Getting your linen services right – and how they can make your hotel better
As a hotelier, you’re probably already aware that Brisbane is in the middle of a tourism boom this year, breaking its own records with over a million visitors, bringing in over $1.7 million in revenue. Cheaper flights, both domestically and internationally, and a drop in the Australian dollar, have attracted huge numbers of travellers who are looking for a comfortable place to stay while they enjoy the city’s offerings.
But far from simply enjoying the thriving business that comes with a tourist influx, you’re probably trying to keep abreast of the competition, including several new hotels that have recently popped up in the city.
It’s a fierce market, and travellers are seeking increasingly higher levels of luxury when they’re choosing their hotels. They’re also increasingly liberal with their opinions, and won’t hesitate to post a bad review on travel websites when service standards don’t meet their expectations.
So what can give your hotel that ‘something’ that the others don’t have? How can your hotel deliver the sophistication and glamour that will keep your visitors happy, and your hotel’s reviews positive?
One of the answers is a lot simpler than you’d think: the sensory experience of high-quality linen.
Getting it right for your guests
Your guests don’t have to be discerning travel experts to be able to pass fast judgement on your service standards. You might be proud of how many guests your hotel has grandly accommodated over the years, but if you’re going to bring in more in the future, those rooms must look like they’ve never been slept in.
The first thing your guests will see is the bed, and if there’s so much as a tiny wrinkle in the pillow slips, sheets or covers, you’ll be on shaky ground—first impressions last, and that bed has to be whiter than white, crisp as a snowflake, and as soft as a baby’s behind.None of your guests will appreciate even a hint that someone has slept in their bed before them, let alone hundreds or thousands of people. But when you get it right, your guests will parachute into their beds, soaking up the freshness and brightness in a glorious repose.
The next inspection test you’ll have to pass is the bathroom linen. While it might not be the first thing they’ll see, it may be even more important—bath towels, hand towels, bath mats, and face washers are used intimately when your guests are bathing, and if those items aren’t soft, fluffy, thick, and bright white, it’s a real assault. Nobody wants to be reminded that the towels they’re wiping across their bodies has already dried the vast expanses of thousands of strangers, and if those items don’t look like you’ve just personally sourced them from a high-end store, you (and the rest of the world) will definitely hear about it.
Your guests are spending on average between $200-$600 per night to stay at your hotel. That’s a lot of money to waste if you’re not getting what you wanted, but it’s chicken scrap if the experience is glamorous. While your linen is only one item on a long list of critical factors that you have to get right, it’s among the most important—it might be the thing that brings your guests in, but it can definitely be the thing that drives them out. Delivering below the minimum standard for linen quality will be a deal breaker for your guests, and even when your other services are top notch, it’s near impossible to come back from.
Getting it right with professionals
Improving your hotel’s linen services obviously benefit your guests. But there are a number of other ways it can improve your hotel’s reputation, including improving its service quality, expenditure, and environmental impact.
You and your staff are experts in hospitality services. Your expertise spans greeting and taking care of guests, solving problems, juggling check-ins and check-outs, and getting every detail in the rooms exactly right—down to the fold of the toilet paper. But are you experts in laundering linen.
Many hotels have the capacity to take care of their own linen, but over time, it’ll begin to look tired, old, and lacklustre. Linen hire professionals manage enormous volumes of linen, and as industry insiders, their business is delivering an endless supply ofhigh-quality linen that looks and feels brand new.
With the fast turnover of linen from a busy hotel, it’s likely to be much more cost effective to your business to hire professional linen services than to keep sinking money into a bottomless pit.If you’re laundering and managing your hotel’s linen supply, you’ll also know about the enormous expense you incur every time you need replacements, which probably seems to be every other week. There’s also less risk to you in outlaying capital: when you need to change your stock levels up and down, it’s only a matter of changing your order, rather than disposing of old linen and purchasing replacements and extras.
Professional linen hire services are also a lot less taxing on the environment. The provider’s years of experience and state-of-the-art technology means they consume and waste substantially less water than your in-house services do, and because they’ve perfected their techniques, they can extend the life of the products much further than you could—so there’s less replacement and wastage.
Getting the right star rating
As a hotelier, you know how important your star rating is to attracting new guests, and to achieving prestigious industry recognition for your life’s work. But you might not know how entrenched your linen services are within the covert measures for the star rating—and how much is riding on them.
Your linen affects several important measures within the star rating system,including:
- Cleanliness: It’s essential that your dirty linen is collected discreetly, and replaced with deliciously crisp, bright, and freshly laundered items. Any stains on sheets, pillowcases, or bathroom linen are unacceptable, and will impact badly on this measure.
- Attention to detail: Your work in this measure goes beyond the cleanliness and quality of your linen—it includes your standards and choices of presentation, including folds, and is examined down to every wrinkle or crease in the sheets and pillowcases.
- Good food: Your table linen and kitchen staff uniforms are judged alongside your menu items. The presentation of your linen throughout the entire dining experience has a measureable influence on the overall ambience of your restaurants and dining facilities.
- Comfort: Your linen shouldn’t just look perfect: it should feel luxurious and soft, and be irresistible to use. This is particularly important in the thread count of your sheets, and the thickness and softness of your bath towels. Falling short on this measure will greatly influence your overall score.
Your hotel’s linen is incredibly important to the overall success and profitability of your business, and if you haven’t considered outsourcing it before, now might be the time—you’ll never know for sure, but it could be the thing that gets you that extra star.
New hotels are emerging all the time to take advantage of Brisbane’s biggest tourism boom, and if your service standards are falling short, you’re going to lose out. The good news is that it’s easy to improve one of your most essential services, and hold your place or work your way to the top of the hotel food chain. For the highest quality linen hire services, and sound solutions and advice from industry professionals, contact CleanTex now.