Interview with Quality Consultant – Kim Montijo

What differentiates a superb hotel from just an average one – and how can you make sure you fall into the first category (and not the latter)? Here to provide insights and specific examples you can follow is Quality Consultant, Kim Montijo.

Kim has over 20 years of experience in the hotel industry and today she shares what she’s learned about the key factors that make a great hotel and a not-so-great hotel when it comes to cleanliness and the overall condition of the property. Hear that and more on episode 4 of Hospitality Academy!

Essential Learning Points From This Show:

  • What are the most common cleanliness deficiencies Kim sees?
  • A simple yet effective way to clean an iron!
  • How pervasive are poor cleaning methods in hotels?
  • What 3 tools should every housekeeping cart have?
  • This is one thing your maintenance department shouldn’t be without!
  • And so much more!

For most of her career, Kim has been on the operations side of the hospitality industry: she has opened hotels, been a general manager and nearly everything else you can do on the operations end of things.

But for the last few years, she’s been quality consultant charged with visiting 85 to 90 different hotels in the southern Florida region. It’s been a fun switch for her and she’s enjoyed the various challenges and the learning experiences she’s gained along the way. Today she shares some of that knowledge on this show.

The first thing she shares is how quickly she gets a feel for the culture of a hotel. Kim says as soon as she arrives she can get a read on the place. Is there adequate lighting in the parking lot if someone arrives at night? Is the lobby bright and inviting? Is there an odd smell immediately when you enter?

All of those questions pop to mind and are answered within the first few minutes of her arrival, and she has the same impression your guests will have when they arrive.

Also important is how friendly the staff is to her and other arriving guests. Are people greeted in a warm, welcoming way or are they ignored? How employees treat guests is a reflection of upper management, according to Kim. If the owner and the GM are friendly so the staff will be too.

Going beyond the initial impression, cleanliness and overall maintenance of the rooms are two things she focuses on during her visits. These areas leave a lasting impression on your guests, so she gave her best insights on how to make sure maintenance is being done regularly.

The first step is to be certain you have enough staff to handle routine and ongoing maintenance. As a good rule of thumb, Kim says to have one maintenance person for every 60 rooms. If you have suites, however (with more appliances and equipment) you should have more maintenance employees than that.

The next step is to track preventative maintenance and make sure rooms are being checked on regularly, so your guests aren’t coming to you with problems. You want to make preventative maintenance a high priority so your guests have a positive experience staying with you.

A great way to do this is to create an Excel spreadsheet or use a whiteboard. Create five columns: one column for room numbers, one column for quarter 1, a third column for quarter 2, a fourth column for quarter 3 and a final column for quarter 4. Put a date in the column for each room after every check in every quarter. That way your staff knows which rooms need attention, and which have been serviced.

Also on this episode Kim shares which apps are most commonly used in hotels for maintenance communication, the best practices for cleaning certain often overlooked areas of rooms (like irons and glassware), plus her final words of wisdom to keeping your hotel the best place to stay it can be!

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Important Links & Mentions From This Episode:

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