Setting the right par levels for linens at your property is the kind of crucial housekeeping calculation that can spell the difference between fully functioning order and absolute chaos.
Not having the right amount of linens available when you need them can set off a domino effect of overworked staff, overtaxed sheets and towels, and just plain over-it guests. It’s an unfortunate enough scenario that it’s worth it to be prepared at all times.
Whether linen losses are setting you back or your housekeeping staff just keeps coming up short, it’s worth investing some time on getting your par level right. Every property is unique and every housekeeping operation has its own secrets of success, but there are some general guidelines that can be universally applied.
With that in mind, here are some best practices for setting par levels for linens:
Determine Your Par Stock
Before you set your target par level for linens, you need an accurate point-in-time accounting of your par stock: Just how many sheets, towels and other linens do you need to fully outfit your property for a day of operations?
If you aren’t sure or haven’t calculated in a while, make that your first step. Be sure to include the linens for all rollaway beds or sleeper sofas, too
Carefully Manage Your Inventory
Keeping regular tabs on your linen inventory may be time-consuming, but so are shortages, and they negatively impact both your staff and your guests.
Scheduling and executing your linen inventory every 30, 60 or 90 days means shortages won’t sneak up on you, and you’ll be able to track wear and tear trends, as well as pinpoint losses. Replacing linens as you go means you’ll have a consistent supply without scrambling.
3 Is A Magic Number
In general, you shouldn’t let your par level for linens slip below three. Three sets of linens per room allows for: one set in use, one in storage in case it’s needed and one in transit to be laundered.
For your hotel sheets, in particular, you want to be sure to allow them at least 24 hours of rest between uses.
Slipping below three makes your property too vulnerable to shortages in case of an unexpected surge in guests and puts too much of a strain on your supply as it’s laundered more often.
Stop the Losses
Nothing will sabotage your carefully calculated par levels like the disappearance or irreparable damage of linens before their lifecycle is over. While some loss is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize it, such as:
- Provide disposable makeup remover wipes in guest bathrooms, a move that can spare both your sheets and your towels;
- Make a variety of cleaning cloths and rags readily available to housekeeping, maintenance and facilities staff so they don’t turn to your towels to sop up messes;
- Experiment with putting an eco-friendly cleaning cloth in guest rooms in case of spills.
Launder Your Linens the Right Way
A sustainable laundry operation isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for your linens. Non-toxic detergents, pre-treated water and energy efficient commercial laundry machines will help lengthen the life of your linens by avoiding harsh chemicals and lessening the overall cleaning time.
If going green doesn’t sound so easy, consider partnering with a commercial linen service specifically geared toward the hospitality industry. They’ll have the equipment and experience to ensure your linens are handled as efficiently as possible.
Using best practices for setting par levels for linens can ensure your property’s housekeeping and guest experience operations run smoothly under any circumstances. Remember, a properly stocked and managed linen inventory saves time, money and resources.