During a recent conversation with a laundry customer in the hospitality industry, we got on the topic of mistakes we see multiple hotels making in their on-premises laundry room. As we talked and thought through some of the hotels we’ve worked with, it was amazing how many of them were making similar mistakes across the board. While many of them — like underloading a washing machine or using too much laundry chemicals — seem relatively minor, they can have a serious impact on your bottom line, finished quality, machine lifespan, and laundry room efficiency overall. That conversation definitely got us thinking, so we decided to share some of the common mistakes we see in hotel laundry operations. Hopefully, it helps your hotel avoid similar issues.
1. Using old, outdated equipment. Old commercial laundry equipment is less energy-efficient and has more maintenance issues and downtime. In the end, that could mean thousands of extra dollars in utility, labor, and repair/replacement costs for your hotel.
2. Not utilizing technology. Laundry technology is more advanced than ever, which is beneficial for your business. Using laundry room and equipment management tools, like UniLinc and TotalVue, can help you better manage your hotel’s on-premises laundry room. The automated alerts, reporting, and monitoring technology that’s available today enables you to track machine performance from anywhere there’s an internet connection and make educated business decisions. That, in turn, improves performance and saves you money.
3. Overloading or underloading machines. Machines are designed to hold a specific capacity. Overloading or underloading them means they’re not operating at peak efficiency, which can have a serious impact on your linens, laundry throughput, and the machines themselves. A good commercial laundry distributor can help you find the best capacity machines to meet your hotel’s needs and laundry scales can help make sure you’re filling washers and dryers to the right capacity. It’s important to remember that, in the hospitality world, rarely do all linens arrive in the laundry at the same time. This is why it often makes more sense to install several lower capacity machines rather than a couple large ones. This way staff is not stuck waiting around for enough laundry to fill a large capacity washer-extractor.
4. Using the wrong soap or chemicals. You should always be following the recommendations when it comes to chemicals. Using the right amount of chemicals and soaps is crucial to your hotel’s laundry operation. While your property may offer a variety of amenities, bed linens and towels may be the most important elements contributing to a quality guest experience (and those important online reviews). Work with your chemical company representative to ensure the correct formulas are utilized and chemicals are added at the correct step in the cycle. Using the wrong laundry chemicals will absolutely impact linen quality and the guest experience.
5. Not properly training staff. Turnover in housekeeping and maintenance staff is prevalent at hotels, which can make training and onboarding a challenge. However, training is never something to take lightly or skimp on. If your employees don’t understand how to use the industrial laundry equipment or follow your process, it can cause damage to your machines, increase linen replacement costs, and impact the overall productivity, quality, and efficiency of your hotel’s OPL. Overall, educated and engaged staff members are your first line of defense. They should be trained to identify issues before they become a major problem. Not to mention, proper training can help you reduce injuries in your on-premises laundry room.
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If you have additional questions about improving your hotel’s laundry operation, our experts are happy to assist you. From equipment to laundry room design and maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered.