How Not to Get Overcharged by Your Hotel Laundry Service

hotel-laundry-service-cost.jpgPartnering with a hotel laundry service provider is one of the smartest business decisions your property can make. Likely one of the reasons that you’re outsourcing – or considering it – is to take advantage of the cost savings, among other benefits.

So what’s with all of these charges?

Not all commercial linen services are the same, and it’s important to understand the strengths and challenges of each one before you sign or renew your contract, and that includes their full pricing structure.

To help you make the most of your investment, here’s how not get overchargd by your hotel laundry service.

Shop Around 

Just as not all hotels are identical, hotel laundry services have important differences to watch for, too.  

A vendor’s price may seem right, but its service package may not include everything you think it does. You’ll benefit from getting a few quotes and making sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting. While price is important, so are customer service, the condition of their plant and equipment, and the culture of the business.

If you want to be absolutely sure their practices align to your property’s standards, see if you’re eligible to take a tour of their facilities.  

Be Clear on the Costs When You Sign the Contract…

Does the vendor charge separately for sorting? Are pickup and delivery included in the price? Do they charge EPA fees? A fuel surcharge?

These are all questions to ask upfront to reduce the chances that you’ll be surprised later. Find a vendor with transparent pricing and fees that include everything you need.

…And When Paying Invoices

Chances are, the person at your property who signed the hotel laundry outsourcing contract is not the same person who deals with the day-to-day laundry pickups and deliveries, or the same one who signs off on invoices. Any miscommunication among those different team members can lead to overcharging if you aren’t carefully tracking whether what you agreed to is what you’re paying.

Make sure everyone related to your laundry operation is familiar with the conditions of your outsourcing contract so you can quickly identify and address any discrepancies. That includes the general manager (GM), the housekeeping supervisor and Finance department.

Make Sure You’re Paying for Clean Pounds, Not Dirty

Given all of the water-soaked room towels, pool towels and bath mats plus anything else guests throw at you dirty laundry weighs more than clean laundry.

The right commercial laundry service provider will charge you for the clean-smelling linens you get back from them, not the soiled products that you send. To avoid overcharging, be sure you’re paying for clean pounds.

If Your Vendor Doesn’t Provide a Scale, Ask for One

We’re living in an increasingly data-driven world, and laundry is no different. A magic number for laundry outsourcing is pounds of laundry, and you should be able to track exactly how many dirty pounds you sent, as well as how many clean pounds you got back.

To take the guesswork out of the process, your laundry vendor should provide you with a scale you can use at pick up and delivery.

The vendor should also have a series of scales and weight-monitoring devices at their plant to track how much your laundry weighs at each stage of the process, from washing to finishing.

Most hospitality properties find that outsourcing laundry to a trusted provider saves money, labor and resources over on premise laundry, and to realize all of the benefits, it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid overcharging.