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Going Clean

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“You never hear anyone say that cleanliness isn’t important to them,” said Guy Coffey, the owner of four Anytime Fitness locations in Colorado.

Keeping your club clean is imperative to a club’s business. Implementing systems and daily follow through can provide the right tools to ensure your club meets its clean standards, every day.

Keeping Clean

“Everyone on staff is in charge of disinfection,” said Coffey. “We have someone calling our members, a random sample, and, on the whole, they say their club is clean. I don’t think it costs too much more to keep a club super clean, but the opposite can cost you a lot.”

At Coffey’s Anytime Fitness locations he has his trainers and staff cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day. A commercial cleaning company deep cleans the clubs three to four times a week. One differentiator, Coffey said, has been the use of a commercial scent program, ScentAir — “It certainly does give a nice clean scent all the time. We spend $80 to $90 a month, and I like it.”

Coffey explained that cleanliness could be a club’s biggest marketing tool. During club tours he has made a point to address cleaning options to potential members.

“I always point out our Zogics wipes. Our member community is really good about using them. I think the quality of the wipe is a factor in people using them. It feels good and doesn’t dry out their hands.”

Mountainside Fitness uses a two-part cleaning system — a contract cleaning company and front line staff (which is anyone from management to membership). “Everyone helps clean,” said Robyn Klawitter, the district manager for Mountainside Fitness. “Even the general manager will take out the trash. It helps build camaraderie. It shows that everyone works to keep us clean.” The front line staff has a detailed list of duties and there is no confusion as to what is supposed to be done or who is supposed to do it.

The front line staff checklist is divided into categories: locker rooms, cardio, general walkthrough, laundry room, once daily tasks and Sunday only. The locker rooms are checked six times a day — twice in the mornings, afternoons and evenings, and the same with cardio. The general walkthrough, which occurs every half hour, includes things like spot-checking locker rooms, checking basketball courts, Group X rooms and looking for discarded weights, mats and trash. The club’s general manager ensures daily cleaning meets standards.

The district manager does a weekly walkthrough of the clubs with a separate checklist. This checklist includes making sure each of the areas specified are tidy and organized and additionally there are general maintenance and other club standards unrelated to cleaning on the checklist as well. Additionally, there are 12 wipe dispensers in each location available for members to help disinfect equipment.

With multiple locations varying in size, The Alaska Club has different needs for each club when it comes to cleaning, but every club has a cleaning checklist to follow, explained Mike Guderian, the general manager of six locations. Everyone in all departments is expected to help clean. The larger clubs have “clean teams” entirely devoted to cleaning. Other clubs, the front desk does the laundry, and at the express clubs, where there is just one employee, that person is in charge of all cleaning duties.

Cleaning duties are divided up by time of day. Morning duties might involve checking the sidewalks, mopping entryways, checking showers, saunas and dispensers. The Group X rooms are checked around the Group X schedule. A third-party company plows the parking lots, but The Alaska Club maintains their sidewalks. In the larger clubs with clean teams, there is a clean team manager who reports to the club manager.

Cleaning Companies

Mountainside Fitness utilizes a cleaning service. The cleaning service has a supervisor onsite to oversee the crew three times a week. This supervisor reports back to the district manager. This is the cleaning company’s standard protocol, and Klawitter has had few problems with the system.

Coffey has a checklist for his commercial crew. The completed checklist gets slid under the general manager’s door after every visit so everything that was cleaned can be tracked, to ensure the cleaning company is doing its job properly.

When hiring a cleaning company, Coffey first looks at who can work when they need the club cleaned — typically very early hours — and the frequency they are able to clean the club. “Everyone starts off on a 30-day time period at first. You better be checking the cleaning company, you never know if someone is going to do the job they were hired to do or not,” suggested Coffey.

The Alaska Club doesn’t employ a third-party cleaning company. A separate staff is hired for overnight cleaning at the larger locations. The daytime staff cleans the smaller locations. Guderian said the price of third-party cleaning company doesn’t pay off for them and they can’t guarantee the standard of cleanliness.

Beating the Weather

One of Coffey’s clubs sees snow more than six months out of the year and it’s not unusual to see snow banks higher than school buses. This weather necessitates some unique solutions. Members’ street shoes are not to be worn inside the club. Boot trays are provided at every entrance for members to change their footwear. “Other members will give another member a look if they’re not changing their shoes. There’s no way people can use street shoes in the club. People are pretty good about it, they follow each other’s lead.”

Additionally, the front entrance is constantly being mopped up during the day. Coffey doesn’t have a mat service — “We plan on buying a few sets of mats every year. We keep them as clean as we possibly can for as long as possible. But, raggedy rugs need to be thrown out. Ours last about 2-3 months.”

Mopping becomes a constant battle for Guderian during the snowy months — the staff continually mops the floors and entryways. “Depending on what kind of mats you have, they should catch most of [the mess]. We have certain kinds in the entry way for traction and smaller mats on the tread way to the locker rooms,” he explained. A mat company comes once or twice a week to switch out mats.

In the smaller Alaska clubs that are more compact and members are on equipment within 20 feet of the door, salt on the equipment can be a problem. “The ellipticals and treadmills are the worst. They get stained white. You spray it with chemicals but as soon as it dries the salt shows back up. You must scrub it off,” said Guderian.

When it comes to keeping a club clean, there is no quick fix. Continual sweeps, and making cleanliness not only a priority but a necessity, will help convey to your staff, and most importantly your members, that your club can be trusted to be clean.

“You’ve got to be walking through the club. At least a couple times of day,” said Guderian. “And be taking a towel and spray bottle with you because you can always catch something that needs to be cleaned.” -CS

 

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By Ali Cicerchi

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