Operating an on-property laundry service can call for a lot of resources, both environmental and financial. According to experts at Lodging Magazine, a 400-room hotel operating at 65% occupancy can average over a million pounds of laundry per year.
And, according to Hotel Management, today the “hyper-competitive” nature of hospitality is driving many hotel and resort managers to address this abundance of laundry through linen partners and subcontractors. If you’re looking to join this trend in outsourcing hotel laundry service, here are five factors to look for.
The most important thing to consider is whether the hotel laundry service has the capacity to handle your linen needs. You'll likely need a partner that can pick up, wash, dry, iron, package, and return your linen to you in a timely and regular fashion.
A quality partner should be able to customized a plan to your hotel or resort and be able to deliver any day of the week. They should also be able to handle all manner of linens, from bath mats, to robes, to duvets and shower curtains.
Another feature to look for in a hotel laundry service is quality equipment.
It should be high-capacity and designed to meet the demands of large volumes of soiled linens without adding to the further wear and tear on your quality products. They should have a full line of machines for washing, drying, folding and ironing, along with multiple feeder stations with solutions in place for both large bulky items and smaller linens like wash cloths and napkins.
A big fear of many hotels and resorts when outsourcing is that their linens will get mixed up or washed with the linens of other properties, or that their own linens won’t be returned to them.
Adding to this are concerns about overcharging or getting items back that are still soiled or are even damaged. To counter these fears, a quality hotel laundry service will have mature systems in place to ensure linens stay separated and are returned to their proper origin.
They should have batch integrity tunnels, as well as a process for recording and bar code tracking of every item. In addition they should have an intensive training process with your hotel staff and a process for weighing laundry at multiple times throughout the process for accuracy and accountability.
Further, more and more guests are seeking hotels and resorts that are conscientious about the environment and able to prove they use green practices in regard to water and energy. In light of this, it’s important to look for a hotel laundry service that can stand behind their environmental efforts.
Sustainable hospitality involves using energy-efficient equipment that require less power and less water. Detergents should be 100% biodegradable without harsh toxins.
Further, they should be dispensed from reliable pumps that allow only for the proper amount and thus eliminate waste. A quality partner will also provide you with the training and materials to convey this commitment to the environment to your discerning guests.
Finally, a quality hotel laundry service will welcome you onsite to tour their plant – not only before you sign on but any time throughout your partnership. They will be a partner in linen handling, training, inventory, and planning, and they will be clear about deliverables, capabilities and procedures. They will also have a system for 100% accountability for your linens not only when they’re at the plant but when they’re in transit.
Outsourcing your linen to a quality hotel laundry service can free up time, resources, and physical space and can quickly add up to savings. To learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide to Transitioning to a Hotel Laundry Service. And to help compare the benefits of on-property laundry versus outsourcing costs, download our free guide.