Imagine running a hospitality-based business that utilizes linens as part of customer service. Maybe you run a small, roadside hotel or a family restaurant in the center of town. Perhaps a bed-and-breakfast is more your thing. At any rate, you have a choice to make about your linens. Do you keep them in-house or outsource them?
Linen rentals are nothing new in America. Alsco, a Utah company that supplies commercial linens nationwide, actually started the industry in this country back in the late 1800s. They were the first to introduce uniform rentals. Since then, the industry has grown to include all sorts of industrial, hospitality, and healthcare linens.
After more than 100 years in business, Alsco has learned a lot about what makes customers tick. They suggest that there are five main reasons hospitality businesses eventually decide to outsource their linens:
1. They Are Out of Space
One of the fundamental principles of operating a business is to pursue growth. Yet with growth comes the inevitable need to expand. There are plenty of cases where hospitality-based businesses just do not have the room to expand their laundry facilities. They are facing an ever-growing mountain of laundry without the capacity to handle it, so they either take on the expense of building new space or they outsource. Outsourcing is a lot cheaper.
2. Their Facilities and Equipment Are Outdated
Alsco has personally worked with customers who came to them after their own facilities and equipment were no longer keeping up. The typical scenario is a hospitality-based business with commercial washers that are more than 25 years old. There comes a point when that old equipment just does not cut it anymore. At that point, the business has to choose between investing in new machines or sending laundry to a linen company. Just like the previous problem, outsourcing is a lot cheaper.
3. They Are Looking to Save Money
Perhaps the number one thing that drives hospitality-based businesses to outsource linens is the need to save money. In a highly competitive business environment, cutting costs is a big priority for businesses of all sizes. Hospitality-based businesses are gradually coming to the realization that providers like Alsco can supply linens and do the laundry for less.
For the average business that keeps linens in-house, doing so is not a profit-generating business. It breaks even, at best. But more often than not, servicing linens in-house costs more than a business should be spending. Alsco can do it cheaper thanks to volume.
4. They Are Looking to Go Green
Most of the nation’s biggest linen providers long ago adapted to make themselves more green. Small, hospitality-based businesses may have the same goal but lack the resources to make it happen. Outsourcing linens is much easier rather than having the worry of trying to convert existing operations to greener alternatives.
5. They Have Other Things to Worry About
Finally, handling linens in-house is time- and resource-consuming. Hospitality businesses are coming to the conclusion that they have more important things to worry about. Restaurants are more concerned about good quality food and a positive atmosphere. Hotels want to concentrate on room upkeep and amenities. Entertainment venues are focused on booking quality acts and maintaining security.
It makes a lot of sense for hospitality-based businesses to outsource their linens. In this day and age, there are few advantages to keeping linens in-house. It is better for hospitality-based businesses to send their linens to a company like Alsco so they can refocus their time, attention, and resources on their own core products and services.