You have finally decided it is time to outsource your uniforms and linens. Your restaurant is busy enough that you can no longer spend time doing the laundry yourself. Furthermore, you have run the numbers and determined that outsourcing is likely to save you money. Now what?
You could go online and search for uniform and linen rental companies in your zip code, then choose the first one that comes up. We understand the temptation of doing so. There are lots of linen and uniform rental providers out there, all claiming to be the best in the business. Yet we hope you will trust us when we say that such a haphazard approach doesn’t guarantee you’ll wind up finding a partner you’re happy with.
The first thing we recommend is to narrow down the list of potential partners by looking for the particular services you need. As a restaurant owner, your main goal is to provide high-quality staff uniforms complemented by kitchen and table linens that match in both appearance and quality. Alsco would be an excellent choice given that we pioneered uniform rental in the United States 130 years ago.
Along the same lines, you’ll want to find a uniform and linen provider that offers 24-hour customer service, dedicated account managers, linen management support and proven quality control.
Look for training and certifications
Today’s commercial laundry environment is more complex than ever. In order to produce hygienically clean and safe linen products, companies require state-of-the-art technology along with fully trained employees who know how to do the job right. With this in mind, we recommend looking for providers capable of proving employee training and industry certification.
We would never say that a young linen and uniform rental provider cannot provide stellar service, but we do believe that there is a lot to be said for longevity. As previously mentioned, Alsco has been in the uniform rental business for 130 years. Our longevity demonstrates a commitment to our customers that we believe is unparalleled.
Communication is essential in any business relationship. Pay attention to how interactions unfold as you search for a linen and uniform provider. Look for a company that keeps the phones staffed. Note how fast e-mail inquiries are answered. Take a look to see if providers give their customers immediate online access to all of their account information and allow them to make changes online.
The better the communication, the better your relationship with your provider is going to be. Here at Alsco, communication is a top priority. We believe it is one of the keys to our success.
If your business is located within a reasonably close distance to a potential provider’s laundry facility, ask to take a tour. Any provider worth their reputation will be happy to show potential customers around. They want to demonstrate their laundering procedures, competence, technology, and so on.
Touring a laundering facility may not be possible because of distance. If so, ask to take a tour of the local depot. Even this sort of tour can give you a good idea of how a uniform and linen company operates. A clean and efficient depot generally means positive things about the company’s laundering facility as well.
And now you know how to navigate the linen service waters as a new customer. We hope Alsco is on your list of providers to consider.