Crying the hotel blues here in Tupelo

Motel Blues
Motel Blues

Question: Should I even bother with cleaning hotels?

Steve’s solution: IF you are very clear on your expectations, can make a profit and have nothing better to do- why not!

Hey Steve, I had a hotel call me about pricing. But they always want to get you in and try and talk you down to nothing. Tomorrow a local hotel wants a quote. 30 singles and 18 doubles. So Steve, can you give me some guidance here?

Thanks a lot,
Frustrated here in Tupelo

Hey Tupelo,
Just figure out how much you need to make per hour and divide this by the estimated number of rooms you can produce per hour. Add in something for Mr. Murphy and voila! … you have your price per room.

I feel your pain on wanting to find someone who appreciates and is willing to pay for quality. But remember, most hotel managers think of carpet cleaning as a commodity. Change their thinking (if you really want the job) by letting them pick their dirtiest, filthiest room (maybe one done by a competitor) and you’ll clean it free of charge. This will set you apart from the crowd.

Remember too that a lot of our profit was found in specifying the logistics of the situation. Here are some ideas that helped me …

1. Be extremely firm that the hotel MUST block off a section of rooms. They cannot rent these rooms the night before. (“Stay-overs” and late check-outs will destroy your production.) We put a minimum of 20 rooms, side by side if they wanted low pricing and charged a penalty if we had to go back later due to a late check-out.

2. The “advance employee” on our crew would stack the light furniture (chairs, tables, trash cans) on the bed or put them in the restroom. They would also pre-spray.

3. The cleaning wand person would clean all open areas. The advance worker would be available to help move hoses from open room to the next. Obviously for this to work for you the wand needs to keep moving. (If the rooms were trashed we would use the RX-20 for a 20-30% upcharge.)

4. The advance worker would lightly groom out the completed room but leave the furniture stacked for the motel employees to put down later.

We found we could average six to eight rooms per hour with this approach. (Calculate your production time and costs with this form.) Not the funnest work, Tupelo, but if you are slow it beats waiting around for the phone to ring.
Hope this helps,


PS Remember I am not promoting hotel cleaning. If the numbers don’t work for you then don’t do it. But also don’t lose out on a profit opportunity by being snooty on the per room or per square foot price. All I cared about was two things:

a) Could I “make my number” per hour on the job?

b) Was I going to miss out on anything else more profitable by tying up my equipment and people on this work?

Assuming these two questions worked for me I would take the job, especially if there was no more profitable work available at that time! (Oh, I also wanted a reasonable certainty of their check clearing!)

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