Understanding the cost of hotel laundry service for your property should be an open-and-shut-case: Ideally, your agreement with your outsourcing provider is crystal clear on what the pricing includes – and what it doesn’t – and you’re confident that you’re getting the best deal for what you need.
It’s all pretty straightforward, right? Well, in too many cases: wrong. While it may initially seem as if a provider charges less than the competition, properties somehow end up paying more in the long run.
Fortunately, with a little detective work, resolution can be yours. Because the cost of hotel laundry service shouldn’t be a mystery, here are some questions to ask as part of your investigation.
What’s Included in the Cost?
Just as not every large-scale commercial laundry service is the same, not all pricing structures are similar. A common mistake that properties make is to compare quotes from providers without fully understanding what the cost of hotel laundry service includes from place to place.
When running comparisons, find out if they charge extra for:
Pickup and Delivery: Some outsourcing providers charge extra for the transport of linens to and from your property, but not all of them do. Keep an eye out for whether transportation is included or carries an added cost.
Sorting: Again, some laundry services tack on extra costs for having their staff sort your linens when they arrive onsite, and others include sorting in the overall price.
EPA fees: Determine if a laundry provider is passing on the industry fees levied by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Is the Per-Pound Cost for Clean or Dirty Linens?
We don’t have to tell you or your staff that dirty linens weigh more than clean. Sopping wet pool towels, soaked bath mats and robes, plus the other weighty messes guests come up with, are just plain heavy.
So you may be surprised to find that the per-pound cost of hotel laundry service at some commercial providers is for dirty pounds, not clean. When weighing the pros and cons of one service over another, be sure to ask what they charge for.
Are Scales Included?
And while we’re talking about weighing, find out whether a provider distributes scales so that your staff can efficiently track linens as they leave the property and once they return.
The commercial laundry service should be weighing on their end, too, and it’s a good way to ensure accountability and that the numbers consistently match.
Can I Take a Look Around?
Whether you’re gathering commercial laundry service quotes for the first time or considering upgrading providers, it’s always a good idea to ask for a tour of facilities.
You’ll better understand their processes and gain peace of mind about the investment you’re making in outsourcing. Once you see how sorting, pickup and delivery works for yourself first hand, you’ll have a better sense of why it should be included in one holistic cost.
Who Knows What?
Once you’ve determined what expenses your commercial laundry service bill covers and what’s extra, it’s important to get the other departments at your property involved and aware of what you’ve agreed on.
The general manager, housekeeping and finance staffs should all be in communication about the cost of hotel laundry service and keeping tabs on any unexpected changes over time.
There should be no such thing as hidden costs when outsourcing your laundry to a commercial provider, and pressing for transparent pricing upfront will save you time, money and trouble in the long run.
Once that mystery is solved or avoided, you can focus your attention on other aspects of the guest experience.
For more tips on outsourcing hotel laundry, check out our blog.