Published on December 12th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
Housekeeping Trolley: Basic Equipment for the Hotel Industry
Considering accommodation generates the most revenue in hotels and the success of a hotel depends largely on the cleanliness, it’s safe to say housekeeping is at the heart of the hospitality industry. For a hotel to be able to provide that “home away from home” feeling, its rooms ought to be spotless and make guests feel safe and comfortable enough to want to return time and time again, motivating them to also leave great reviews online.
When speaking of the equipment used for housekeeping, there are various pieces that are essential, from mops and brooms, to waste bins, vacuum and floor machines, but none is so crucial like a versatile housekeeping trolley that can take the entire load. Though there are various types of attractive trolleys in the stores, a quality one will be worth the investment. So, look for a trolley made from sturdy materials like aluminium and reinforced polymer known for their durability and lightweight properties.
It’s not difficult to understand the trolley’s importance in hospitality given that it’s created to make the housekeeper’s job easier and more comfortable. When there’s no need to carry the supplies by hand, such as cleaning detergents for commercial business floors , germicides, toilet papers, air fresheners and dusters, or toiletries and amenities like snacks for the minibars, the job gets done more efficiently. This is so because the staff don’t have to go fetch things one by one, but have all they need by their side stocked on the trolley.
Now that you know just how efficient the trolley can be, you need to be in the know when it comes to how to pick the right model. Buy the wrong cart and you risk badly impacting the productivity and safety of your staff.
To determine which trolley can serve you best, have in mind the supplies you need it to carry. Specifically, this refers to their size (e.g. length, width, height), and amount as it would give you a hint on the number of tiers you require, the spacing between them, whether or not they’re easy to organise, as well as their overall capacity. Getting trolleys that aren’t able to carry all the load, separate the supplies properly, or store all of them at once can seriously affect the work routine of the staff, and even put their lives in danger.
In case your employees require a trolley that’s multifunctional, with separate compartments for towels and sheets, toilet paper and cleaning supplies like those for carpet and upholstery, toiletries and amenities, then you need to buy a room service cart with high capacity. Preferably it should be equipped with several adjustable tiers or compartments that close up to separate the linen from the rest of the supplies, and a have waste bin attached to it.
To cut down on the trips to the floor storeroom to fetch supplies to restock, a chamber or shelf for extra supplies is also recommended. A piece of additional advice to make the cart shopping decision easier is to also consider the area where the cleaning takes place, particularly the hallway and the rooms. You need to make sure the trolley’s size is suitable for it to pass through these areas without any difficulty. In case you can’t find the design that most serves your specific housekeeping needs, then the solution is to look for a custom-made option.
We mentioned organisers, adjustable tiers and bins, but there are two other features that separate a top-notch cart from a not so functional one: the handles and the wheels. Considering both have to do with the mobility of the housekeeping trolley cart, it’s necessary to look for handles that are ergonomic and easy to get a hold of, and wheels that have brakes and make manoeuvring piece of cake.
As the basic pieces of equipment, trolleys for housekeeping are an investment in the hospitality business that deserves to be handled with care. This is to ensure their longevity, as well as prevent any accidents from happening.
The first step is to check for damage before and after every use. The staff should be trained to carry out the inspection of the housekeeping trolley thoroughly for any faults that need to be repaired instantly.
Often this is the most overlooked step and it should be mandatory given that there’s the chance the staff can bring dirt in the clean rooms with a dirty cart. Even though it might appear clean, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria, so cleaning the housekeeping trolley is one of the most important chores – same as cleaning the rooms and providing refill of toiletries and amenities.
To avoid cross-contamination with this basic piece of equipment, it’s necessary to organise the items into two categories: the dirty and contaminated objects on one side, and the clean on the other. Part of the cleaning involves covering up the dirty mops, brooms and sheets with bags, and after bringing them to the laundry and storeroom, cleaning the cart before it’s put to use again.
To be sure the cleaning can be done smoothly, it’s good to pay attention to the materials the carts are made from – a smooth surface that’s not porous means it’s easy to get rid of bacteria. Wash up with detergents, wipe with a wet cloth and then wipe with a clean dry cloth to guarantee cleanliness is taken care of.
Besides performing regular checks and cleaning, employees should also be trained on how to properly handle the load and unload of the supplies, having in mind poor stocking can lead to physical strain and consequently even to MSDs (https://www.biron.com/en/education-center/neat-little-guide/musculoskeletal-disorders/). This isn’t to be taken lightly as safety is detrimental both for the employees and the hotels having to pay compensation claims.
Some steps to make it easy are minding the load employees lift. According to the OSH authorities, they shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 16kg on their own. Also, they need to mind how to store the equipment and supplies. To prevent the items from overturning, it’s advisable to keep the heavy at the bottom and the light on top. The basic rules to follow are: never load more than the trolleys can hold, and never pull them as it’s better to watch your step by pushing them.