Benefits of Outsourcing Hotel Laundry & Overcoming Objections

outsourcing-hotel-laundry-objectionsFor many in the hospitality industry, the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry are clear – substantial savings in money, time and resources – but not everyone is convinced. And they make their objections known.

Complaints and concerns about cost, linen damage and property mix-ups are the most common, as well as some creative what-ifs we won’t even get into.

Overcoming the most common objections is the best way we’ve found to convey the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry to the unconvinced.

“I Can Do It Cheaper Myself”

This objection to outsourcing hotel laundry is so common, it gets top billing. Properties are so certain that their on-premise laundry operation is the most economical solution that they don’t even bother doing the math.

And then they use the OPL Cost Calculator and realize how much they’ve been underestimating the true cost of their laundry per pound. The comprehensive laundry calculator includes both direct and indirect costs, including:

  • Labor
  • Chemical supplies
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance payroll
  • Taxes
  • Garbage
  • Equipment depreciation
  • And more

Once people compare the total cost of their laundry to outsourcing, they realize they actually don’t – and can’t – do it cheaper.

“Those Other Laundry Guys [Fill in the Blank Disaster Here]”

Just as not all hotel properties are the same, not all commercial laundry services are created equal. One provider may have lost or damaged linens, but that doesn’t mean they all will.

For properties facing issues with their current laundry provider, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Insist on a scale. Your commercial laundry service should have provided scales so that you can weigh linens before they leave your property and when they arrive back. They should also have frequent and transparent weigh-ins built into their own process to ensure accountability.

Get everything back, even if it’s damaged. Clean laundry weighs less than dirty – which is why you should contract to pay for clean pounds, not dirty. But if the difference in weight seems abnormally high, chances are your laundry is tossing damaged or heavily soiled items without returning them to you. Getting everything back, with a separate bag or container for damaged goods, helps account for everything.

Know what your contract covers – and what it doesn’t. No one likes unpleasant surprises, especially in the form of a higher-than-expected bill. If your invoice includes charges you don’t recognize or understand, ask for details and confirm whether you’re being billed extra for things like sorting, delivery or fees.

Take a tour. The best way to understand what’s going on with your linens at the laundry plant is to go on a tour. Scheduling a walk-through can put your fears to rest or help surface the source of any issues. It may turn out that your own housekeeping or maintenance staff, and not the laundry provider, is behind those stubborn stains or damage.

“You’ll Mix Up All My Linens”

We get it. When people picture a large commercial laundry handling multiple properties’ linens at the same time, they imagine chaos. Luxury hotel bedding, towels and robes flying through the air, all mixed together with no regard to ownership.

It isn’t like that.

A day in the life of a hotel laundry service is busy but orderly, organized and not at all overwhelming.

The right laundry provider will have both hands-on and high-tech methods of avoiding linen mingling such as Batch Integrity tunnels that allow for a single hotel’s linens to be sent through the laundry process at a time.

The entire plant should follow the batch process, from linen arrival to departure. At any given time, workers should be able to tell, with the touch of a button, the location of an individual property’s linens in the process.

“OK, You Win”

That’s what we like to hear! Outsourcing hotel laundry is a big change, but with the right provider, the transition can be one that makes life easier on your staff and your linens even better for your guests. And who can object to that?