Simon Gasson, Joint Managing Director of So Clean, explains how his team enjoy the atmosphere of cleaning in one of London’s most prestigious 5-star hotels
In the kitchens and banqueting suites of a luxury hotel close to Hyde Park corner, an army of specialist ‘catering’ cleaners ensures that elaborate dinners are presented on gleaming china and frenetic kitchens are maintained in a spotless condition.
Cleaning for 5 Star Hotels in London
Nothing less is acceptable to the clients, the hotels executive head chef and back of house manager
As Simon explained: “The hotel is one of our most challenging and yet rewarding contracts for a number of reasons, including round-the-clock activity, and eye wateringly strict standards regime, and a special type of teamwork”.
Six years into the relationship, however, So Clean have developed systems and processes to make sure their clients don’t often have cause to complain.
24/365 Cleaning Operation
So Clean is no stranger to 7 day a week cleaning, but 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, comes with its own set of challenges.
The first of which is to provide a team of seven full-time staff, plus supervisor, working across three 8 hour shifts and all train to a consistent standard.
The serious work takes place during the “nightshift” when floors, walls, cooking equipment and stainless steel fittings are all cleaned.
“Virtually a deep clean every day”, according to Simon.
Much of this work is undertaken using Thermostar dry steam machines, expensive investments that nevertheless pay their way in terms of efficiency and results.
When it comes to the actual deep clean, which happens once a week, the So Clean team at are additionally trained in the skills necessary to strip, sanitise and rebuild kitchen equipment, whilst working around gas and electric appliances.
Taking place during core operating hours, the other two cleaning shifts are focused on supporting the chefs and waiters during service, which can include banquets for up to 900 guests.
Here the staff work as kitchen porters supervised by active team leaders, ensuring breakfast, lunchtime and evening services are run professionally.
Cleaning Tasks including
- Manning dishwashers
- Cleaning pots and pans
- Keeping trolleys another vital equipment clean during service
Probably the most important aspect of the contract delivery, is team spirit, both within the cleaning team and as an integral part of the hotel team.
Simon said “this is definitely not a traditional contract where each staff member goes off and works in their own area. The atmosphere is just as you’d expect in a professional kitchen where everyone is on their mettle from start to finish – staying alert, and listening out for instructions from the chef teams.
You hear a lot of “Yes chef” from our guys
“Then there is the critical moment at the transfer from one cleaning shift to the next, when the teamwork kicks in again.
This is when our outgoing supervisor briefs their incoming counterpart on the service taking place during the next shift, which sets the tempo for the work of the So Clean team”.
The Quality Factor
With a world class reputation to maintain, the hotel does not tolerate poor standards.
So Clean’s area manager carries out a joint standard audit, with a member of the shift team every Wednesday morning at 7 o’clock.
The audit is carried out on an iPad and is bespoke to the kitchen environment, with results tracked against contract SLA.
“We do weekly audits”, explain Simon, “as it means any problem gets picked up and remedied early on. We appreciate that working in an immaculate kitchen is essential for hygiene and good staff morale”.
Operating behind the scenes in a busy hotel may not be cleaning ‘as we know it says Simon’, but the feeling is the same when it’s over – a job well done.