As the hotel industry continues to consolidate, competition for guests becomes more intense. Many properties pull out all the stops to provide a memorable experience to guests & to entice them to return because the hotel's bottom line depends on it.

It's All about the Linens

Among the many amenities currently provided by hotels to make them stand out from the competition, are high quality, fresh linens. Given the important role they play in developing guest loyalty, it's critical that hotel operations management pay particular attention to their care. Linens must be washed, dried, and ironed carefully to ensure not only their cleanliness, but their soft hand and longevity as well.

A hotel's multi-pars inventory of high quality linens is an expensive capital investment that must be handled properly to ensure a long lifespan. The question facing hotel operations management is whether it makes more sense to process the linens in an on-premise laundry or outsource them to a commercial linen service. It's a complex issue that depends on a number of other factors unique to each hotel property.

Hotel On-Premise Laundry

A hotel on-premise laundry equipped with high efficiency, commercial laundry equipment is a significant investment. On the other hand, processing laundry in-house provides a number of advantages which will pay-off in the long-run, as follows.

  • Allows for custom laundering care of linens which can lead to better outcomes, particularly with the use of modern, state-of-the-art commercial laundry equipment. Top brands include Milnor and Chicago Dryer
  • Water-efficient Milnor washer-extractors result in reduced drying times, decreased gas costs, eased bottlenecks along with reduced wear and tear on linens
  • Programmable commercial washing machines and dryers, along with automated folding and ironing machines minimize training and labor costs
  • Tighter management and control of linen inventory
  • Faster in-house laundry turnaround requires maintaining fewer pars on hand in inventory

Outsourcing Hotel Laundry

Depending on the property, outsourcing hotel laundry on a contractual basis may make sense for the short-term, particularly if the property is tight on space and there is a reputable commercial linen service nearby. Outsourcing eliminates the need for the capital investment in commercial laundry equipment along with the associated labor and other overhead costs.

On the other hand, by sending out the laundry, hotels lose some measure of control over the linens: how they are processed and how quickly they can be turned around during busy periods. Another consideration is the environmental impact - hotels have no control whether the laundry contractor is using the most water and energy efficient commercial laundry equipment. These days, more and more guests are interested in patronizing eco-friendly hotels. 

The Bottom Line: Consult a Commercial Laundry Expert

An experienced commercial laundry equipment supplier can help analyze your laundry process flow to determine whether it makes sense to build or upgrade your hotel's on premise laundry or outsource all of your guest laundry or some combination of both. For on-premise operators, working with a quality laundry equipment distributor will not only help guide your decision-making in terms of choosing the optimal size and mix of washers, dryers and finishing equipment, it can also offer a solid warranty and services agreement along with a preventative maintenance plan. Preventative maintenance is crucial in order to avoid any downtime which will affect guest services.

Western State Design has been involved in the hospitality industry since 1974 and has been instrumental in helping some of the world's best known hotels solve various laundry challenges. WSD offers a full-line of top rated, high capacity commercial laundry equipment along with expert guidance on how to put it to best use in a particular hotel property. For more information, please contact one of our experienced laundry specialists.

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