Any Lost and Found article found at the hotel (inside or outside) by a member of the staff (or given to a staff member by a non-employee such as a guest or visitor), must be turned over to a Supervisor, Department Head, Assistant Manager or General Manager. This would include, but not be limited to, items found in guest rooms, in public spaces, food and beverage outlets and on hotel grounds.
Below are standard lost and found procedures to be followed:
- Use a standard lost and found tag. Tags should be generally available in various offices throughout the hotel for easy access and use.
- A logbook must be available and used. The logbook should be available to the Manager on Duty or other Supervisor when the Housekeeper is not available. Another option is to keep the book available in the Front Office area in a manner where it is accessible but will not get lost.
- Describe the article found on the tag and in the book. If the item is an unlocked container, such as a pocketbook or suitcase, the contents should be inventoried also. Two people should take an inventory, one acting as a witness. State where the article was found by the nearest room number or in relation to a specific facility landmark.
- List when the article was found, including the day, time, and date.
- Identify the person who found it.
- Record the date and method of disposition for any item that is not claimed.
- If a guest calls looking for a lost article, calls should be referred to the housekeeping department or the location where the lost and found book is kept. If the person taking the call cannot resolve the question for the guest in an immediate or timely manner, the guest’s telephone number should be taken and arrangements made for someone to call the guest without fail.
- All items should be stored to prevent damage and labeled so they can be easily located in the storage area.
- Valuable items, such as credit cards, jewelry, cameras, or airplane tickets should be turned over to the General Manager, who personally should record it in the lost and found log. After packaging and identifying the item, it is to be stored in the safe. These items are to be kept for 90 days or at the discretion of the General Manager.
- All other items are to be locked securely in a cabinet to which only the Housekeeping Supervisor, General Manager or Manager-on-Duty have access. These items are to be kept for 60 days at which time the General Manager will offer the item to the person who found it. Guests are not to be called and informed that they left an item behind except at the discretion of the General Manager for items of obvious monetary or sentimental value.
- Items of little or no value should not be saved; this is at the discretion of the Supervisor. No food items are to be stored in Lost and Found.
- When inquiries are received about an item, the person should be asked for a specific description of the item. Log description and details should never be provided to the caller.
- Alcohol, beer and wine are to be disposed of by pouring the remaining contents down the drain. Unopened bottles are to be disposed of in the same fashion. These items are never to be given to staff or other guests.
- When the owner picks up items, the individual should sign the log book to acknowledge that the item has been returned.
- Items should be mailed only when the owner requests it; the item should be sent to the address given by the owner. The address should be logged.
- Lost and found articles are never to be taken from the property except as provided above. Employees may not accept gifts other than normal cash tips from guests without the specific permission in advance from the General Manager.