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There is nothing more stressful in a busy hotel or motel than scrambling for linen at change-over time. Organising the laundry space won’t just save time (and sweat and possible tears) for staff either. Additionally, bedding that is rotated often and hygienically stored provides greater value over time, saving money for the business.
Understanding the process of stripping a room and preparing it for the next guests is integral to organising a laundry. The ideal laundry has easy access, preferably with double doors that carts can easily negotiate. A designated space for parking the carts while loading and unloading and when not in use, helps to minimise congestion.
In terms of area, a smaller operation might need something approximately 3.5m2 in size. A larger operation will require 6m2 or more – approximately the size of a two-car garage. The ideal room is light and airy and free from dampness or moisture. It can be tempting to place a laundry in an unused underground space. If you decide on this route, pay attention to ventilation to ensure longevity of linen and machines.
A good floor plan will have two walls for shelving, with machines, sinks and chemical storage along another wall. In the centre of the room it is useful to have a long, smooth topped table about 1.2m x 2.4m. With a pillowcase press at one end, there is space to fold Super King items at the other.
The laundry is a key part of the operational backbone of a hotel or motel, and a laundry that is well set up reflects in the success of the business. The best accommodation suppliers have their laundry planned perfectly – systems will be in place for managing stock and ensuring everything is where it should be and ready when needed.
Organising a laundry well, means staying ahead of the curve. Each bed should ideally have three sets of bedding and linen available – one on the bed, one in the laundry cycle, and one spare.
This will not only mean that your guests are comfortable and happy but will also contribute to the happiness and staying power of your workforce (as they won’t have to be constantly scrambling for linen in a crisis).
Storage shelves should allow for aeration so linen is able to dry properly. Preferably this shelving should be plastic-coated or timber slatted and not metal (as this can rust and discolour your linen). Shelves should be well labelled, with size and type of sheets for example.
Pillows, duvets, toppers and other extra bedding that can’t be folded well should be stored in zippered storage bags to protect from dust. Depending on your operation, these might be labelled for individual rooms or by size and product. Shelving type is not important for these items as they don’t need to aerate.
The laundry can also be a place to store spare kitchenware. Use a separate shelving area for this so that it doesn’t get tarnished by laundry sprays or dust.
A well planned and process-driven laundry space can be really inspirational. To ensure the space stays as sorted and tidy as it starts out, a room-by-room inventory list may be helpful. This can be pinned to the wall in the laundry and will help your staff to see what is needed and where things should be placed.
Starting off with a well set-up laundry will positively impact your profit and ability to grow. Allowing for more space than you currently need, if possible, will provide for any future growth while also giving your staff enough room to move around at busy times.
Knowing your numbers, in terms of historical and forward bookings, will also help to drive efficiency in this area and allow money to be saved in the long run. Sets of linen that are given time to ‘rest’ will last longer than those that are either on a bed or washing and drying. This is the same for kitchen linen, which should also be rotated and given proper time to dry and air between uses.
If you’re interested in getting your laundry properly organised, please reach out to one of our expert consultants. Or alternatively, if you have it sorted and want to share your best practice with us, we’re always keen to hear of fresh ideas for clean linen. Contact us here.
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