each other.

Runners – In this context, lengths of matting made of synthetic or natural fibres, placed at entrances to prevent dirt and dust from entering the building. ( Another use of the term runner in housekeeping is for a person who is charged with the duty of conveying orders from housekeeping department to the staff on guest floor ).

Safety stock level – The number of purchase unit that must always be on hand in case of emergencies, damages, delays in delivery and so on.

Service directory – This is a booklet in which the services offered to guests by the hotel are listed, along with the intercom numbers to reach the relevant departments.

Skipper – A room status that indicates the guest has left the hotel without making arrangements to settle his/her account.

Sleeper – A room status means that the guest has settle his/her account and left the hotel but the front office staff have failed to update the room status.

Studio bed – this is dual purpose bed that is used as divan in the daytime and converts into a bed in the night after the removal of bolsters and covers.

Swab cloth – A soft, absorbent cleaning cloth used for wet cleaning work, such as for wash basin, baths, and so on.

Sani-bin – These are small metal or plastic containers with lids, kept in toilets for collection of soiled sanitary towels.

Surveillance equipment – Equipment such as CCTVs ( Closet circuit televisions ) that help to closely observe suspicious activities and persons.

Scanty baggage – A room status indicating a room assigned to guest with small, light and few pieces of luggage that could be carried away without obviously indicating a departure, should a guest walk out with them.

Soft water – Water in which the level of dissolved calcium and/or magnesium is below 60 ppm.

Soiled linen – Dirty and stained linen that required laundering.

Spotting – The specialized function of stain removal carried out by skilled personal called spotters, using appropriate equipment and stain-removal agents.

Stain – A spot or discoloration left on fabrics from contact with and absorption of foreign substances.

Sorting – The process of separating soiled linen into different categories: those requiring dry-cleaning and those that should be laundered under different conditions, such as whites and colored. In other words, sorting is governed construction and the amount and kind of soil.

Stock taking – The physical verification of inventory items by counting up stocks of all items at periodic intervals. Stock taking is also termed “ conducting inventory “.

SWB – Salaries, Wages and Benefit.

Timeshares – vacation interval hotels. These involve individuals purchasing the ownership of accommodations for a specific period of time, usually one or two weeks a year. These owner then can occupy the unit during that time. Owner may also have the unit rented out by the management company that operates the hotel.

Tent cards – Hotel publicity cards in the shape of tents placed in guestrooms.

Terrazzo – Flooring which consists of marble, granite and other decorative chips set in cement.

Turn down service – A special service provided by the housekeeping department in which a room attendant enters the guestroom early in the evening to re stock supplies , tidy the room and turn down the covers on the bed in preparation for the night.

Tooth glass – A glass placed on the vanity unit as a guest supply and used for gargling or to keep the guest’s toothbrush, dentures, or other similar items in.

Water closet – Sanitary fitting consisting of the toilet bowl and the cistern.

Vanity area – A unit comprising a wash basin and mirror, surrounded by flat area where soap, dental kits, saving kits, and tooth glasses are kept.

Vacant – The status of a room in which no guest has slept the previous night and which is not yet occupied.

Wi-fi – Wireless fidelity. This is an amenity provided nowadays by world class hotels. Wi fi enables guests to access a wide range of information, applications, and computing resources without connectivity problem.

Zero base budgeting – Zero base budgeting refers to hiring employees while taking into account the actual occupancy for a specified period of time.

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