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Friday, October 09, 2015


I have a client I clean for in 2 homes and office; lodge and glass enclosed outdoor pool. They are enlarging their facility to include a 9000 sq. ft restaurant and 8 small apt. size rooms each about 900 sq. ft. with bath and small kitchenette. The cleaning service includes 8 buildings with sweeping, mopping, dusting of kitchens and bathrooms, laundry service for linens (about 3 hrs. weekly in labor for washing linens and laundry) and cleaning pool windows that total 40 panels about 3'x6' inside and out. The restaurant part is 9000 sq. ft. and requires windows inside and out (about 30 windows). It will require an 8000 sq.ft. concrete floor polished bi-weekly as well as swept and mopped twice per week. It has 2 rest rooms with 7 stalls and 2 urinals and a kitchen area that requires floors cleaned and all equipment polished. This is a high-end business that requires some detail. The frequency of cleaning for now is each place cleaned once weekly. Please help me to understand how to bid on this so as not to over or under bid for this job. Will take about 40 to 60 hours weekly in total labor. Should we bid based on sq. ft. or by labor hours?


When you say it is a high-end business that is being cleaned once a week, I begin to wonder what the definition of low-end might be. The restaurant floor is being swept and mopped twice a week?
First off, determine if this lodge and eating facility can be well maintained on such an infrequent basis. Do they do so little business that a nightly (or daily) cleaning is unnecessary?
You have lot of glass and around a pool where there can be heavy condensation in cooler months. What is your approach to that? Are you responsible? How often do you do the 30 restaurant windows?
What do you have to do the concrete floor polishing with?
Does the kitchen equipment “polishing” mean a light touch-up with a clean cloth daily or a scrape-off once a week?
Do they not have staffers who can do the laundry? Not that this is not a service you can’t offer, but should not some laundry be done every day to keep up with usage?
As to bidding by sq. ft. or hourly, it makes little difference how you do it. If you charge $1200 per week of 10,000 sq. ft. it breaks down to 12 cents per sq. ft. per week. If you spend 60 man-hours at the same charge, your hourly rate is $20. 40 man-hours means you are charging $30 per hour.
Your basis for the charge has to be your labor costs, plus overhead, plus your management fee and profit. There is no established or average that will help you run your operation and [pay your bills. Use the times and numbers for what you are now doing to project the future costs and charges. If you have to, time some operations to determine the needed labor. Only then will you have numbers that work for you in this facility.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor