Outsourcing quality linen the advantages

Quality linens are vitally important for hotels and restaurants that want to stand out from the rest and maximise the guest experience. It’s an area where there is an awful lot to think about such as what linens to choose to maintain the highest standards, how to source them, how to care for them and, increasingly, what are the ethical considerations?

Outsourcing any part of this may save on staffing costs, equipment and much more, but quality control is vital. When businesses outsource linen requirements to a laundry offering a rental service, how can they be confident of an ‘arm’s-length’ service which will meet their own high standards. In turn users need to be sure that the company supplying the linens to the laundry meets or even exceeds their needs.

Tonrose is a leading supplier of quality textiles which works in collaboration with laundries and end-users to provide the best service. Tonrose has worked in the hospitality and healthcare textiles business for over 120 years.

With an enviable 3.5 million stock holding, 64,000 sq ft warehouse, robust supply chain and ethical credentials, customers can be assured of swift and reliable service. “Providing quality and consistency in your linen supply is vital to ensuring good customer retention,” says Tonrose director Phil Hodgson. “A poor experience will leave clients looking elsewhere, or perhaps even consider taking matters into their own hands.

With more and more hotels tempted by the promise of more control from an on premise laundry (opl) set-up, proving the value of your commercial laundry operation is becoming ever harder.” “You can’t put too big a price on the value of knowledge and experience that a professional laundry set up has to offer,” says Phil Hodgson, “but clients are needing to work harder prove their worth by offering a seamless service and the latest developments.” “By working in collaboration, engaging in an open three-way dialogue between laundry, supplier and hotel or restaurant, you can be assured that your customers are getting the right products and service they need, when they need them. Regular conversations between all parties allows for any feedback or additional requests to be received in a timely manner.” “Another important consideration for laundries is the products that they choose to buy,” says sales and business development manager Vicky Bentley. “Cheaper hardly ever means better, and almost never means ethical.

“Guests are increasingly questioning the provenance of their linen. Where is it from? Was it sustainably produced? Was it ethically manufactured? “We have longstanding partnerships with all our supplier mills and work in close partnership with them to ensure our strict production and ethical protocols are adhered to. We were the first in our industry to carry the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) mark on our products and are committed to increasing the flow of better cotton throughout the supply chain.” “While it may be tempting at the time, cutting corners when it comes to quality can only mean problems further down the line. Commercial grade hotel and restaurant linens are specifically engineered to withstand intensive use and laundering.

“Linen is what guests come into the most contact with, its appearance and quality reflects the brand and experience the company wants to offer. To provide a winning experience to your hotel and restaurant clients, it’s crucial to work with a linen supplier you know you can trust,” says Bentley. And for those laundries looking for that competitive edge, Tonrose believes it’s vital to offer more than just a great door-to-door service.

“As well as maintaining a consistent supply, close relationships with your textile supplier allow you to benefit from new product improvements or innovations”, says Bentley. “Laundries need to be open to innovation that helps them to deliver efficiencies. For example, our One Wash development took brand new cotton percale bed linen that was well-renowned for being difficult to process and created products that are a dream to launder and a delight to sleep in. “Instead of wasting water, detergent and time on rewashing new linen to avoid cracked-ice creasing, our customers know that they can buy from us and only need a single cycle to get an impeccable finish ready for dispatch instantly. This in turn leads to increased satisfaction from their customers.”

For a venue, choosing the right table linen is a critical choice says Linen Connect. It’s often the first material guests will touch, and reflects the quality of the restaurant, bar or café they’re visiting. For laundries, alongside the need to guarantee this customer satisfaction – they have the added challenge of high performance textile processing, and choosing products which give consumer comfort and can survive industrial processes.

Linen Connect has launched Renoir to their table collection in response to this feedback. Renoir is a superior, heavier 230gsm weight satin-band table linen with wider 1.5cm hems to help with processing and ironing and a high quality mercerisation to give classy, luxurious finish. Linen Connect were one of the first linen suppliers in the sector to get ISO 9002 quality accreditation over a decade ago.

They extensively test all products in-house and in their global supply chain, where experts commit almost 10,000 hours per year to product testing and quality assurance. Every member of their core supply chain internationally has been a partner of our company for over 25 years.

They are committed to sustainability and are constantly evaluating and reducing their environmental impact – from their production processes, to global freight operations to how their products perform in-laundry. Burnley-based Sherry Textiles are suppliers of quality linens sourced from their own mill – Nile Linen Group in Egypt.

They supply their ranges of bedroom, bathroom, dining and kitchen linens to many major laundry groups serving the hospitality, healthcare and leisure industry. The beauty of having their own mill is that they are able to supply standard and bespoke products for customers across the UK, Ireland and Europe. The mill has more than 550 weaving looms in a plant covering just under a million sq ft, meaning they can deliver quantity as well as manufacturing expertise, quality and value. “We can produce a choice of thread counts, tailor a sheet to size, colour etc and we can produce them over in Egypt in a matter of weeks,” said sales manager Alan Saunders. The group also maintains an ethical stance with zero tolerance of child labour and Fairtrade certification. Its bedlinen range has achieved the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the EU Ecolabel.

He adds: “The bulk of our business comes through laundry. The major laundry players are supplied through contracts.” They in turn supply to the end users such as hotels and restaurants. “We do some business directly with some restaurants and hotels and that is a growing area.” Saunders strongly believes the outsourcing model is the best one for many hospitality businesses. Many will have seen an increase in costs at the beginning of April when the minimum wage increased. “It is getting more expensive for these places to maintain their own stocks. It is easier and cheaper to outsource to a local laundry.

“If you have a good relationship with these guys and know their products and what they supply you can come to a good arrangement on the right products. “A lot of hoteliers are looking for something that shines out, that the public take notice of, that’s better than the hotel next door,” said Saunders. “We are currently developing other products for the laundry industry. In this business you can’t stand still, you have got to keep moving and developing.”

One of their new innovations will be a spa range of robes and towels. They also have a new website in development which is expected to be up and running by the end of April and they are refurbishing their 2,400 sq ft showroom.

The Royal Jersey laundry operates seven days a week servicing some of the finest five-star hotels in London and the home counties.

Royal Jersey is a commercial laundry operating seven days a week servicing the laundry requirements of some of the very finest five-star hotels in London and the home counties. Their customers are focused on delivering a world-class guest experience to a very discerning, transient audience of international clients.

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