A reader writes: “When we have special meetings such as birthdays, anniversaries or holiday parties, the meeting room gets ‘trashed’ and requires a lot of work. Should we be charging extra for these events?”

Based on my reading of the contract, these events are included in the price for servicing the building. I also noted that the rooms have to be ready for other type meetings in a relatively short period of time. I did take a look at how often these rooms are scheduled to be cleaned compared to how often they actually are used and you should have the budget to provide such a service without it negatively impacting your bottom line. Following are some suggestions that may help to mitigate the situation:

1. Communicate closely with management to know ahead of time when and what is going to happen.

2. Also, know the time necessary to respond. For instance, you should know how long it takes to clean up after a birthday compared to a holiday event and schedule staff accordingly.

3. You should also know (based on past history) how often the customer has these events and plan accordingly. Have a calendar for the next 12 months ready to update.

4. If you are using the Quadrant Cleaning concept, you need to list hours for this type “project work” so that it is part of the work schedule; rather than a surprise to staff.

5. Based on my inspection, you need to either install or move larger trash cans (a few rolling barrel type units with covers might work) so that paper plates, liquids, etc. do not spill over.

6. If possible, schedule a staff person to either be present or drop by during the event and close to the end to replenish the bags and provide any assistance they can to the guests.

Make it easy for guests to have a good time and know where to throw their trash. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.