By Len Vermillion
With new carts, housekeeping departments can air their dirty – and clean – laundry for all to see. Laundry supplies are often hotels’ dirty little secret. Laundry carts are often tucked away in back rooms and out of sight of guests. The thought has been: Who wants to look at towels (clean or unclean) while swimming in a large luxurious pool or walking through hallways, especially if they’re on vacation?
But hiding towels away also makes them difficult to access, especially for guests. That’s no longer the case at the Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn in Orlando, Fla. At the themed resort, a fresh supply of poolside towels is maintained 24/7 at both swimming pools. At Nickelodeon Family Suites, they’re not hiding anything, mostly because the property hosts a large number of families visiting Walt Disney World and it needs both a lot of towels and a modern logistics system that ensures every guest has access to clean towels at anytime.
In pursuit of a streamlined system that ensures pools, rooms and facilities are stocked with clean goods at all times without overburdening the staff or budget, the housekeeping department recently upgraded its room attendant carts, which triggered a shift in how clean towels were stored and delivered for use. The new carts allow the towels to be kept right out in the open.
In the past, clean, folded towels and linens were stored in closets located on each floor and delivered to guest rooms, the pools, fitness center and other facilities daily using a small fleet of mobile linen carts. But the new, larger room attendant carts, which are also stocked and stored nightly in these closets, required extra space. To make room, the closet shelves were eliminated, leaving the towels without any proper storage space.
Seeking a long-term solution to the linen storage situation rather than a quick, stopgap measure, Director of Purchasing Jose Martinez decided to store the clean towels and other goods on the mobile linen carts themselves, rather than in a closet or other storage area.
To do so required expanding his fleet. He needed high-capacity carts that would hold huge volumes on tight footprints to maximize the limited space available in the facility. And they had to look attractive for the upscale guest while making the work easier for the staff.
At the Nickelodeon Family Suites, Orlando, Fla., pool towels are always at the ready from this MOD 100P linen cart set inside a cabana. Guests drop their wet towels through the slot into a second 100P, setup as a high volume bin with its shelves moved into the vertical position.
“Anytime we can make housekeeping more efficient, make the work easier on our staff and improve our level of guest services, we’re interested,” Martinez says.
Martinez and his team from the housekeeping and purchasing departments reviewed a number of carts from several manufacturers and ultimately invested in a fleet of the latest carts from MODRoto, the 100P. According to Robert Dunne, president of MODRoto, the new carts securely accommodate high-volume loads up to 700lbs. MODRoto devised a rib design that nearly doubled the strength of the carts and added an all-new aluminum reinforcing ring around the upper rim that prevents the three-sided cart from bowing outward when overstuffed or when loaded above the rim. A recessed safety tow hitch, which guards against bumps with ankles and walls, recessed handles and casters that roll quietly through the facility are also included.
Martinez didn’t want to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. Before committing to the new carts, he turned to one of the resort’s neighbors, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, which had already been using the carts. “ We borrowed some of them from Loews Hotel at Universal, and they worked out great,” Martinez says.
Fitting seamlessly into the Nickelodeon Family Suites’ logistics system, the 100P provided the requisite high capacity and practical functionality along with welcome visual appeal. “These carts look nicer than the others, and how they look is extremely important,” says Martinez, who asserts that the look of the carts directly impacts the impression of every facet of the facility.
“These carts look nicer than the others, and how they look is extremely important.”
– Jose Martinez, Director of Purchasing, Nickelodeon Family Suites
See the 100P here.