Managing Increased Cleaning costs in a Covid-19 Operation

Top 4 tips to manage additional labour and materials expenses

With safety and cleanliness at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and recent researching suggesting that enhanced cleaning standards will cost the hotel industry around £7 Billion, it is having a significant impact on everyone’s operational and labour costs. This is of course exacerbated by the reduction in room rate and occupancy levels for hotels and a decrease in the number of covers for restaurants, pubs and bars.


So what can we do to mitigate these increased costs?

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1. Ensure you are Using the Correct Chemical for the Task

The increased demand for chemicals and PPE has had a direct impact on both availability and cost, so here are a few points that you may need to consider:

  • Check the measures when making up the spray bottles.
  • Use the correct volume of chemical for the task.
  • Use the best chemical for the job at hand. When deciding on the chemical to use check that it is suitable for the surface that it is cleaning.  A public area cleaner needs to be less abrasive than a kitchen cleaner and using the wrong chemical could damage equipment and surfaces leading to additional costs in the long run.

2. Time to Review the Chemical Deal?

The chemicals you used prior to the pandemic may not be the best option now, so a review of these with the chemical provider would be a good idea. It is also an opportune time to ensure that your rebate or pricing deal is as competitive as possible.

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3. Increased Payroll Costs

The additional time that it takes to clean a departure room, or a recently vacated table will have a direct impact on your labour ratio and EBITDA. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, but these costs can be mitigated by having the right team working at the right time. To help you manage this you could:

  • Time how long it takes to complete the new standard to clean rooms/public areas and adjust the daily number of rooms allocated per housekeeping team member.
  • Review your traditional rota shifts to explore if these patterns fit with your new business levels.
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4. Reporting on the Increased Costs

While it is expected that cleaning costs will increase in the present climate, it is important to understand what those costs are so that the impact can be offset in other areas of the business, where possible. Inventory management and productivity tools will really assist in this. A key statistic that will highlight the increase in costs is the cost per occupied room and the cost per cover. These should be compared year on year.

If you want to find out how Fourth can help you manage these increased costs, check out our Workforce Planning and Inventory and Analytics solution.

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