Linen Management - What are the Options?
Posted on Apr 13, 2018
When it comes to linen management for the hospitality industry there are usually three main objectives:
- Experience - to give your guests a great experience, whether that be high-quality, crisp and sumptuous bed-linen or elegant, professional
and dazzling tableware.
- Price - to keep costs under control
- Ease - to make the process of providing fresh linen and towelling to your establishment as easy, efficient and effortless as possible.
In terms of supply, there are broadly three main choices:
Do it yourself
Everything is done in house in this “do it yourself” option. This includes the selection, sourcing, purchasing, laundering and replacement of all your own bed linen, towelling and table linen. Harder than it sounds……. Firstly, it is important that the products selected are robust enough to last whilst maintaining a perfect look and feel that will ensure your guests come back time and time again. You’ll need to do your research on how many times they can be washed plus you must buy enough to ensure you have in circulation sufficient stock to always lay up your rooms even at times of maximum occupancy. A bit of number crunching and researching needed!
Once you have bought your linen and towelling stock, you will need to invest in washing, drying and ironing equipment. Space is always at a premium and any space used for a laundry room on the premises will not be generating valuable revenue. You will also need to allocate the appropriate people resource investing in training and allowing sufficient time to do the job properly. Added to this are significant risks - laundry equipment generates a lot of heat, combine that with chemical detergents and fire can become a real possibility necessitating rigorous health and safety policies. One final factor to consider is the cost of water and power consumption whilst keeping a close eye on environmental impact as is so often expected by more and more customers.
On the surface of it doing it yourself might seem like a straight forward option but the costs, time and hassle can soon add up to one big headache.
Another option is that you buy the linen and towelling then outsource the laundering. You agree a price per wash for each item you stock and organise a collection and drop off schedule. It sounds like a simple compromise, but is it really? Again, like “do it yourself”, the products you buy need to be robust enough to withstand a commercial wash process. Once again you will need to invest a significant capital outlay on enough stock to ensure that you always have fresh clean linen available at your establishment while the soiled items are away being cleaned by your laundry provider. You will also need to agree a ragging process to replace those items that become unusable due to natural wear and tear and to replace those items that disappear from your stock. No matter how hard you try to prevent it theft of linen and towelling from hotels does happen and is an ongoing challenge. All this means that after that initial investment you will need to regularly purchase new stock to ensure you keep an appropriate amount of stock in the system.
Linen Rental Service
A linen rental service removes all the hassle by outsourcing everything to the experts. A rental service is an integrated solution that can be care-free without the need for any upfront investment or any hidden costs. You simply pay for what you order and use. You employ an expert who can help you choose from a wide range of linen and towelling products to ensure what is specified is perfect for your establishment and the needs of your guests (both in appearance and quality). Your rental provider will organise the logistics and agree how many collections and deliveries you need to guarantee your housekeeping team always have the right quantity of stock available. Additionally, when towels look tired and sheets start to show their age, the laundry service will remove them from the pool replacing the stock with freshly sourced identical products. Power costs, environmental credentials and health and safety risks are all taken care of leaving you to focus your priorities elsewhere knowing that your establishment’s linen is completely taken care of.
If you are a large hotel or serviced apartment complex and want to know more about our linen rental service contact us now. We are always happy to discuss how we can take the headache out of your linen supply by offering a no obligation consultation.