When you head out to a family-run restaurant or a grand wedding, let’s face it: the linens are likely the last thing on your mind. But, on the contrary, when the linens are wrinkled, a little stained, or (heaven forbid), missing altogether, that’s when you start to notice. It may sound counterintuitive, but good dining experiences should make you forget about all the details that went into your evening. Because the moment there’s a dirty glass or underperforming table linens is the moment your guests are taken out of the moment (and may not be returning).
But, take a breath. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom in the world of restaurant linens! With a few simple steps, not only will your linens by adding a professional touch to your guests’ experiences, but they’ll also be attracting them enough to make them perpetual customers. Here’s how you can attract customers to your restaurant and keep them coming back.
A Brief History Of Linens
While humans have been dining since the beginning of time, it’s no secret that linens are a relatively recent development. While linen itself is one of the most ancient of textiles, historically it was relatively rare. In ancient times, linen accounted for only 10% of all textile production in countries like Egypt and Babylon. For the reason of rarity alone, linen was highly sought after but often preserved for rituals and royalty. Now, linen is mass-produced, and the average American spent $76.26 last year on bedroom linens alone. But what does the world’s obsession with this durable and anti-microbial fabric have to do with attracting repeat customers to your restaurant? What can we learn from those in ancient Egypt who associated linen with purity?
Use Wholesale To Your Advantage
As a restauranteur, you’re no stranger to anything wholesale. You may even have a few independent sellers you buy from for the freshest and cheapest produce, the highest quality fish, and heck, maybe even some locally blown glasses from time to time (to each his own). So why not use that same savviness, ie, the kind that scoured out large quantities of quality products at the best prices, to find the best quality linens for your guests? With enough research, you could be providing your guests with all the linens they could ever need, from crisp white tablecloths to napkins to protect their evening wear from stains. And as you know, accidents happen. A few linen cloths may get thrown in the trash when tables are cleared, or maybe a cloth or two accidentally catches fire as a hasty gentleman waves it over an open candle. We try our best to prevent these incidents, but life happens. The worst thing would be to hand guests a paper towel instead of a reliable linen napkin.
Above all, make guests feel dignified
If you take nothing else away from this piece, remember that fine and casual dining alike is a dignified human experience, occasionally intimate, and people depend on your restaurant to feel a sense of refinery, even if they’re just getting apps and beer. Providing clean and reliable linens to your customers, along with clean bathrooms, sparkling dishware, and a welcoming ambiance will not only leave them satisfied but inspired to return. Treating each guest as if they deserve the best will leave them feeling as if you truly care about them, and keeping an eye on your linen supply is a way to communicate that without saying anything at all.
So take it from us- buy in bulk and buy the best.