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April 30, 2019
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Keeping it Clean!

Cleaning…. This may be the most obvious, boring, demotivating and monotonous task in a caravan park!  But without a doubt, it has to be one of the most critical tasks undertaken every day. I know this all seems so ‘ho hum’, but believe me, it is the number 1 issue for your guests, and can have a huge impact on your occupancy rate.

At a recent caravan muster I asked a group of around 40 caravaners, why they only check in for one night in a caravan park when travelling. Unanimously they said “So we can check the amenities to see if they are clean!” If they were satisfied, generally they would prolong their stay. From 1 night to multiple nights - now that’s growing your occupancy!

Travelling nomads are especially critical. As they are on the road for prolonged periods of time and with their many and varied stays at caravan parks they quickly know what they consider to be good and not so good.  Research I have shared previously with you, indicates that cleanliness is the No. 1 need of travellers. Older facilities are not a big issue, however they must be clean.

There is nothing better than visiting a caravan park with spotless facilities, amenities, camp kitchen, BBQ and laundry. It sets the scene for a pleasant stay. In particular - the smell of a clean facility is a winner. Guests love it when they enter a newly cleaned bathroom and smell the cleanliness!  Not just see and experience it!

What should be cleaned?

Cleanliness is not just about the amenities, but must include the camp kitchen and laundry too. Experience has shown that many parks stick to their daily routine of cleaning amenities while the camp kitchen and laundry are not given the same attention. These need to be part of a daily schedule without fail. Included in this is of course the BBQ!

Scheduling

Setting time aside to do the cleaning is a given. However avoid the busy times before 10.00am or after 4.00pm. Ideally, availability of an extra bathroom such as a ‘Disabled Facility’ during the cleaning times is a great way to ensure guests can still shower or use the toilet whilst cleaning is in progress. If the park is full, it is advisable to do a second round of cleaning later in the day. Just emptying the rubbish bins, wiping down the hand basins and restocking toilet paper and paper towel can be enough.

Process

Many caravan parks do not have a fixed process of tasks for cleaning their facilities. Establishing a fixed process ensures your cleaners know what is expected. Included in this process should be an understanding of the differences between the tools required to clean. A total separation of cleaning tools for toilets, showers, kitchen, bbq, laundry and basins must be strictly implemented to prevent the potential of cross contamination. Failing to do this can cause health issues with guests - and we certainly do not want to go there!

Managing Cleaners

What you cannot measure you cannot manage! So what measures, i.e tasks have you listed for your cleaners? Be sure to include the Camp Kitchen, BBQ and Laundry in the task list.  When last did you inspect the work of your cleaners? When we investigate issues around the cleanliness of facilities, we have found on numerous occasions a lack of supervision. Regular and random check ups are critical to ensure the quality of the cleanliness is maintained. Do not just ‘trust’ the work of your cleaners, even if they have been with you for years. In a job that has a sameness about it on a daily basis there is a real danger of boredom and shortcuts slipping in.

Common Items overlooked

Having visited and assessed 100’s of caravan parks there are a few areas that are often overlooked by cleaners and park owners when it comes to maintaining clean facilities. I have not covered the fundamentals of cleaning here. But ones that are most often overlooked. These are also a great list of extra ‘To Do’ items on a task list.

  • Clean all spider webs in all corners in cubicles and main sections of the facilities
  • Remove grubby dirt marks on the outside and inside of doors and at entrance
  • Clean Soap Containers and replace if rusty - eg hanging ones
  • Remove all marks, dirt and spider webs behind doors
  • Regularly wash shower curtains, if used.
  • Clean floors around the toilets
  • Clean (Spotless) urinals
  • Clean dirty bins for paper hand towels
  • Keep tile grout clean of grime, dirt and mould
  • Clean dirty door handles in toilets and showers
  • Clean light fittings
  • Clean laundry machines - especially in bowl and around lid
  • Wipe down laundry tables
  • Keep hygienic the camp kitchen counters
  • Keep inside of Microwave clean
  • Refresh and Clean the fridge outside and inside

There are many more I am sure. These have been some of the most common issues identified in my travels. All are important as these are usually the things that stand out earliest. If you want to get more ideas and tips and tools to clean your facilities better, please email bert@parktalk.com.au

I have experienced a number of parks who have established a weekly or monthly spring clean of their cabins and facilities. This is a great initiative, where units get a more diligent cleaning on a regular basis to ensure you stay on top of things.

So how well is your park ‘Keeping it Clean’? There is little doubt that cleanliness is foundational for caravan parks to be successful. You can have all the bells and whistles, facilities, social events, friendly staff, great prices and so much more, but without Cleanliness, your park will struggle. Its a key element to park success!

 

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