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Key terms used in the hotel Housekeeping department

Housekeeping Status report : A report prepared by the housekeeping department to indicate the current status of each room, based on a physical check.

Preventive maintenance: A systematic approach to maintenance in which situations are identified and corrected on a regular basis. This will help to control costs and keep larger problems from occurring.

Room Status Discrepancy: A situation in which the housekeeping department's description of a room status differs from the room status information at the front desk.

Routine maintenance: Activities related to the general upkeep of the property that occur on a regular basis, This also requires minimal training or skills to perform.

Schedule maintenance: Activities related to the general upkeep of the property that are initiated through a formal work-order.

DND Card: A do not disturb card is hung outside the room to inform hotel staff or visitor that the occupant does not wish to be disturb.

Double Locked (DL): An occupied room in which the deadbolt has been turn to prohibit entry from the corridor. Only a grand master key or an emergency key can open it.

DNCO (Did Not Check Out): The guest made arrangements to settle his or her account (and thus is not a skipper), but has left without informing the front office.

Turn down Service: A Special service provided by the housekeeping department in which a room attendant enters the guest room in the early evening to restock supplies, tidy the room and turn down the covers of the bed.

Deep cleaning: intensive or specialized cleaning undertaken in guest rooms or public areas, often conducted according to a special schedule or on a special project basis.

Area inventory List: A list of all items within a particular area that need cleaning by or attention of housekeeping personal.

Frequency Schedule: A schedule that indicate how often each item on an area to be cleaned or maintained.

Non - Recycled inventories : Those items in stock that are consumed or used up during the course of routine housekeeping operations. Non-recycled inventories including cleaning supplies, small equipment items, guest supplies etc.

Recycled inventories: Those items in stock that have relatively limited useful lives but are sued over and over in housekeeping operations. Eg: Linen, uniforms, major machines etc and guest rentable objects. 

Par Number: A multiple of the standard quantity of a particular inventory item that represents the quantity of the item that must be on hand to support daily routine housekeeping operations.

Floor Par: The quantity of each type of linen that is required to outfit all rooms serviced on that floor.

Master Key: A Key which opens all guest room doors which are not double locked.

Grand Master / Emergency Key: A Key which opens all guest rooms and doors even when they are double locked.

Guest room key: A Key which opens on one guest room when it is not double locked.

Room inspection: A detailed process in which guest rooms are systematically checked for cleanliness and maintenance needs.

Amenity: A service or item offered to guests or placed in guestrooms for convenience and comfort, at no extra cost.

Back of the house: The functional areas of the hotel in which employees have little or no guest contact, such as the engineering and maintenance department, laundry room and so on.

Back to back: Describes a heavy rate of check outs and check ins on the same day, so that as soon as room is made up, a new guest checks into it.

Make up: Servicing of the room while a guest is registered in the room.

On-change: The guest has departed, but the room has not yet been cleaned and readied for re-sale.

Buffing: To smooth the floor with a low speed floor polishing.

Burnishing: Polishing the floor with a high speed floor machine to achieve an extremely high gloss.

Capital budgets: These allocate the use of capital assets that have a life span considerably in excess of one year, these are assets that are not normally used up in day to day operations.

Cleaning supplies: Cleaning agents and small cleaning equipment used in the cleaning of guestrooms and public areas in the hotel.

Luggage rack: A furniture item provided in guestrooms for placing the guest’s luggage on.

Linen chute: A passage in the form of a tunnel for sending soiled linen from the floor pantries of all floors to a central place near the laundry, from where it can be collected by the laundry staff.

Mitering: A method for contouring a sheet or blanket to fit the corner of a mattress in a smooth and neat manner.

Vacant and ready: The room has been cleaned and inspected and is ready for an arriving guest.

Out-of-order: The room cannot be assigned to a guest. A room may be out-of-order for a variety of reasons including the need for maintenance, refurbishing, and extensive cleaning. (Out Of Order Vs Out Of Service )

Lockout: The room has been locked so that the guest cannot re-enter until a hotel official clears him or her.

Hand Caddy:  A portable container for storing and transporting cleaning supplies and equipment.

Check-out:  A room from which the guest has already departed / vacated / checked out.

Due out: A room which the guest is due to checkout that day.

Stayover: The guest is not expected to check out today and will remain at least one more night.

Occupied: A guest is currently registered to the room.

Sleep-out: A guest is registered to the room, but the bed has not been used.

Skipper: The guest has left the hotel without making arrangements to settle his or her account.

Sleeper: The guest has settled his or her account and left the hotel, but the front office staff has failed to properly update the room’s status.

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.