June 30, 2020
Hotel Preventive Maintenance May be Key for Facilities’ Long-Term Health
Hotel preventive maintenance remains a pressing concern – perhaps now more than ever. COVID-19 has been tough for the hospitality industry. For the week ending May 2, hotel occupancy was down 58 percent compared to the same week the year prior. That’s according to research conducted by hospitality analysis firm STR. However, hotels have seen a slight uptick; during that same week in early May, occupancy reached 28.6 percent. While that may not sound like much, STR reports that this figure indicates “’solid evidence’ of a return of leisure demand, led by states that had eased restrictions.”
'Stay Safe' Standardizes Cleaning Procedures
With the spread of the coronavirus, many hotels in the United States have rolled out new guidelines as written by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) in its Safe Stay initiative. The guidelines, which are intended to standardize cleaning procedures throughout the industry and give travelers peace of mind, including such measures as the elimination or limitation of traditional buffet service, no contact delivery for room service, the wearing of PPE by employees, and the cleaning and disinfection of common areas multiple times throughout the day, among other guidelines. Hotels are grappling with questions like how long to leave rooms unoccupied between guest check-ins, how to reconfigure restaurants and bars to adapt to social distancing recommendations and more.
Why Equipment Management Matters Now
The bottom line is that hotel staff have found themselves in a higher-stakes role than before with more responsibilities to juggle. Having to deal with broken or missing equipment or faulty systems would create even more stress for employees and guests alike – and at a time when hotels are doing everything they can to maintain a pleasant guest experience.
One of the smartest decisions the hospitality industry can make now is to invest in technology that keeps their vital equipment running smoothly. While making investments in technology might seem counterintuitive when hotels are bringing in less revenue, the fact is that hotel preventive maintenance can save them money, time and perhaps most important, customers in the long run.
Hotels rely on all sorts of equipment to function – from the front desk reservation system, restaurant kitchens and heating/cooling systems to plumbing, elevators, wifi, electricity, the list goes on and on. It may be tempting to service these assets only when a breakdown occurs, but when you’re in the customer service business, equipment breakdown can lead to customer dissatisfaction, poor reviews and a tarnished reputation.
Now more than ever, hotels need procedures in place to ensure that hotel preventive maintenance is taken care of – so employees can focus on other priorities.
Infraspeak.com recommends the following best practices for better hotel equipment maintenance:
- A formal system for reporting equipment issues that allows employees to submit and check the status of work requests.
- A means for staff who work directly with customers to send feedback to the appropriate member(s) of the management team.
- The ability to track equipment so employees know what they have, what condition those items are in, and where they’re located.
- Improved scheduling to assign checks and, if possible, repairs at times when they don’t cause disruption to guests or staff.