The dining industry is chaotic, complex, and demanding. In a bustling metropolis like New York City, this is doubly true. If you own or manage a restaurant, you know how many decisions must be made on a daily basis. Between scheduling employees, ensuring food quality, accounting for finances, and troubleshooting throughout busy shifts, anything that can simplify the process of running a restaurant is likely to be attractive. However, it’s important to weigh simplicity against cost to benefit ratios, especially when outsourcing services. This includes the use of linen services.
Linen services can be costly, but they also take a huge weight off your shoulders. Different restaurants have different needs, though, so before making a commitment, it’s important to examine what benefits and drawbacks come with hiring a linen service. Let’s start with the benefits.
Consistently Clean Linen
Whether you use a linen service or not, you still have dirty laundry that needs to be cleaned. Without a linen service, you’ll be stuck doing it in-house. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there is a larger margin for error when laundry is done by in-house employees rather than a professional service devoted solely to laundering linens. Chances are, you’ll be dividing that work up among employees like dishwashers, servers, and cooks. Piling more responsibilities on busy workers is not conducive to high-quality results. A good commercial linen service will provide consistent, clean laundry every day. If they don’t, you can hire one that will.
It May Save You Money Overall
This may seem counterintuitive, but doing laundry in-house may cost just as much or more than outsourcing the service. You’ll have to account for industrial washing machines, the linens themselves, resources like soap and water, and labor costs for those who have to do the work. You’ll also need the space in your building to house a laundry unit, and in a city like NYC, space doesn’t come cheaply. These costs add up more than you might think.
They Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Cleanliness has never been more important than the current era, but even laundry that looks and feels totally clean can spread germs if not handled carefully. The employees you would have doing in-house laundry might be the same ones interacting with customers, preparing food, or washing dirty dishes. By contrast, employees at a respectable linen service are trained in proper sanitation guidelines and don’t interact with your customers, lowering the risk of cross contamination.
CDC guidelines also specify that every table must be cleaned and sanitized completely and thoroughly between uses. Considering the fast pace of restaurant work, using tablecloths is often the most convenient and practical option. However, this adds an even larger load to your laundry and makes total sanitation between uses of tablecloths absolutely essential. A commercial linen service removes the guesswork and labor involved.
As the popularity of a restaurant ebbs and flows, so does its laundry-related needs. Should your restaurant grow to the point that your in-house laundry services can’t handle the workload, you might find yourself in a predicament. The last thing you want is to have to turn down customers because you have no clean linens. On the other hand, you don’t want to have purchased more linens than you need only to have them sitting around taking up space.
A good commercial linen service will provide you with exactly the amount of linens you need and can adjust that amount as your needs change. When business is surging, simply ask them to start bringing more. Going through a slump? Reduce your order.
Focus Your Attention on Your Restaurant’s Other Needs
Here lies what might be the greatest benefit of using a commercial linen service—peace of mind. Outsourcing your laundry means that you have one enormous aspect of running a restaurant completely taken care of. Keep in mind that commercial linen services clean more than just table linens and tablecloths. Many services also take care of towels, aprons, floor mats, kitchen uniforms, wash cloths, and more. Hiring a high-quality linen service means that all cloth materials will be consistently clean without you needing to put in much thought or effort.
Why You Might Not Want to Hire a Linen Service
As we said before, different restaurants have different needs, and you might find that doing in-house laundry is preferable to hiring a service. Doing laundry in house does allow for a higher degree of control. If you are picky about certain aspects of the process like water temperature, starch usage, or type of detergent, you may be better off doing it yourself.
In-house laundry also allows you to launder things at your own convenience. Linen services typically pick up and drop off your linens at specified times of day. If you do your own laundry, there is nothing stopping you from washing items in the middle of a shift if an emergency happens. Should you host an early morning or late-night event, you also have the freedom to adjust wash times to accommodate it.
Lastly, if you are a new or very small business, doing in-house laundry might be more affordable. With consistency small loads, you may not need a large, expensive, industrial washing machine. A small one might be far less expensive and take up less space. Small washing machines also tend to take less time to wash a load, making it easy to throw in a few things throughout the day as needed.
Commercial Linen Services Through Best Metropolitan Linen
If your restaurant is in New York City or the tri-state area and you decide a commercial linen service is right for you, Best Metropolitan Linen can provide you with the highest quality service possible. We have been family owned and operated since 1946, and our reputation for high service standards, best value products, and friendly personal care is well earned. Contact us to learn more about our services today.