Last month, we talked about creating a list of items that need to be done every day when in service with guests onboard. We listed 38 standard tasks and reminders to complete each day, which get listed on the schedule or roster.
The next step is creating a separate checklist for each task. This is a bullet-point list of each step that needs to be done to complete the job properly, according to the procedures and protocols of each yacht.
This step tells stews what to do for each area on the schedule. For example, here is a detailed checklist of the sequence of steps to complete morning cabin service. It is from one of my former boats, so it is specific to that vessel and the physical layout of the cabin. I always started at the same spot and worked around the room from left to right, top to bottom.
When I trained new stews, I handed them a laminated copy of the checklist and they checked off each item as it was completed. Before long, the list would be memorized, but in the beginning, it helped to use the list. That way, if work was interrupted, we knew right where to pick up so nothing was overlooked. It was also a useful tool for me to inspect their work.
Checklist for Morning Service in Guest Cabins:
Checklist for Guest Baths:
While this is a good start for an effective training tool, the final step is explaining exactly how to do these tasks, and then adding photos to show the final set-up of each area. Great stews have great timing skills and learn to move quickly and efficiently. Knowing exactly what is expected and how the finished area should look is crucial to good job performance.
The standards of service will vary boat by boat, so make sure you know what is expected. Ask for feedback from the captain, other crew, and the owners if the structure of your chain of command allows.
Alene Keenan is lead instructor of yacht interior courses at Maritime Professional Training in Ft. Lauderdale. She shares her experience from more than 20 years as a stew in her book, “The Yacht Guru’s Bible: The Service Manual for Every Yacht”, available at http://createspace.com/5377000 and on amazon.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.