Heart of the House Hospitality Management: Frequently Asked Questions
by Steve Wilson, President and CEO of The Service Companies
Due to a weak economy, hotels, casinos and vacation ownership properties have faced increased pressure to cut costs, as well as the growing number of government imposed hiring regulations.
Heart of the house hospitality management is growing by leaps and bounds across the United States and in the Caribbean. Since the Great Recession started, Steve Wilson is often asked to explain the benefits of heart of the house hospitality management. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions and answers he and his team receive:
- What are the benefits of heart of the house hospitality management?
The greatest benefit is savings in time and money. Heart of the house hospitality management can eliminate the existing hotel management's role in recruiting, background employee checks, drug screening, and training expenses, all saving executive time which can then be focused on sales, marketing and customer service. For employees, it offers the opportunity for more job training and advancement possibilities. Plus, it can eliminate concerns and worries about the ever increasing government and workplace regulation. And finally, it can mean quality assurance. Some companies guarantee certain high levels of quality.
- Can I provide five star service if I don't have my own employees?
Absolutely. Five star hotel and resort companies and independent properties frequently use a heart of the house management company to staff part or all of their service departments. It is critical that the heart of the house hospitality partner understands the culture and quality expectations for the brands and properties in which they serve.
- Are there benefits for employees?
Leading companies offer participation in everything from medical, dental and vision benefits, to short term disability insurance, IRAs, credit unions and discount programs with select suppliers. Plus, there can be opportunities for advancement in this fast growing field as well as training. Benefits vary by company.
- Can I keep my existing employees?
Most companies retain existing staff at their same rate of pay; they just add to existing staff.
- What are cost savings I can anticipate?
Depending on the number of services chosen, savings can be anywhere from several percentage points to up to 20%.
- What services can be outsourced?
Turnkey housekeeping (including vacation ownership and timeshare cleaning), night cleaning, stewarding, window and chandelier cleaning, floor care, kitchen cleaning, casino cleaning, security, landscaping, laundry management and valet parking services.
- Who handles immigration and other governmental regulations? If, in the event of problems, who is liable?
The heart of the house hospitality management company handles all government and workplace checks for everything from drug testing and background checks for immigration and criminal records (e verification) to payroll.
- What services are not customarily handled by heart of the house hospitality management companies?
Front of the house operations such as front office, sales, marketing and accounting.
- How can the heart of the house hospitality management companies achieve these often double digit savings?
Lower vendor prices and economies and efficiencies of scale.
- How do I choose a heart of the house hospitality management company that is best for my needs?
Ask colleagues in the industry for recommendations and then set up interviews with candidates. In addition to reviewing the answers to the above questions, ask about their longevity with existing clients and look at the credentials of the management team and, very importantly, ask a lot of questions about employee background checks and employment verification compliance.
About the author:
Steve Wilson is the President and CEO of The Service Companies (TSC), a one-stop-shop for heart of the house management in the hotel, casino and vacation ownership industries. The 25 year old TSC today serves nearly 400 properties in 40 states, the Caribbean and Mexico with 6000 employees. Before joining TSC, Wilson spent 20 years with Hyatt Hotels including general manager positions at several high-profile domestic properties.