Outsourcing Housekeeping Services With Jani-King Makes Sense – and Cents
Jani-King Hospitality Services Case Study
Discover why Peacock Suites in Anaheim, CA tapped the services of this commercial cleaning specialist and their path to smoother housekeeping operations and financial success
Introduction – Cleanliness Counts
The importance of hotel cleanliness is serious business. It’s one of the leading factors guests consider when researching and booking a stay (and is often based on online reviews or past experience); it builds strong customer loyalty and positive word of mouth – and hopefully that praise is shared via the influential platform of social media; and it drives repeat business, making it a crucial path to decreasing vacancies and boosting profitability.
Hoteliers should expect the “white glove test” from guests every time they enter a property. Whether they are staying at a hotel for business or leisure, customers bring more than just luggage and smart phones. They carry exceedingly high expectations for cleanliness – and not just for the guest room but in every inch and every corner of every space throughout the building and grounds. Expect the scrutiny.
Achieving excellence in cleanliness levels is increasingly rising to the top of the priority list for hotel management and staff, regardless of property size, brand or location. Recognizing the magnitude of cleanliness’ impact on guest satisfaction and the bottom line, Peacock Suites in Anaheim, CA, revamped its housekeeping operation by partnering with Jani-King, the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company.
Featuring 137 one- and two-bedroom suite accommodations, Peacock Suites in Anaheim, CA is located within walking distance of Disneyland Park and the Anaheim Convention Center as well as minutes from Knott’s Berry Farm. The hotel’s core market encompasses families, leisure vacationers and business travelers. Peacock Suites is part of the Shell Vacations Hospitality collection.
Several years ago, the all-suite property realized that during peak occupancy levels (hovering near 100%), it needed additional housekeeping staff members in order to more successfully clean accommodations and deliver on its promise of doing everything to avoid one of its three cardinal sins – anything that negatively impacts cleanliness.
In consideration of the time to source and train housekeeping associates themselves, plus keeping costs in mind, Peacock Suites began working with Jani-King in 2013 by supplementing its internal housekeeping department with Jani-King associates. Headquartered in Addison, TX, Jani-King has more than 120 support offices in 14 countries. Through a global network of over 9,000 franchisees, Jani-King delivers a superior commercial cleaning program to a wide range of customer locations including office buildings, hospitals, hotels, sporting venues, universities, restaurants, manufacturing facilities and more.
From Bolstering Staff to Managing the Department
The hotel had explored other companies, but decided on aligning with Jani-King for several key reasons:
- Ease of working with the owner of the local franchise location
- Jani-King’s reputation as a leader in commercial cleaning services for the hospitality industry
- The seamless integration of Jani-King-trained associates into the framework of the Peacock team
- Costs that made sense on the hotel’s bottom line – additional staff to flawlessly execute job performance without straining budgets
After 2 years and excellent results, Peacock Suites sought to expand its relationship with Jani-King. What began as outsourcing supplemental staff evolved into something much larger; it grew to where Jani-King now manages Peacock Suites’ entire housekeeping operation. Jani-King offers complete housekeeping solutions that are customized to a hotel’s individual needs, so for Peacock Suites this meant the company handling the recruitment and training of housekeeping staff, and ensuring impeccable execution of job responsibilities, but with a high level of accountability to Peacock’s management team, allowing them to maintain control.
Retaining & Training Staff
When it was decided that Jani-King would manage the complete Peacock Suites’ housekeeping operation, the hotel’s entire housekeeping staff of 12 was absorbed into the Jani-King workforce.
“Ultimately, we decided it was much more effective to manage our housekeeping department by working with Jani-King,” explained Abdul Abou Shadi, general manager of Peacock Suites. “We could’ve struggled with training new hires, but we experienced a tremendous labor benefit to outsourcing. And, by retaining our workforce, this was a good middle ground on both the business and human sides without any sacrifice to the guest experience as well as showcasing the value we have for our employees.”
Peacock’s former housekeeping team was trained to Jani-King’s standards, receiving specialized instruction on the complex process of safely cleansing and sanitizing all corners of a hotel. Concerns about how utilizing an outsourcing agency to manage the department would dilute a hotel brand promise were quickly dispelled. Jani-King incorporated property-specific standards into the training process, so the essence of the hotel wasn’t compromised.
Jani-King also ensured that the housekeeping team understood the key role they play in a hotel’s profitability by providing clean spaces for valued guests to conduct their business and leisure activities. Ultimately, outsourcing the training and department management to Jani-King provided a cost-effective way for Peacock to triumph with housekeeping education and procedures.
Seamlessly Transitioning to One Big Family
The transition from Peacock maintaining an internal housekeeping department to outsourcing to Jani-King was seamless thanks to the highest levels of professionalism. Employee morale remained high because no jobs were lost, plus the team was buoyed by the new energy Jani-King injected into the operation.
Peacock Suites made sure that the Jani-King housekeeping manager and associates (consisting of 25-30 staffers although numbers fluctuate during peak periods) were not treated as separate or temporary members of the team. “The Jani-King-managed housekeeping department operates like a regular internal department allowing our hotel to function as a single team,” shared Shadi. “Jani-King has become indispensable to us. They feel like our own in-house department. Truly like part of the family.”
The relationship works due to shared responsibility. Housekeeping associates wear Jani-King uniforms and are expected to achieve excellence as they cleanse the 137-suite property because they realize that their job performance impacts guest satisfaction. Peacock Suites purchases and maintains equipment (such as washers, dryers, vacuums, carts, bed linens and more) so the housekeeping associates can effectively and efficiently execute their work responsibilities. As a result, a culture has been created where housekeeping employees thrive and professional loyalty is deepened.
