How to Reduce Hotel Laundry Costs

how-to-reduce-hotel-laundry-costs.jpgSome of the best ideas for how to reduce hotel laundry costs at your property are likely hidden in plain sight and can be put in place as early as today.

While some ideas involve big changes such as investing in new equipment or shutting down your OPL altogether, others are smaller and easier to implement.

Keep reading for details on how to reduce hotel laundry costs at your property once and for all. 

Accurately Calculate Your Current Costs

If you’re looking at how to reduce your hotel laundry costs, you may already have a good sense of what your expenses are now. But in case you don’t, make coming up with an accurate figure your first priority so you can set sensible goals.

Most properties underestimate the true cost of their on property laundry operation by not including every laundry-related expense. When you’re calculating your costs, be sure to take into account the money you spend on:

  • Water
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Labor
  • Laundry chemicals
  • Commercial laundry equipment maintenance, repairs and depreciation
  • Cost of the OPL’s square footage
  • Replacing hotel linen

Once you have a good baseline, you can move on to other elements of your cost-reduction plan.

Allow Guests to Opt Out of Daily Laundry Service

A laundry opt-out program can cover two different types of hotel linen – bedding and towels – and serve two different purposes: reducing laundry costs and a property’s carbon footprint. It’s no surprise, then, that linen opt-outs are one of the most popular eco-friendly steps taken by hotels and resorts.

For bedding: Leave a card in guest rooms indicating that unless guests ask for daily service, housekeeping staff will only launder their sheets every 2-3 days and, of course, between guest stays. You should explain that it’s part of your eco-friendly efforts to save natural resources such as water and electricity, allowing guests to feel virtuous for helping the environment (without actually having to do anything).

For towels: Offer guests the opportunity to opt out of having their towels washed every day, too. Place a sign or card in the bathroom indicating that towels left on the floor will be removed and laundered and towels hung up will be left to be used another day.  

Some properties have even gone so far as to offer incentives such as coupons or loyalty points to guests who elect to forego all housekeeping services during all or part of their stay.

Train Staff on Your Laundry Opt-Out Program

For a successful laundry opt-out program, guests are one half of the equation, while your staff members make up the crucial other half.

If you already have a program in place, consider refreshing your hospitality training to ensure that staff are aware of it and how to implement it correctly. It doesn’t do anyone any good if guests are diligently hanging their towels every day, only to have them whisked away by staff to be cleaned anyway.

If you’re starting a new program, train all new and existing staff and encourage them to heed guests’ wishes.

Have Enough Pars

Investing in more hotel linen to save money may sound counter-intuitive, but consider this: Not having enough pars on hand means you’re burning through your luxury hotel bedding, towels, robes and table linens too fast through wear and tear.

Being diligent about par level management saves money because linens last longer when they have time to rest between uses. Having enough pars also keeps you well prepared in case of the expected, such as laundry machine maintenance, and the unexpected such as power outages or severe weather.

Update Your Old Commercial Laundry Equipment

Commercial laundry equipment for OPL hotels is a major investment, and it makes sense that properties want to make it as infrequently as possible – if it ain’t broke, why replace it?

Why? Because your trusty old machines could be costing you money by not handling your laundry as efficiently as new equipment. The technology in laundry machines for hotels, like everything else, is always evolving.

Commercial laundry equipment for hotels are being engineered today to save water, gas, electricity – and therefore, money. You may not give much thought to commercial dryers for hotels, but unless yours has high-tech sensors that shuts it down to prevent overdrying, you may be behind the times.

It’s worth exploring what new options are available and whether your laundry machines for hotels would benefit from eco-friendly upgrades.

Partner with an Eco-Friendly Hotel Laundry Service

Every day, more hotels, resorts and timeshares decide that the answer for how to reduce hotel laundry costs is to get out of the laundry business altogether. Properties find that shutting down an OPL and outsourcing to an eco-friendly commercial laundry service saves money and so much more.

Cost-saving and other benefits of laundry outsourcing include:

  • Consolidated costs: Instead of facing multiple laundry-related expenses spread across providers and vendors, outsourcing means one bill for everything, from pickup to delivery.
  • No more equipment expenses: You not only won’t have to worry about upgrading your commercial laundry equipment, you won’t have to pay to maintain or repair it anymore either.
  • More laundry, less energy: The right commercial laundry service will have the technology available to handle your laundry using less water, energy and resources and in less time.
  • Room for revenue: Moving laundry operations offsite frees up the space once occupied by your OPL to be used for retail space, a spa or coffee shop that will generate revenue for your property and provide opportunities to your existing laundry staff.
  • Pay as you go flexibility: With an OPL, many laundry costs are fixed – you’re paying to house your commercial laundry equipment whether you have a full house or not. With an outsource provider, you pay only for what services you use, meaning you’re paying laundry costs only for occupied rooms.

What Will You Start Today?

Depending on what your property is ready for, the steps for how to reduce hotel laundry costs can be big and sweeping or small and impactful. In general, the best approach is not to go it alone, whether that means getting staff and guests involved or bringing in an eco-friendly commercial laundry service. Whether it’s refreshing your hospitality training manual or gathering quotes from vendors, you can start the process today. 

So what will you do?