Patrons in the way

hello everyone:) I was wondering how all of you handle situations where there are people seated in front of windows you are there to clean…I run into this at food establishments and salons…I usually do all that is needed to be done on the accessible windows and jump on the remaining windows when available…but the wait could and has ended up being longer than the whole job could take and could throw your schedule and profit for the day way off…and its not possible to be at each establishment within that route for the day as they open in hopes of beating the crowd…and in some cases i could come back because I will be passing by again but that usually defies how a route is setup and you could run into new people in the way when you return…and if you have employees working for you then what? are you paying people to sit there and wait …ouch. should I deduct the uncleaned windows from the price and leave them go until the next time there? that doesn’t seem right to me…all of the windows look clean except a few:confused: any help with this would be so appreciated

In my opinion, one of the best places to train a new employee for commercial work is Waffle House for a number or reasons. Two of them being speed and dealing with customers. You had to get in and out of a Waffle House quickly, while still doing a great job on the windows. Working around customers as they eat is just part of the job sometimes.

We always start cleaning the inside of the windows that have empty booths. We then move to the outside and start cleaning those. If we see a customer who’s finishing up there meal on the inside to a window we haven’t cleaned yet, we stop what we are cleaning and hustle to the now vacant booth. This little tip helps so we don’t have to interfere with the customer needlessly.

We do a lot of other restaurants that are open 24 hours, so no matter what time we are there, a possibility exists that someone could be eating next to a window we need to clean. Another tip: If a customer looks like they are waiting for their order or just sat down, we ask them politely if we can clean that window quickly. 99% of the time, they happily move. Now if they are in the process of eating, we don’t bother them and just move on with the rest of our work. Sometimes they are still eating and we are done with everything else. In that case, we just skip it. No time to sit and wait. Never had any problems or call backs because of that.

thank you for your advice…i wasnt sure how well that would go over with the owner that windows werent being cleaned…i actually have one guy who doesnt even want me cleaning on the same side of the place as a customer because he thinks it will disturb them…I didnt think it would be a big deal but thats my opinion…thats what kinda got me thinking 'is this common for store owners to not want you cleaning near people eating or sitting? ’ and I was wondering do you deduct the missed windows from the price or still charge the same?

We’ve only had one occasion in 8 years were we gave a discount because of too many patrons eating. It was a Steak n Shake and a large tour bus full of people came in minutes before we arrived one morning. So we just did the outsides and the entrance way and took 35% off the bill. No problems. Management cared about feeding those customers, not us :slight_smile:

If it’s only one or two windows in a large/medium restaurant you have to skip, I wouldn’t change the price.

ok cool…thanx again

Patrons clear out fast if you “accidentally” spill some TSP on their table or conk them on the noggin with a Tucker pole (typically found in a dumpster out back or used as ballast by Mafia down by the river.)

I do what Clearview does, all the insides first and if any are occupied I watch for the people to get up/leave while in another spot. If we miss a few panels I don’t adjust the price. If there are several missed, a high percentage of the total, I just don’t hang around and will deduct a reasonable amount. My days of waiting around are over. The few dollars you eventually make if you wait are lost in wasted employee wages. There are some restaurants where I can do substitutions for windows missed, such as partition glass, etc.

It is not the tsp on the table that gets them. It is the dirty water on their head.

I know a guy who has solved the don’t clean our restaurant inside windows when we’re busy the easy way. He simply doesn’t do eating establishments. You have to agree that they are difficult to schedule if you have to many. So he has none. EASY

GTF outta the way!!

We try to schedule them for the slowest times, and do everything we can but if there are patrons in the way we skip those and move on. Also we don’t adjust the price because it was not our fault they didn’t get done. We were there and ready to do them but the customer doesn’t want this patrons disturbed. If I were told I had to come back and finish up, I would charge another service call fee. I’ve never had a restaurant complain because we are usually there every two weeks anyway and it’s unlikely that the same windows are skipped over and over.

I usually walk in with water splashing all over the place out of my BOAB, extend the biggest pole I have to full length, even if the windows are at arms reach and start swinging it wildly whilst cleaning.

Its amazing how fast people get out of my way lol

:slight_smile: Chris you are a nut man!!

You really crack me up! LOL

To answer with my .02, skip it until the end of the job, get to it if possible. Try not to work to close to peoples food, it hacks them off and they may even “think” you got soapy water in their food. You don’t want that getting around to management.

But then again, Cartwright has a good idea!! :slight_smile:

if they arent gone before i leave, ill take a small amt of money off the bill. Id rather they know I didnt do a window because i didnt want to bother the patrons than they think i did all the windows and did a crappy job.

That made me choke on my food. Yes I was eating at my computer… it was a cookie, not food, I was lying.

Using the strip washer and rags that have been sitting on your patio and growing penicillin for a week or so works too. DANG them things get to stinking!

I have never had this problem. I only do outsides of shops, they get done early in the morning when no one is around I do them all on the same day so they fit my schedule not the other way around. For those of you who think this is bad business! I make over $200 an hour doing it this way and I’m happy to leave all the difficult jobs to my competition. Some of them muck around with the insides moving all the stuff and taking 5 times as long to make the same as I made on the outside. Work out what jobs are really making the $ and focus on them. leave the rest for someone else.

It might help that the entire country of New Zealand is only the size of the state of Colorado. I’ve got competition in my city (Tucson, Arizona) that comes down to clean windows from (Flagstaff, Arizona) over 261 miles away (that’s 421 km). It’s harder to make $200/hr when the competition is that thick (especially doing storefronts). The entire North Island of New Zealand is only 515 miles long (829 km).

However, I agree with you that it certainly makes sense to focus on the jobs (business or residential) that are willing to pay better for less hassle, than the other way around.
By the way, what beautiful part of NZ do you live in? :slight_smile:

I live just outside of Auckland.
There is good and bad in our market. Most of my competition for store front comes from retired or unemployed people who pay no income tax, sales tax, or insurance. They are happy to make $20 an hour. Or the business owners may hit it with the hose a couple of times a year or get the junior help to do it. I make my $ through being professional reliable and by adding value. This only suits a small amount of shops. In New Zealand we are a nation of DIY’s(do it yourself) so the number of homes that get in a window cleaner would be less then 1%. most building owners don’t even have a budget for windows and have it bundled into the overall cleaning contract. this means it either doesn’t get done at all or the cleaners hit it with a hose as part of the annual building wash. I am often called when the windows don’t come clean anymore ( water damage). After I explain why they won’t come clean they think they may as well keep doing what they are doing. In every market there is challenge, and often the challenge is the opportunity.

start on the inside, do all glass that is unoccupied, then outside and then hit the ones missed if they are still there tough luck on that window.