Friday, April 23, 2010

When a room is announced as a departure, the room attendant or the floor supervisor should check the room immediately for any articles that might have been left behind by the guest or if any articles are missing or damaged in the room.
If the housekeeping personnel finds such an article they should immediately contact the reception to find out if the guest is still there in the hotel so that the article can be returned to him.
The housekeeping department deals with all the lost and found property. Lost and found property could be divided into :
1) Perishables: they are kept in the housekeeping department for 24 hours and then either disposed of or given to the finder or room service. Examples - foodstuff, alcohol, etc.
2) Valuables: are kept in the safe deposit box under lock and key, for a period of 1 year. Items in this category can be electronic items, cash and jewellery.
3) Invaluables: kept in a cupboard for a period of 6 months items could be toys, books.clothes etc.

Procedures of Returning the Articles to the Guest
1) When the article is sent by post, then the date it has been dispatched on is recorded in the register and the acknowledgement is later attached to the register.
2) If the guest comes personally to the hotel to collect the article , then his signature is obtained in the acknowledgement column in the lost and found register.
This enables the housekeeping department to tally the list of unclaimed articles in the register with the physical count in the cupboard and hence prevents loss of article sby undesirable staff thefts.

Methods of Disposal of Lost and Found Articles
If the guest does not claim the article within the stipulated time frame, then the method of disposal varies from hotel to hotel as per their policy.
1) The article is returned to the finder, which encourages honesty within the employees.
2) Articles are auctioned out to their employees at the minimum price and the money collected is added to the revenue of the hotel or put into the staff welfare fund.
3) The articles are given to charity homes.

The Lost and Found slip is prepared in Triplicate
One copy is attached to the article for identification.
Second copy goes to the duty or the lobby manager who keeps it for a period of 24 hours in order to answer any queries from the guests who have just checked out. Later it is given to the finder to claim the article.
The third copy is retained in the book for future reference.
Each article is given a serial number for future identification.

Lost and Found Register
The lost and found register is also maintained simultaneously as it is easy to handle and also all information is confined to a single register. It is maintained in a systematic manner and helps the staff to systematically place if the guest specifies the date and time of departure.
All valuable articles are handed over to the security or executive housekeeper for safekeeping for a period of 6 months to 1 year. All invaluable items are stored in the housekeeping department for 3-6 months under the supervision of the deputy housekeeper.
(check the formats of the lost and found register and lost and found slip as per given previously)

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