Honest conversations and sharing of knowledge can help to control costs, improve working lives, and…
Behind the scenes at party time
2. Behind the scenes at party time
Just Saying – with Delia Cannings
In the run up to Christmas we were looking forward to events with colleagues, friends and family. For many the ‘works do’ had been an especially missed event for the last couple of years. However, we know in hospitality services this is one of the busiest times of the year and even we can forget the mess we make at parties which will have to be cleaned up by someone, and it is not just in the hospitality sector. For some who clean in retail their celebrations do not start until much later. Plus some businesses and friends leave the main festive season to family events, choosing to meet up later with celebratory weekends away. Big events come round throughout the year.
So, let’s consider:
- Who cleans up after the parties held in our venues? Can so many people be sick in the toilets?
- Who cleans up after the party in the hotel where ‘we’ spilt our wine all over the carpet or the bar? • Who cleans the perimeter areas where someone vomited before making their way home?
- Who cleans the ‘party rooms’, and all the ‘remains’ of the crackers, party poppers and broken decorations strewn across the floor and other surfaces?
- Who cleans the many body spillages and hazardous items?
We need to recognise how much work goes on for cleaning teams. Let’s not be shy, we’re all aware that when some of us ‘party’ we can leave a trail of disaster behind. Once again our ‘army’ of housekeepers come out to repair and restore, while knowing the next celebration is just around the corner. This highlights how important it is that our housekeeping teams are trained in cleaning skills. They must be able to identify surface and soil types and use numerous techniques to restore the environments they’re cleaning.
The amount of waste generated quadruples and it can be anything from paper or food waste to body spillages. The housekeeper has to deal with them all. More time and resources are needed to deal with the waste, and well-trained staff who know how to handle waste and ensure it’s removed safely and ready for collection. Staff also need a good knowledge of manual handling. Let’s not forget potentially dealing with hazardous waste such as sharps and the correct techniques to do this. Such waste cannot simply be discarded in a waste sack.
Hard and Soft Floor Cleaning
Both surfaces can be soiled and littered with debris and become stained and discoloured by adhesive matter and spillages. Party streamers’ colour dye has the potential to bleed into the surface, creating staining and further problems. The weather may impact with grit and salt being trafficked indoors. The increased partaking of party food and drink will see a greater transfer of crumbs, food residues and liquid spillages. Housekeepers need to be skilled on how to clean different floor surfaces and this is not just about vacuuming. Knowing the techniques for scrubbing hard floor surfaces and safe removal of stains is crucial. With wooden floors alcohol can act as a thinner and remove the polish. Carpets that have spillages will need spot cleaning to remove stains, but it may also require that the carpet receives a detailed clean. Techniques that will require time and skill as housekeepers aim to return environments to their original condition.
Upholstered items in reception, entrance areas and bedroom areas may also require attention. Ideally, these should be dealt with promptly. This often means we need a team on standby to handle these incidents quickly and effectively, especially in our front of house services.
Removal of Body Spillages
This is not limited to the bathroom area and staff need to know how to remove these spillages from various surfaces and receptacles to ensure they do not cross contaminate. They also need to know how to keep themselves safe when dealing with body spillages. The correct equipment and materials are essential when faced with numerous spillages in various environments.
Also consider the perimeter areas of our venues, which often see an increase in spillages – hazardous items and discarded cigarette ends. All needs to be removed – ready for the next event. We must consider that fuelled by alcohol the need to pass water is increased and the misuse of car park and perimeter areas can be problematic. This area cannot be overlooked.
On the way home!
So, whilst having enjoyed the celebrations think of the operatives who worked long after we have celebrated. A big ‘Thank You’ to our ‘silent army’. Wishing them all health, happiness and prosperity for 2023.