The hospitality sector is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has suffered huge losses in revenue resulting in massive retrenchments and foreclosure of many hotels and guesthouses to close. Today presence a challenge for many hotels and guesthouses to come up with a post-covid recovery plan to recover cancelled, abandoned and new bookings.
Hotels and guesthouses are looking to provide value-added services while aligning their operations and reducing unnecessary expenses that were previously outsourced, like laundry services. Some still hold the traditional view that they should focus on their core services - accommodation, this view is proving to be outdated and unreliable with ever-changing consumer behaviour. One of the ways that businesses' in the hospitality industry can influence consumer behaviour is by shaping emerging habits with new and unique offerings - such as bringing laundry services in-house.
Benefits of in-house laundry service
Quicker turnaround time
Fewer lost or damaged items
Improved staff confidence
The common challenge for hotels and guesthouses outsourcing laundry services is the lack of quality control regarding the outcome of the washed fabrics. When you outsource you relinquish all control of washing, drying and ironing your laundry according to your preference. There is no guarantee that the outsourced vendor will treat your laundry with care and clean it accordingly. When you invest in an in-house laundry service, you have 100% control over the entire process from washing, drying and laundry - plus you can control the amount of detergent and water temperature used to ensure the best care for your laundry. This might seem complicated but you need not worry, thanks to the modern technological advancements of the industrial laundry machines that automatically takes care of that.
One of the main factors that influence the ratings of hotels, guesthouses and lodges is the cleanliness of where guests stay. Any slight experience with dirty or stained sheets, towels, tablecloths, or napkins negatively affects your brand significantly, and with the power of social media and OTA's, bad reviews can quickly spread overnight. Research by Miele shows that the most common complaint from guests is dirty bed sheets, followed by bodily fluids, food and drinks. Being in control of the quality of your laundry will not only reduce complaints but will also have guests give you more positive ratings and improve the brand equity of your hotel or guesthouse.
Fast Turn-around time
When you outsource your laundry service, you have to operate on the vendor's schedule, rather than your own - your service offering is not tailored to your establishment. There is a lack of control regarding the liability of the outsourced laundry service (including failed collections and deliveries) which can result in your premises with little or no clean sheets, towels and table cloths.
When you invest in industrial washers and dryers, you significantly shorten the turnaround time for clean laundry, your hotel's sheets, towels and other fabrics can be washed and dried in one day. This is more efficient than having hotel laundry waiting to be collected by a vendor at the end of the week.
Long-term cost savings
Most hotels are concerned about the initial cost of purchasing laundry equipment and fail to see the long term cost-savings of having an in-house laundry service. Many establishments try to reduce costs by using domestic washing machines and end up paying the price over the long run:
Higher running costs;
More breakdowns and downtime;
Greater maintenance costs;
Reduced warranty cover
Choosing the right laundry equipment is a critical part of cost-effective in-house laundry service. After all, this requires a large capital investment so it’s important that you choose suitable equipment and brand known for quality and longevity. According to Miele superior machines will have an operating lifespan of over 30,000 hours; which equates to running the machine 8 hours a day, every day for over 10 years. In essence laundry machines that use less water, less energy and has less breakdowns overall saves you money.
Fewer lost or damaged items
Replacing damaged or lost sheets can be an expensive and unnecessary expense on your books, this usually occurs with outsourced laundry services as you have no control over the washing process, and the harsh chemicals used in the mass cleaning process can damage your laundry. And also laundry can get lost due to vendors handling too many orders or mixing up client orders and deliveries. By having laundry equipment on the premises, managed by your staff and not an external party you significantly reduces any chances of theft or lost items.
Brands like Miele have a unique design with a sculptured structure of the honeycomb drum, where a thin film of water is created between the drum and the laundry. The laundry glides gently on this film and is treated with optimum care:
Textiles are treated more gently.
Garments keep their shape and last longer.
By investing in high-quality industrial laundry equipment, you can easily adjust the programmes that wash, dry and iron all your fabrics without any damage and to your level of satisfaction on the cleanliness. This enables your hotel to set and maintain a high standard for laundry.
Improved staff confidence
Housekeeping staff deal directly with customer complaints the most in hotels, guesthouses, and lodges. They have to apologise, hurriedly find and replace stained sheets or towels in guest bedrooms in some cases. This puts enormous pressure on housekeeping, especially when laundry is outsourced and they have no control over the quality and turnaround time of clean laundry. When you add an in-house laundry service, you instil confidence and empower housekeeping staff knowing they can give the best possible service to guests.
With reliable washers and dryers, staff can quickly provide clean sheets, towels, table cloths and other fabrics in the quickest time. Equipping housekeeping staff with reliable cleaning equipment has also shown to increase job satisfaction and reduces employee turnover, gives caused by excessive customer complaints of hygiene and cleanliness.
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