An interview with James Brown, General Manager of the Staybridge Suites, Chesapeake, Virginia.
James Brown has been with Landmark Hotel Group for 21 years in November. James started his career in hospitality at age 18 at the Crowne Plaza working in Food and Beverage and has worked his way up to being a hotel General Manager. Subsequently, James’ greatest strength is his eye for cleanliness details; so much so that he will often help other hotels in the portfolio.
Cleanliness and COVID-19 protocol is a huge topic in the hotel industry. We sat down with James to find out more about how he keeps a clean hotel and what role COVID protocols have played in his process.
Q&A with James Brown
What are somethings you do preventively that help you keep such a clean facility?
“We use a hospital grade disinfectant on all touchable surfaces. We also GCPM ((Explain GCPM)) every room every 90 days. This means that first the room is looked over by maintenance to do any repairs or updates necessary. Then the room is cleaned from one end all the way around. This takes 2.5 hours to 3 hours per room”.
What are some things you do daily as GM to monitor cleanliness?
“I constantly walk the property. My day starts by walking the property so the team is aware daily of what needs to be done. My goal is to teach the team to see the property like I do, so that they will catch it before me”.
Since COVID, what are some things that your team does differently?
“We encourage mask wearing, social distancing and encourage proper and regular hand-washing. Every two hours someone is walking the public spaces wiping down touchable surfaces.”
Are there things you do differently to keep an extended stay hotel clean?
“Preventative maintenance and GCPM is key because most guests are in the rooms for a long time.”
Is there a cleaning product or service that you would recommend?
“I like my hospital grade disinfectant. I want the hotel to be as sanitary as it can be. If there’s a new cleaning product on the market, I will find it.”
What is something that has to be cleaned that one typically wouldn’t think about cleaning?
“The carpet. We are really big on that. It is part of the deep clean program.”
How long does it take to clean a hotel room once someone has checked out?
“About 45 minutes to do it properly.”
What is the first thing you check when you personally check into a hotel?
“The overall cleanliness of the room, then the bed. If the bed is made well the room will be on point.” A little-known fact about James: sometimes while traveling he has been known to move furniture around in the room if it’s in the wrong place! He states it’s because, “I have an eye for design.” And he’s right about that!
What is your favorite cleaning hack?
“Using vinegar and newspaper to clean windows, no steaks!”
What are some words of wisdom for a new GM that would help them keep a clean hotel?
“Pay attention. Especially attention to the details. Make it fun for the team, turn cleaning and high cleanliness standards into a game they always want to win.”
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