You’re already sold on the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry: savings in cost, resources, time and floor space, not to mention the relief of taking one more thing off of your plate and handing it over to professionals.
Your boss? Not so much.
If you’re having trouble making the case or just want to make sure your arguments are solid, here are some tips for how to sell the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry to your boss.
Detail the Cost Savings in Two Steps
Step 1: Calculate Your Current Costs
Most of the initial objections to working with a commercial laundry service revolve around cost, namely the belief by hotels, resorts and timeshares that they can handle their linens more cheaply than a provider.
But when asked how much it currently costs to do their laundry, few can say with certainty, and even fewer take into account the “hidden” or indirect costs of on-property laundry.
To persuade your boss, it will help to have both quotes from area hotel laundry services and a strong sense of your current cost per pound. For help getting started, use this comprehensive OPL Cost Calculator.
The calculator includes all laundry-related expenses such as:
- Direct labor: FTEs, annual hours per FTE and hourly average labor cost
- Chemical supplies: For laundry and water treatment
- General supplies
- Utilities: Including gas, electricity, water and sewer
- Maintenance: Payroll and consumables
- Indirect payroll and administrative costs: management payroll, taxes, consulting fees, garbage, etc.
- Depreciation: Of commercial laundry equipment and the building itself
Step 2: Gather Quotes
Even if you’ve gotten outsourcing quotes in the past, it’s worth it to revisit hotel laundry providers in the area to make sure their rates and offerings have stayed the same. They may have added new services that will make your boss even more convinced of the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry.
When comparing quotes from different companies, make sure to ask:
- Whether the rates for laundry per pound refer to wet or dry linens. Sopping wet robes and bath and pool towels weigh more, and the right provider will have rates that apply to dry, clean linens.
- What the quotes include – and what they don’t. Make sure that one company’s quote isn’t significantly lower because it turns out that they charge extra for services such as delivery or sorting.
- Are scales included? Your laundry provider should give your property scales to be used as linens are leaving the property and when they arrive back. It’s good accountability for you and for them, and scales should be a part of the laundry package.
- When you and your boss can take a plant tour. Seeing is believing, and the best way to get some peace of mind that you’re making a good investment is to see the provider’s operation for yourself. Take note of the condition and sophistication of their equipment as well as the efficiency of their staff.
Sing that It IS Easy Being Green
OK, maybe leaving the singing to Kermit the Frog, but sustainability bragging rights can set you apart from the competition and make life easier.
As guests become more concerned about the environment and the impact of their actions on our natural resources, they’re also taking into consideration the carbon footprint of who they do business with. And that includes hotels and resorts.
Guests are searching for properties with high sustainability ratings and eco-friendly innovations, from the kitchen, to the guest rooms to, you guessed it, the laundry room. If your aging laundry equipment is stuck in the stone age and you’re considering energy efficient replacements, it’s time to weigh the conservation pros and cons of getting out of the laundry business altogether.
The right, large-scale linen laundry service is in the business of handling more linens for less money. It’s in their financial best interests to have the most modern energy efficient equipment available so that they can pass those savings along to properties. Their machines will use less water, gas, electricity and produce less waste.
And once your laundry is being handled in a way that’s kinder to the environment, you can mention your eco efforts in marketing materials and use it to bolster applications for green certifications.
Paint a Picture of a Transformed Laundry Room
Hotels and resorts that shut down their on property laundry rooms have a golden opportunity to reclaim the space and turn what had been an expense generator into a source of revenue.
Help your boss imagine the din of hotel laundry machines being replaced by the calming sounds of a new spa, the cha-ching of the register at a new gift shop or the friendly efficiency of staff who have new office space.
Transforming the laundry room into a new service or shop can also help attract new guests and keep existing ones.
Describe the Bump in Guest Satisfaction
Outsourcing your laundry won’t just save money, resources and space, it will save you time. Once you’ve gotten into the swing of managing the partnership with your new laundry vendor, you’ll have more energy to invest in other parts of the guest experience.
Having a laundry vendor with high-tech machines may mean you’re finally able to upgrade your luxury hotel sheets and towels and get around to upping your par levels. You’ll be able to hand off not just laundry concerns, but the training and onboarding process as well.
Benefits that Sell Themselves
Selling the benefits of outsourcing hotel laundry to your boss may take some time, but planting the seeds gradually can help.
A copy of the OPL cost calculator here, a few hints about a new spa there, and the next thing you know, you’ll be shutting down for good.
Good luck with your efforts! Hopefully, you’ll find that the savings and other benefits sell themselves.