Organizing housekeeping to improve workflow

By booking rooms close to one another, hotels can cut down on travel time for housekeeping, reducing time spent on flipping room

Good organization is the greatest requirement for effective housekeeping services, said Shane Nicolopolous, director of rooms for the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. Knowing when to restock carts and having the time set aside to check for all the housekeeping necessities will keep rooms clean, moving and turned over.

Hotels can get another leg up by being aware of the newest products for housekeeping, which can help speed up processes and eliminate safety concerns. And that means keeping a close relationship with vendors.

“Things change quickly in our industry every day, and new technology is constantly coming out,” Nicolopolous said. “We see changes frequently in cart products that make it easier to maneuver in hallways, and safety is always a priority with the carts.”

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The Distrikt Hotel in New York has one answer to concerns related to cart injuries and restocking times—don’t use them. The hotel operates using a series of closets on every floor that are restocked every evening, with housekeeping carrying the necessary items to the rooms via a tote or rolling luggage bag. This practice reduces clutter by keeping carts out of hallways and allows housekeeping to flip a room with the door closed, cutting down on security concerns.

According to Jennifer Rota, GM of the Distrikt Hotel, not using a cart can be a give and take, because either way housekeeping is carrying something to the room. However, by paying close attention to the blocking of rooms and keeping guests as close together as possible, housekeeping’s travel times are cut down and rooms can be serviced faster without the carts.

“The focus shifts to stocking the closets,” Rota said. “There is traditionally some fighting over these carts. Employees can get territorial because they have their own equipment. But if everyone is stocking closets it can be more effective.”

Efficiency all comes back to stocking, which relies on training and consistency to be effective. If a cart or closet is not stocked properly, the entire process slows down.

“Talk to your team and always listen to them,” Nicolopolous said. “Stress the importance of pre-shifting and focus time and effort on making staff happy. When that happens, everything else comes together.” 

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Sri Krishna Enterprises owns the 115-suite hotel, which took 16 months to construct, and Southern Hospitality Services manages it.