Running a hotel cannot be done without outsourcing essential services, and the need for this has spawned a whole new industry that is dedicated to keeping the hotel running as it should. The hotel industry demands a high level of service, and for many small hotels, this means outsourcing. Buildings require regular maintenance, as does kitchen equipment, not to mention heating and hot water systems, which work round the clock. The range of external services are many, and most, if not all hotels will require at least some of these essential services.
A hotel must have a constant supply of clean linen, which would typically include the following:
- Table cloths
- Kitchen wear
To maintain a supply of ready to use linen is a major job in itself, and many hotels would outsource this to a linen hire company. The contract would include the rental of all necessary linen products, and these would be changed and replaced with clean sets as required. If you are based in the UK, there are online companies that specialise in local linen hire delivery, and this service will eliminate a major headache, and ensure that all is well in that department. Research shows that guests pay particular attention to bed linen and towels, and with top quality cotton, your rooms will always be ready for occupation and will give your guests the right impression.
This is one area you cannot afford to overlook. Heavy duty commercial appliances are very expensive and are designed to give many years of service, providing they are well-maintained, so it makes sense to hire a contractor to take on this responsibility. Maintenance schedules will be fitted in whenever the kitchen is not being used, which would normally be in the early hours of the morning, and if any machine needs repairing, it would be carried out on site. The food and beverage manager would be ultimately responsible for arranging this, and his or her experience would make them understand the need for a reliable service that will ensure fast repairs to any appliances.
Heating and Hot Water Systems
All hotels rely heavily on both systems, along with air-conditioning at certain times of the year, and the systems require regular attention if they are to perform efficiently. Again, this would be something that the hotel manager outsources, and would more than likely fall to the company that initially installed the system.
Hotel security needs to be of a high level for obvious reasons, and while large establishments might directly employ their security staff, most smaller hotels would outsource this to a reputable local security company, as it is more cost-effective. An established security company could provide 24 hour cover, and with a regular team, the hotel staff would soon become acquainted. The door staff and receptionists would most likely be directly employed, having graduated from an appropriate hotel management school, and depending on the size, might have an assistant manager and several floor managers. The security team would be responsible for scanning and being present without drawing attention. There would be someone who patrols the grounds at night, and with a modern CCTV system installed, one person can effectively monitor a small hotel with grounds. When the hotel outsources their security, they will deal with a company that specialises in hotel security, as this is very different from standard surveillance. The fact that you have guests milling around at all times, makes it a more challenging task to maintain a level of security, but by using the latest technology, the process does not affect the guests in any way.
While most hotels employ full time staff directly, they would undoubtedly use a recruitment service to source the ideal candidate, and it would be one that specialises in the hospitality industry. There are many instances when extra help is required, and this would also be the role of the recruiter, as they would supply temporary labour. This organisation is vital for the hotel, as seasonal fluctuations can demand all hands on deck, and if the hotel is connected with tourism in any way, there would be a high and a low season, and staff rotas need to revolve around this. If the hotel needs to fill a managerial position, the recruitment company would headhunt the right candidate, and with cover for sick and absent employees, the hotel manager can feel confident of sufficient manpower at all times. Click here for further reading on the benefits of using a recruitment agency.
While a 5 star hotel would have their own maintenance team, a smaller establishment would usually outsource building maintenance. Local authority requires hotels and restaurants to have regular building inspections, and with strict fire prevention and emergency exit inspections, a hotel has no choice but to adhere to the rules. Apart from the safety issue, it makes sense to maintain the external and internal appearance of the hotel, and in the event of a major renovation, a specialist contractor would be called in, who are the experts at refitting hotels.
Often a small hotel does not have a fleet of vehicles to collect their guests, but they will always have a connection with a limousine company that can supply a range of vehicles with a driver. Free pick up and drop off is frequently used to encourage people to stay, and for regular guests, this service would be complimentary. The hotel might also have a deal with a reputable taxi company, as this is an essential service of you want your guests to have a level of convenience, and most hotels would have a cab outside the door in a few minutes. Providing hi-end transport would be a frequent occurrence for a large hotel, and chauffeur driven limousines can easily be arranged, and are often complimentary to VIP guests.
A hotel requires an army of services in order to provide and maintain a level of service, and with the right choices, the hotel management can delegate much of their work to third party companies, and focus on customer service.