In the hospitality realm, we like to think a friendly face at the desk, the best amenities and premium accommodations are the path to those all-so-important five-star reviews. However, what if, after a guest had a great day on the property and upon going to bed, discovered stains on bed linens. Their online hotel reviews would not be flattering, despite an otherwise great stay.
Still think there’s a distinction between front of the house and the back of the house? This is a major reason why properties should process linens in-house versus outsourcing the task – quality is too important to send off-site.
Bringing laundry in-house enables your property and your people to maintain a higher level of quality control. Hotels make a significant investment in linens, particularly when high-thread-count bed linens are becoming the norm and many properties, and nobody will be more focused on the finished quality than their own laundry staff.
Outsourced linens do not always carry the same level of detail. Once linens leave the premises, there are no assurances that they are being handled correctly and with the prescribed wash cycles/temperatures, as well as dried to the appropriate levels and not over-dried (which causes them to wear out faster). In the past, properties might have struggled to ensure staff was following processes to deliver great results. However, today’s systems, such as UniMac’s TotalVue, give managers greater visibility to how the laundry is running, even when they aren’t on-site. Operations reports and real-time views of the equipment act as a check that staff is employing proper quality procedures.
Keys to reducing costs
There’s a popular misconception that outsourcing laundry service is more cost effective than doing it in-house. Promises of flexible pricing based on occupancy levels rarely materialize. Processing loads in-house costs roughly 20 cents per pound versus 40 to 50 cents per pound when outsourcing.
- A quality partner. It is paramount to work with an experienced distributor, who can offer services to streamline start-up, including: laundry layout and design (to ensure efficiency, safety, ergonomics), equipment sizing, staff training, and setting of baselines (review of laundry performance) as well as audits to confirm maximum efficiency.
- Efficient washer-extractors. Select washer-extractors with ultra-high extraction speeds (350 G-force or higher), which remove more moisture from loads and reduce drying time. Often, pieces emerge from the washer ready to go to the finisher. Also look for user-friendly programmable controls to ensure flexibility and cycles tailored to specific loads.
- Over-dry protection. For tumble dryers, choose ones with over-dry protection. These units dry to a specific moisture level and shut off, saving utility costs by not over-drying loads. It also lengthens linen life, as over-drying damages fibers.
- Leverage technology. You invest in efficient equipment to reap all the cost-saving benefits they have to offer, as well as deliver exceptional quality to drive excellent guest satisfaction. Utilizing laundry management systems to monitor your laundry is like an insurance policy – delivering data to confirm you are getting the best efficiency and quality every load.
Great guest reviews include everything they interact with on your property and chief among those elements are the guest room linens. Processing linens in-house and leveraging technology helps ensure quality never suffers and processes are followed.