Sample Case Study On Housekeeping Issues At The Excalibur Hotel
Excalibur Hotel 2
The Excalibur Hotel is located in Calgary. It has 375 guest rooms and 25 executive one bedroom suites. The hotel is seventy five years old and maintained in an exceptional manner. 86% of guests rank their stay as excellent. The hotel is owned by foreign investors who contract a Canadian management company.
The hotel’s market share is 134%. Market share is the number of room the Excalibur is in direct competition with in the competitive market set (Xanders n.d.). Average daily rates are consistent and showed some growth, better than other properties in the hotel’s competitive set. The hotel enjoys a loyal customer base. Food and beverage sales are strong due to local support and hotel guests.
Most sales and expenses for the property are in line with the budget. There were two major and unexpected maintenance issues: a boiler repair and an overhaul of the spa’s plumbing system.
Sales are a little off compared to the budget but it is acknowledged that the budget may have been aggressive in the estimation of sales when many government and business travelers are reducing their travel. The average daily rate has remained steady with stable growth. Overall, the hotel is performing better than most of its competitors.
The one glaring issue that management is trying to solve is the increase in labor costs in housekeeping. The labor cost per occupied room had increased from 11.02 (2008) to 15.36 in 2011. The hourly rate had also increased from 19.25 (2008) to 21.13 in 2011. In light of this information the average length of tenure for housekeepers also increased from 15 years and 1 month (2008) to 17 years and 3 months in 2011. The average age of housekeepers also increased from 48 years ole (2008) to 51 years old in 2011. This information shows that the housekeeping
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staff is loyal and staying on the job. The longer the housekeepers are employed by the hotel the more vacation time they receive as well as raises.
Labor is unionized with a major Canadian labor union. Collective bargaining in 2010 went smoothly and no mediation was required. Standard clauses in the agreement stipulate scheduling based on seniority. Vacations are earned through the amount of years of service. The housekeeping staff which has been consistent with little turnover is earning more and more vacation time with their years of service. The most senior members of the staff also have preference in scheduling. These are the causes for the steady increases in labor cost per occupied room. The Excalibur must maintain satisfaction and effectiveness with its housekeeping staff. Clean rooms and pleasant staff are one of the reasons people return to the hotel. According to Bair, “there is an overarching concern that the effort to reduce overhead will also reduce output quality thus making your guests unhappy”.
The general manager has to explain this data to his Vice President of Operations. The options to correct the problem are not pleasant. The general manager could look to replace senior staff with newer staff who earn less per hour and do not earn as much vacation time. The only way to do this successfully without violating the labor agreement would be to encourage the senior housekeepers to retire. This option would not be ensured however. The other option is to keep the current staff and absorb the cost associated with having a more experienced staff. The housekeeping staff is performing their jobs well. The last option would be to cut the hours of the current staff and begin to introduce newly hired part time staff who would benefit from the training of the senior housekeepers. This would also help to reduce the labor costs. Any of the options would require negotiations or talks with the union (UNITE).
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If I was the general manager, I would choose to absorb the costs of maintaining the more experienced staff and be sure to consider the costs in the next year’s budget. The Excalibur Hotel is so successful and ranks high in customer satisfaction because of its dedicated and capable staff.
Bair, Amy (n.d.)Efficiency in Housekeeping via Process Improvement Techniques. Retrieved
Know Your Rights at Work | Unite. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from
Xanders, Edward. “What is Your Hotel's Market Share and Market Penetration?” Interim Hospitality Consultants.
(n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from http://www.hotel-
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