What Is Managed Linen Service & Who Should Use It?

A managed linen service provider equips their clients with linens such as towels and tablecloths. Although different providers may operate in different niches, many like Alsco can help a company meet virtually any linen need it may have. This is often comparable in cost or cheaper to handling your own linens, but it gives businesses many benefits because they don’t have to manage the process of maintaining and laundering their own linens.

What Is a Managed Linen Service?

A managed linen service maintains and launders linens for a business. These specialized service providers can greatly reduce the complexity of running a business that requires linens for either customer or client use. These services can generally provide a wide range of linens, from tablecloths and pillowcases to towels and service cloths. 

Our company, Alsco, is a managed linen service provider; however, our model has also expanded into other areas since our founding over 130 years ago. We demonstrate what can make these services so beneficial. We currently serve 355,000 customers in more than 180 locations worldwide. 

Companies like ours have the equipment, supply chain and experience to provide linen services that would be difficult to match on your own. This is a natural consequence of operating a business. This is the area we are focused in, which allows our clients to then focus on other areas that benefit their businesses more. 

What Types of Businesses Can Benefit From a Managed Linen Service?

Any business that regularly needs linens for employee or customer use should consider a managed linen service. We discuss more about the benefits of these services in the next section, but a managed linen service is often comparable or better in price to the price you would have to pay if you were performing these services on your own. It will allow a company to benefit from a service provided by a third-party specializing in linens and laundering. 

Businesses operating in the hospitality sector are the most likely to benefit from a managed linen service. Restaurants and hotels often need a significant amount of linens and will continually need to launder these linens themselves if they aren’t using a linen service. They’ll also be responsible for maintenance, needing to source new linens as the old ones wear out. 

It’s difficult to compete with the convenience and quality of service that a company specializing in handling linens can provide. If the cost is comparable or less, there isn’t much point in stretching a model, so your company can better handle linens itself. When a company like Alsco handles this service for you, it allows you to focus on other aspects of running your business. 

Advantages of a Managed Linen Service

Some notable advantages of a managed linen service, such as that provided by Alsco, include the following:


A managed linen service can often be more eco-friendly than if a business were to try supplying and laundering its own linens. This is because companies like ours can afford to specialize. 

Our entire model is built on handling linens, preparing them for use and delivering them to customers. Scale often makes greener practices easier and this is in addition to the steps we take at Alsco to keep our model sustainable.


Renting linens and having a company professionally launder them can often be cheaper than attempting to do so on your own. This may seem unintuitive because any business is naturally seeking to make a profit, whereas individual companies can perform certain tasks at cost. However, this again highlights the benefits of scale. 

It’s cheaper for a company specializing in sourcing and laundering linens to do so than a company that doesn’t specialize in that area. Even when these services are provided at a profit, some of those savings can be passed on to the customer. A business should also keep in mind that laundering takes time and resources. 


As long as you choose a service provider with a strong reputation, you can rely on them to provide linens that meet your needs and that are clean and sharp. Companies like ours can also easily adapt to your needs as they change. If your business grows and your needs increase, just contact us and alert us to the changes you want to see. 

You can also trust reputable service providers to deliver on their promises. They have the equipment and staff needed for the task. If you’re handling your own linens, you’re responsible for handling every step of the process and may be more prone to error than a professional service provider.


As a business grows and its needs change, the difficulty of meeting needs in every area can grow disproportionately to the size of a business. Although not true every time, some things become more complex and more expensive when needed in larger quantities. 

Larger service providers don’t have to contend with this issue of scale. They’re already equipped to handle the needs of even large businesses. 

How Alsco Can Simplify Your Linen Management

A managed linen service can greatly simplify a company’s linen needs. Rather than needing to source their own linens and launder them on a schedule, a managed linen service can do the hard work often at a comparable or lesser cost than if you tried to do it on your own. That’s in addition to the other benefits companies like Alsco can provide, such as offering all these services while also helping the planet.

If you’re curious about how we can help, read more about our linen rental services. Whether you rent linens or not, you should also read about our laundering services, designed to help companies no matter their size. The tougher your linen demands on your company, the more likely it is that Alsco can help relieve your burden. Contact us today to get started.

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