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Chapter 8: Managing an On-Premises Laundry
Transcript of Chapter 8: Managing an On-Premises Laundry
Recent trend has been for hotels to operate an on-premises laundry (OPL) rather than contracting an outside laundry service.
Aspects of OPL management covered in Chapter 8:
Planning the OPL
Flow of linens through the OPL
Machines and equipment
Valet service and staffing considerations
Planning the OPL
Important planning considerations:
What is the maximum amount of laundry (output) the OPL will be expected to handle?
How much space should be devoted to the OPL?
How much equipment should be purchased?
Will there be valet service?
Size of the property
Small: 400–800 sq ft for OPL + 400,000 lbs of laundry per year
Medium-sized: varies from 2,000–7,000 sq ft + 1.5 million lbs of laundry per year.
Large: 8,000–18,000 sq ft + 8.5 million lbs of laundry per year.
Type of service offered
Managing an On-Premises Laundry
Choice of fabric is important — directly affects costs of operating the OPL.
Fabric of choice for most hotels is polycotton. Requires less care than all natural fabric and offers most of its comfort.
Most popular fabrics used in hotels: cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, nylon and blends.
Flow of Linens through the OPL
Steps in the laundry cycle:
Collecting soiled linens
Transporting soiled linens to the laundry
Sorting (by degree of soiling and by type of fabric)
Washing (time, temperature, agitation, chemicals, and procedures)
Transferring linens to use areas
Carryover suds or intermediate rinse
Sour/softener or starch/sizing
Hotels and commercial OPLs use more chemicals to wash linens than we use at home.
Hotels fine tune chemicals to ensure effective wash, leaving linens looking new.
Hotel OPLs use alkali to enhance detergent's cleaning power.
Major categories of chemicals include water, detergents (synthetic), soaps, fabric brighteners, bleaches, alkalies, antichlors, mildewcides, sours, fabric softeners, and starches.
Machines and Equipment
OPL machinery is a major investment and affects the life span of linens.
Types of equipment used in OPLs:
Steam cabinets and tunnels
Flatwork ironers and pressing machines
Preventive Maintenance Programs
Essential to the efficient operation of an OPL.
Daily maintenance procedures include checking safety devices; turning on steam, water and air valves; checking ironer roll pressure; and cleaning dryer lint screens.
Maintaining water and energy efficiency.
Reducing repair and downtime costs.
Developing contingency plans to deal with unexpected problems.
Executive housekeeper or laundry supervisor should develop good safety procedures.
Staff should be trained to inspect all equipment daily before start-up and to treat all equipment with care.
Ensure that employees are following safety procedures.
Hotel will take care of guest laundry needs
Handled two ways:
contract an outside laundry or dry cleaning service
hotel will have own equipment and staff on site.
Classified as "same-day" or "overnight"
Providing a valet service on site depends on amount of space in the OPL; valet staff need their own workspace for sorting, tagging, pretreating spots, washing, drying, and finishing; extra space is needed for equipment.
On-Premise Valet Service
Setting Up On-Premise Valet Service
Accepting Outside Laundry
Proper staffing is important to the efficiency of an OPL
forecast daily linen needs in order to schedule staff efficiently
review past records and determine average number of pounds of linen used per occupied room and per dining-room cover.
obtain occupancy forecasts from rooms divisions and cover forecasts from F&B
multiplying number of expected occupants or covers by the average number of pounds of linen used per occupied room or cover will equal the total number of pounds of linen that will need to be handled by the laundry department the next day.
once daily needs are known, number of staff can be determined.
set minimum and maximum staff levels for the OPL.
Increases revenues and offers consistent full-time employment to laundry staff regardless of occupancy levels.
OPL operation must be large enough to handle outside sourced linen -- depends on physical capacity, current laundry use, equipment available laundry staffing levels, internal hotel needs, and time availability.
Set times for laundry pickup and delivery
Determine how laundry will be delivered to guestrooms
Figure bills to be attached to clean laundry
Determine hotel liability policy
Handle lost and damaged items
Field guest comments and complaints
Often quicker and promotes goodwill with guests
Employee uniforms and special linen items can be cleaned using valet service equipment
Other Staffing Considerations
Cross-training laundry personnel—allows for job variation and lets workers cover for one another during absences
When to schedule shifts—if laundry is not in basement or separate building, should not operate at night when guests could be disturbed.
Shift staggering—provides full staffing in middle of the day when laundry load is heaviest
Job Lists and Performance Standards
For efficient OPL operation, performance standards should be developed for all activities in the OPL and employees should be thoroughly trained.