High Season in South Africa – Holiday for Some, Hard Work for Others

December 2018 has come and gone and we find ourselves in January 2019. This however does not mean the end of the holiday period in South Africa.

Maalikah Reciet, Business Development Manager of Cleaning at Servest, shares her insights on working as a partner to the hospitality industry.

December 2018 has come and gone and we find ourselves in January 2019. This however does not mean the end of the holiday period in South Africa. As such, many South Africans, as well as tourists from across the world, will be making their way to different parts of our country. Hotels are usually at full capacity during peak season and service is the order of the day, just as it is in any other part of the world where tourists flock to for their annual holiday break.

During this time, hotel rooms are in high demand, all the time, for earlier check-ins. As a partner to the hospitality industry, Servest collaborates with its clients to find innovative and effective solutions to ease the pressures during the busy season. Maalikah says, “As a service delivery agent, we motivate and reward our colleagues to do their best in the time they are given, with the least amount of disruption to our clients.” At this time of year, the industry is under even more pressure than usual, and any mistake from service providers reflects negatively on the image of our client’s brands, a responsibility that Servest takes extremely seriously.

As the end user, this being the hotel management, it often costs them in having to provide their guests with gratis products, food and favours, if a room is not ready on time. This inter-dependent cycle of turning over rooms, is an economic model in its own and can make or break the reputation of a locale. Having a dependable cleaning team, is therefore as important as any other component of the hotel’s offerings.

This brings to mind the in-sourcing versus outsourcing debate, with the latter still being favoured, particularly in the hospitality environment, as it is much more cost effective when you do the maths with respect to HR matters, uniforms, cleaning equipment and products; as well as the daily management of the function. “We often have hotels who have in-sourced employees, request additional workers because members of their employees have gone on leave. The outsource model therefore works particularly well, as it makes for limited interruptions with relief colleagues always being just a phone call away. Furthermore, the added benefit of Servest’s colleagues’ staffing requirements and its service level agreements with its customers, Servest works hand in hand with its clients to find the best solutions, to ensure the best possible guest experience at all times.”, says Maalikah.

In terms of the productivity pattern, Servest with its years of experience, concludes that it takes a person approximately 27 minutes to clean a room, as a guest however you will be expected to wait many hours before you can take occupation of your room. The reason for this is, the rooms all have to be checked by duty managers to ensure that it is clean and hygienic, in accordance with the brand’s standards. Thankfully, this may soon be a thing of the past.

As leaders in innovation, Servest will be investing in an industry APP that allow colleagues to log that the room has been cleaned and checked, which in turn will notify the hotel’s front desk to put the room back into the system, thus bumping up productivity for all concerned. Similarly, should here be a problem in a room, found by the room checker, the responsible room attendant will be notified of the nature of the problem and the room’s exact location. This allows for less wasted time with colleagues wandering around, looking for the room which they need to remedy. In considering the ease of doing business in the hospitality industry, Servest’s standards, technology and more importantly, their people, work together to make the service offering to its clients, a non-issue and for the client’s guests, a pleasurable experience, at a time when they need it most.

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