Accommodation and other travel establishments are split between two different seasons of travel among visitors. For those whose businesses turn quiet in December, there is often a flurry ahead of this time as business travelers and conferences squeeze in meetings and events in the final weeks before the schools break up. This often applies particularly to inland areas, especially Gauteng. Coastal establishments, on the other hand, are bracing themselves for the summer holiday rush.
Either way, you will need to be stocked up, staffed up, and spruced up to deliver service with a smile. This practical countdown check will help you manage the risk of injuries, or just frustration to guests, and get you off to a good start …
1. Brighten up: Examine every guest area for chipped or scuffed paintwork, stained carpets, rugs or sofas, and tatty curtains or broken blinds. Clean, repair or replace whatever you can.
2. Power up: Make sure every plug fitting works, every light fitting has a functioning light bulb, and that you have a good stock of spare bulbs.
3. Check the facilities: Test en-suite and general guest facilities to make sure baths, basins and toilets are not leaking, wobbly or missing items such as plugs, toilet seats or towel rails.
4. Smooth going: Make sure carpets, rugs or missing or lifted tiles are not a threat to guests stumbling or slipping.
5. Ready for action: By law, you should have a basic first-aid kit for employees. Make sure this is fully stocked and that the contents have not expired. Consider putting together a first-aid kit to keep in the reception area in case guests need, for example, antihistamine cream for insect bites or disinfectant and sticking plaster for cuts or blisters. Discuss what you might need with a good local pharmacist. Create or update a master list that you keep by the reception desk listing contact numbers for the nearest doctors and pharmacists (and opening hours), and for the nearest hospital.