Powered by Franchises That Have Your Back
A key reason the relationship between Peacock Suites and Jani-King has been successful is due to the quality and professionalism of the local Jani-King franchise owner. “We have a great connection and frequent communication with the franchise owner,” said Shadi. “He is involved at key hotel meetings and has a real interest in our success.”
When outsourcing measures are put into action, there is sometimes a concern about diminished excellence, but that was not the case for Peacock Suites, which confidently added Jani-King to the mix without any reduced service quality. Jani-King franchise owners who recognize – and appreciate – that hoteliers rely on them for performing cleaning services, utilizing housekeeping staff either temporarily or long-term, and training employees are best poised for success, whether a hotel’s housekeeping operation remains internal and or is fully managed by Jani-King.
Jani-King provides exceptional support to their franchises from the regional office and corporate hospitality division so that they can provide unrivaled service on-property. Franchises have a vested interest in ensuring that all services run seamlessly in order to safeguard the relationships they’ve developed with current hoteliers, and ultimately to grow their business.
Eliminating Concerns of Maintaining Control
According to Peacock Suites, there is a misconception that outsourcing equates to lack of control. “Partnering with Jani-King has unquestionably been a smart business decision that allows us to retain control and outsource housekeeping to a specialized workforce and franchise owners who take their business seriously,” said Shadi. “Quality control on our end has improved.”
Shadi explained that he is involved with the housekeeping operation just as if it was an internal department – meaning participation with recruitment, equipment orders, training and more. And, he gives credit for this to excellent communication with the housekeeping manager (installed by Jani-King) and the local franchise owner.
Jani-King’s management of the operation actually resulted in an alleviation of any housekeeping challenges the property would normally have to handle, so hotel management can focus on their responsibilities in achieving the highest levels of guest satisfaction. “I don’t have to worry with Jani-King. In the past, when we were short on housekeeping staff or there were other issues, I’ve had to clean rooms myself because we do what we need to do for our hotel,” noted Shadi. “These days, we inspect the hotel rooms on a daily basis, and we are constantly impressed with the results.”
“If you’re struggling with turnover and having the resources to make your in-house housekeeping department successful,” continued Shadi, “then outsourcing is a smart choice and probably better than your current situation.”
‘Do The Math’ for Labor & Financial Savings
Financial considerations are very real when entering a short- or long-term arrangement with an outsourcing agency, but as Shadi stated, “do the math” because the results far outweigh the costs. Partnering with a leader in the commercial cleaning space means hotels are able to reduce labor costs without sacrificing the all-crucial element of cleanliness for their hotel guests.
Consider this – housekeeping employees comprise nearly two-thirds of the hotel staff roster, which is very impactful when looking at workmen’s compensation and health insurance requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In a hotel, housekeeping generally has the most workman’s compensation claims because it is very physically demanding. Back and neck injuries, respiratory issues, and slips or falls are the short-list of potential employee on-the-job situations. Connecting with Jani-King for housekeeping services has allowed Peacock Suites to reduce the number of claims and loss of work incurred because Jani-King, as the outsourcing agency, has taken over the responsibility of workman’s compensation issues.
Another significant cost issue pertains to the roll-out of acceptable health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Outsourcing means hotels can reduce the benefits they are required to carry under the ACA, and these are costs that Peacock Suites has realized.
“The cost of working with Jani-King makes the convenience worth it,” said Shadi. “There are no hidden charges – no overtime to cover – and the savings on ACA charges and workmen’s compensation claims are significant. Plus, the labor cost is competitive as compared to managing the department in-house.”
A Snapshot of Success
The relationship between Peacock Suites and Jani-King is proof of the financial and operational benefits of working with an outsourcing agency specializing in cleaning hotels. Here is a snapshot of the impressive results.
- Room readiness scores at Peacock Suites have improved to 92% by 4 pm. A more efficient housekeeping operation has been able to better work together with the front desk team to drive a smooth check-in process for guests by communicating in real-time about the status of accommodations. The reduced wait-time before entering accommodations positively impacted guest satisfaction levels and permitted Peacock Suites to optimize room inventory.
- The hotel experienced a 10% decrease in labor costs. Training, workmen’s compensation and health care costs were omitted from the equation for Peacock Suites since they became the financial responsibility of Jani-King. The quality of housekeeping services improved, while Peacock’s costs dropped, and the money saved is applied to other areas of elevating the guest experience.
- Peacock’s room cleanliness scores have trended upward over the last three years. Hotels that establish a smart strategy for improving their housekeeping operation – and reduce costs and bolster excellence – can minimize their worries when guests bring the white glove, the black light or any other way of assessing cleanliness across an entire property. And, this success is reflected in higher room cleanliness scores.
Impeccable service delivery of housekeeping services is paramount to the longevity and success of a hotel. Improving housekeeping operations makes sense and “cents” because it is an undeniable path to increasing profits and deepening customer loyalty.
The three-year partnership between Peacock Suites and Jani-King is a testament to the excellent results that a strategic affiliation between a hotel and a specialty housekeeping outsourcing company can have on a property’s bottom line and guest satisfaction levels. “Jani-King has proven to be synonymous with ease of mind, dependability, lower costs and happier guests,” praised Shadi. “It’s not a risk, but a smart decision that delivers a huge return on a hotel’s investment.”
Hospitality Division Director