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Advantages of In-House Laundry vs External Laundry for Hotels

With a dedicated laundry facility in your hotel, you can respond to all your laundry needs fast and reliably without depending on delivery to an external supplier and their turn-around times for handling and returning your linens, tablecloths, napkins and staff uniforms. Many hotels with on-site spas and pools find it particularly advantageous to keep a smaller laundry facility for towels, as these need no finishing but need to be cleaned on a frequent basis. Chef whites also need frequent cleaning and can easily be handled in-house, even when chair covers, tablecloths and napkins are sent to an external facility.

Think about what it is that you need laundered and how quickly you need these items washed and ready to be used again. This will help you make an informed decision as to which laundry option is best suited to your business.

 

 

Advantages of In-House Laundry for Hotels

Speed and Reliability

With a dedicated laundry facility in your hotel, you can respond to all your laundry needs fast and reliably without depending on delivery to an external supplier and their turn-around times for handling and returning your linens, tablecloths, napkins and staff uniforms. Many hotels with on-site spas and pools find it particularly advantageous to keep a smaller laundry facility for towels, as these need no finishing but need to be cleaned on a frequent basis. Chef whites also need frequent cleaning and can easily be handled in-house, even when chair covers, tablecloths and napkins are sent to an external facility.

Think about what it is that you need laundered and how quickly you need these items washed and ready to be used again. This will help you make an informed decision as to which laundry option is best suited to your business.

Care of delicate fabrics

Delicate fabrics, whether linen or items of clothing belonging to guests, will require delicate washing and laundering. Doing your laundry in-house lets you precisely control temperature, the use of detergents, spin rate and drying times, to give the best possible care for delicate and non-colourfast fabrics, and minimise accidental damage that might occur if you were to outsource your laundry requirements.

As much as you would expect the experts to be fully knowledgeable about the items they are washing, external laundries tend to be run with industrial economics in mind, which means standard temperatures and standard detergents for everything. Accidental loss of colour to non-colourfast fabrics or damage to delicates can easily happen without the use of lower temperatures, non-bleach detergents, and slower spin cycles.

Keeping your delicate laundry on-site may also reduce your stress levels as you will not have to be concerned with the outcome an external supplier will deliver. It will also mean that you will not run the risk of any of your items going missing, which could potentially happen if they leave the hotel site.

Clothes-washing for hotel guests

Ever thought about offering a clothes-washing service to your hotel guests? Those staying for short periods might not be happy with the idea of having their clothing sent off to an external laundry. What if it comes back late? You can give customers added confidence by offering them an in-house overnight clothes-cleaning service, delivering their ready-washed and dried clothes the following morning. Having the option to offer a service such as this may also set you apart from competition and give you an edge when it comes to customers making a decision on where to stay at the time of booking.

Reliable service contracts available

Taking out a monthly service and maintenance contract with a dedicated supplier of industrial laundry machines like Brewer & Bunney means you don’t need to worry about maintenance downtime. We’ll send round our engineers to fix any faults promptly. Time is money in business, and customers will not be impressed if you have to cancel or delay their stay due to a faulty machine that is awaiting a new part. Ensure that your business reputation is maintained by taking out a service contract for all your commercial machines and making sure that they are repaired in a timely manner that does not disrupt your business services.

Long-term cost savings

Businesses are always looking at innovative ways they can cut costs, and implementing your own in-house laundry service may be one way for you to do this. Commercial laundries are businesses that have their own staff costs to meet and need to run at a profit. While they may offer a very reliable service, over time there can be significant cost savings attached to handling your own laundry in-house. If you can successfully implement and run this service, it does stand to save you money in the future.

Custom Linens and full operational control

If you manage an upmarket hotel and want to stand out by using more expensive or customised linens on your guest room bedding or on your tables, you might not want to rent the standard-issue linens offered by typical commercial laundries as part of their service.

In this case, an in-house laundry gives you better operational control by allowing you to manage your own more delicate linens and ensure their quality is maintained by adjusting your washing settings to their requirements. An example of where custom linens might be desired is if your hotel caters for weddings and functions, and you offer better-quality linens, fabrics and decorations for these more prestigious events, or if you offer particularly luxuriously appointed rooms and feel as though standard-issue commercially hired linens are not a good fit for what your high-class customers expect.

