There aren't many areas where hotels can outsource. At its core, the value of a hotel rides on the level of attentiveness, service, and convenience it can provide guests—and it is remarkably difficult to provide convenient service when the service is not, in fact, on the premises.
That may be why so many properties latch on to laundry outsourcing. In theory, outsourcing your laundry saves your property time, effort, and most importantly, money. But how much are you really saving in the long run?
On-Premise Hotel Laundry Costs
The argument that your property will save money with outsourced laundry rests on a couple of assumptions:
- Your hotel will spend a lot in utility, chemical, and repair costs with on-premise laundry.
- The cost of outsourcing is less than the costs above.
If your hotel laundry operation is still using traditional laundry methods, that first assumption is absolutely true. You are spending an unnecessary amount of money on operational costs associated with laundry.
The problem is, there's a good chance the service you'd be outsourcing to also has high utility, chemical, and repair costs due to traditional water and energy intensive cleaning methods.
As a customer, that cost would eventually be passed on to you, lessening your potential savings.
The other thing that has to be considered into the cost of outsourcing is linen replacement. With a reputable launderer, this may not be a major issue, but some hotels have found that the mass cleaning methods are especially tough on towels and linens, leading to higher replacement costs.
The good news is that your hotel doesn't need to be paying for those water and energy intensive laundry methods, at your property or at a commercial launderer.
In-House Laundry Case Study
The DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma had outsourced its laundry operations for several years, but the property's rural location led to high processing costs and inflexible turnaround times.
Moving to an on-premise laundry operation with new, low-water washing machines allowed the property to save $68,500 per year vs. what they were spending with outsourced services.