Commercial laundry equipment – it’s an unseen and essential element of any hospitality property’s operations, and it might just be one of the most confounding. Does it make more sense to keep your existing laundry equipment or switch to a commercial linen service? If you’re currently using a service, should you bring laundry back onsite? Or is a mix of on-premise and off-premise laundry your best bet?
Only you and your team can decide what’s best for your property, but here are some pros and cons of commercial laundry equipment for hospitality to keep in mind as you’re weighing your options.
Pro: Complete Control
Having your own commercial laundry equipment on premise puts you and your housekeeping staff in charge of the entire laundry process, from linen collection to water temperature. If you’re finicky about certain elements of the laundry, keeping everything where you can manage it may be a more comfortable option than turning it over to someone else, even if that someone is a professional service.
Con: Constant Monitoring
Owning the laundry process means control and all of the responsibility that comes with it. You’ll have to make sure all of the housekeeping, maintenance and facilities management staff are fully trained in how to use and properly service the equipment, and someone will have to oversee both the overall quality of the laundry and manage the staff.
Partnering with a commercial linen service frees up your staff and management for all of the other tasks it takes to keep your property running smoothly and your guests happy. Far fewer people can be assigned to manage the quality of your chosen vendor’s work than it would take to manage on-premise laundry, and you can stipulate in your contract what kinds of standards you expect them to meet.
Pro: Cost Savings by Unifying Laundry Services Across Multiple Properties
It’s an attractive scenario that works for some hotel groups: Multiple properties in close proximity handle all of the group’s laundry out of one central location. That one location invests in the best, most high-tech machines and reaps the benefits of having the latest and most environmentally friendly equipment on the market.
Con: Commercial Laundry Equipment is Expensive to Buy, Run and Maintain
Sharing the cost of new laundry machines across several properties is a great option, but if you’re a single property, the cost can be considerable. In addition to staff, you’re covering the expense of gas, water and electricity. In general, laundry services account for an estimated 15-20 percent of hospitality energy consumption and 16 percent of hospitality properties’ water usage.
In contrast, a commercial linen service’s business is based on being able to efficiently handle large quantities of laundry, both from a financial and environmental standpoint. For many laundry services, you’ll pay as you go, allowing you to only pay for occupied rooms.
Pro: No Commuting Time
By having on-premise laundry, you won’t have to worry about coordinating pickup or delivery times with an off-site vendor, and you can have all of your linens available when and where you need them.
Con: No Flexibility in How You Use Your Space
Commercial laundry equipment puts laundry where you need it, but what if you need that space for something else? Moving laundry operations offsite frees up valuable real estate for other uses that may benefit staff or guests more.
Making the right choice about your commercial laundry equipment could make all the difference to your guests – and your bottom line – and it’s important to keep questioning what options are right for you by continuing to look at the pros and cons.