If you currently run a hotel, or have any experience in the hotel industry, you will know that your success in sourcing quality linen can make or break your establishment. From the many bed coverings you will require to the tablecloths required in your onsite restaurant, the right linen is key to keeping your customers happy, and in turn guaranteeing their repeat custom.
If you’re looking to replace your tired linen or you’re just about to open the doors to your new hotel, this guide will provide an overview of the steps you should be taking and what you should be looking for when hiring high quality linen.
Linen Hire Companies
The ability to hire linen has been available for decades with many in the hospitality industry considering it a much more cost effective and efficient option than buying outright. The reasons for this are numerous, and when you get into the detail, make perfect sense.
- Hiring linen represents a relatively small ongoing operating cost that can be easily and quickly quantified, helping you to budget effectively.
- The purchase of large quantities of linen represents a considerable capital outlay, one which will need to be made every five years or so.
- Storing linen onsite requires a considerable amount of suitable space, something which is usually at a premium, especially with smaller establishments.
- Laundering your linen on site will of course require a suitable laundry setup which will need to consist of several commercial washing machines as well as drying facilities and fabric presses.
We’ve only provided you with a few of the many reasons that hiring linen is so popular but you should be able to form a picture of the pros and cons of both options. We should also say that hiring linen can be done through several companies that operate across the country who of course offer a pickup and delivery service. Stalbridge Linen provide laundry services for businesses in the hospitality industry all over the UK but there are several others who provide similar services so you won’t be short of choice. Simply perform a web search to find the nearest provider in your local area.
Consider Your Brand
The first thing you will need to do when hiring linen is make an assessment of your hotels brand. Are you well known within the industry? Do you have a large presence within your locality? These are questions you will need to answer as your brand image is just as important as your service offering.
If your business features a prominent logo, it might be a good idea to showcase it on the linen you use for your hotel rooms in the way of bed linen and towels. Subtle touches like these can go a long way to reminding your guests why they’re there and what keeps them coming back.
In addition, if your business features a prominent colour scheme, it would be a great idea to incorporate this into your choice of linen. For example, white linen with a colour band in the colour of your branding scheme provides a nice touch without going overboard.
Your linen provider will usually be more than happy to take your personalised requests into account when providing you with linen. There will be several options in stock which you can customise or you may even be able to create your own from scratch.
Decide on Quantity of Linen Required
This step should be relatively simple and is based upon the size of your establishment. You will need to make a note of the number of rooms you have as well as the seating provision within your onsite restaurant. If you require linen for your kitchen or cleaning staff’s uniforms, also take this number into account.
Once you have the total figures, you will need to add a percentage uplift based upon your usual replacement rates. Accidents happen and bed clothes and tablecloths often need to be replaced with clean ones much sooner than anticipated. For this reason, you will need to keep a sufficient number of spares on site to cover every eventuality.
Decide on Your Schedule
Linen providers are flexible and can adapt to suit your needs. Your linen will be delivered, picked up and laundered on a schedule to suit you. This may be weekly, or even more frequently depending on your individual requirements.
You will need to take into account your typical occupancy levels throughout the year to help you arrive at a suitable schedule. Busy times of the year may require a more frequent replacement service but quieter times could see your linen delivery being reduced to once a fortnight.
It is important to remember that you can always adjust your order if your requirements change. The initial quantities are never set in stone because your needs will constantly change as you become accustomed to receiving your deliveries. In this case, most linen providers will simply ask that you get in touch with your account manager to make the necessary adjustments to your order. There will be no penalty and the only price you will pay is for the additional linen.
Now that you have all of the important information to hand, you can go ahead and place your first order. One of the most beneficial aspects of linen hire that most customers cite is the ability to leave this vital part of their business to the experts. Not only will this provide you with peace of mind, it will also reduce your overheads as you will no longer have the large utility bills associated with laundering such large quantities of linen hanging over your business.
As we mentioned, the quality, cleanliness and presentation of your businesses linen is what will separate you from the competition. If your establishment is going for one of the many awards available to those within the hospitality industry, you can guarantee that your linen will be a vital aspect of your overall score.