When you have made an investment in costly custom linens, you will want to ensure that they will be looked after as well as possible so that they remain presentable after many wash cycles and continue to give an impression of luxury and class. Where the best-quality fabrics and finish are expected, an in-house laundry option may be best so that you can manage all aspects of quality control, from fabric selection through to cleaning and ironing.

 

 

Advantages of External Laundry Service for Hotels

Saving on space

If space is at a premium in your hotel, giving over a room to a laundry facility may be difficult to justify, or practically impossible. It could mean losing a bookable room or a reception room, resulting in lost revenue, which may not be the sensible option. In this case, it makes sense to outsource your laundry to an external facility with the space to host the machines and achieve a quick turn-around.

Although it may seem more convenient to carry out your laundry in-house, weighing this facility up against the potential loss in revenue from losing the extra space should probably be your first consideration.

Saving on staff time and labour

Small hotels without spare staffing capacity might not be able to justify employing someone to manage laundry in-house on a regular basis. Managing laundry in-house requires considerable time resource. It’s not just about the time spent loading and unloading washing and drying machines, but bed linen takes a lot of finishing time using ironers and rollers. A substantial hotel would typically need three or four dedicated staff. Even for a small hotel, diverting your regular staff to this duty could take them away from where they are most needed, and at times of peak demand for laundry services as well as when the hotel is fully booked, this may cause serious conflicts in terms of the availability of staff resource for essential tasks. Initial training time in order for staff to feel confident in the running of the machines should also be factored in, time that will also need to be taken from the many other tasks to which your employees are assigned. In these cases, using an external laundry could make good sense so that your staff are free to focus on other areas of work around the hotel.

Simpler business accounts and more focus

If your laundry is carried out by an external service, you won’t have to worry about any maintenance issues on machines and it could be convenient in terms of business accounting not to have to deal with the costs associated with the machines at all. Not only does an external laundry provider offer more simplicity for your business accounts, but with the laundry operations taken care of, it will free up more time and mental space for the running of other important areas of the business, such as marketing and staffing.

Lower electricity bills

Managing your laundry in-house may add significantly to electricity bills, leading potentially to larger bills to pay that could cause cash-flow problems for a small hotel as compared with a regular weekly or monthly purchase order from an external laundry supplier. External providers are likely to have the experience and knowledge of how best to load machines efficiently and when to run them, in order to keep their costs as low as possible. This is something that may take lots of trial and error for a small hotel to master. This would cost time and money that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

Professional service guarantees

When thinking about the areas of your business, consider which require the most attention. If laundry doesn’t immediately come to mind, it may be worth outsourcing and leaving it to the professionals. External laundry services are typically experienced professionals who know how to handle your laundry efficiently and securely, and may offer guarantees on their own insurance against loss or damage or even against delays to the timely return of your laundry, giving you added peace of mind and freeing you up to turn your attention to other business matters.

Full linen hire service

If you’re a new hotel or one under redevelopment with newly expanded guest-hosting capacity, you may be looking to save on initial start-up costs. If this is the case, commercial linen hire could be an option. Commercial laundries generally offer linen hire as part of their service. This means that you don’t have to pay for your own linens or to check them for quality and deterioration on an ongoing basis. The external laundry will take full responsibility for replacing any worn linens that no longer meet with a professional standard of presentation. This will mean one less initial outlay to think about. You will obviously have to pay a certain amount to hire these on a weekly or monthly basis, but it is unlikely to cost as much purchasing all the items you need at once.

You could start with 100% hired linens and then purchase your own intermittently as and when you can afford it, until you no longer need to hire any to supplement those you own outright, but be careful in this case to avoid mixing them up with the hired ones.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS:

We can see that in both cases there are advantages. In order to determine which option is best for your hotel, consider its size and your current resources. Which option would make sense for your establishment, in terms of both operation and implementation? If you opt for an in-house laundry, whether as a complete solution or to supplement the commercial laundry service you use, we at Brewer & Bunney can help. Offering a range of commercial machines tailored specifically to your needs and with ongoing maintenance contracts, we can support the laundry needs of your hotel far into the future. Get in touch with one of the team today if this is something you would like to discuss.

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