Should a Restaurateur Rent or Buy Their Table Linens?
Are you an entrepreneur who is interested in opening up his or her own restaurant in the near future? Amongst the many questions which you need to ask yourself, one of the most important is whether you should buy or rent table linens for your business. There are pros and cons associated with each, though after doing some proper research, one option tends to offer far more benefits to restaurant owners and managers than the next. We will explore these benefits and drawbacks below, starting with what to expect when you buy your own linens.
Should You Be Buying Your Linens?
The most easily recognisable benefit of buying your own linens is the fact that you will have a far greater selection than if you were to hire a company to launder and provide you with linens. When you choose to buy linens, your options of materials, styles and colours are nearly limitless. You can have your cafe or restaurant name embroidered on them, which can help with branding. You can also be sure that the linens your diners are receiving at their tables are of the same outstanding quality every single time.
Another reason why many restaurateurs choose to purchase their linens rather than rent is that they can have full control over the linens. Apart from being able to choose exactly what the linen will look like, they have entire control over who cleans the linens (including if they choose to do it themselves) and may have greater flexibility in terms of deciding the method of cleaning their linens will need for them to be fresh, healthy and up-to-code.
Why You Should Consider Renting Your Linens
First, it is important to preface this section by saying that all of the benefits which will be detailed below only pertain to restaurants who choose to hire a reputable and reliable table linen hire company. There are a number of businesses who do not have a solid reputation and who regularly provide dirty linens to their clients, or they use linens of an inferior quality.
If you do your research and build a partnership with a quality linen company, however, the case for renting your linens over buying them is clear. Below are just some of the benefits that you can expect from renting your linens:
- Partnering with a Linen Hire Company Will Save You Time and Money
Entrepreneurs are particularly focused on saving money, which means that they often bring their linens home with them to launder, or they will wash them at a local laundromat. Not only is this costing you more money (a linen hire company means not needing to purchase the linens, and a linen company can bulk-wash more linens at a lower price in industrial-sized machines than an entrepreneur can in a standard washing machine), but it is syphoning precious hours away from your business, your family, and other important events in your life.
- The Linen Hire Company Will Pick up and Deliver Your Linens
Another time-saving benefit of choosing a reputable linen hire is that the company will come by at the same pre-arranged time every week to pick up your linens and they will be dropped off at the very same time every week. If your restaurant needs to make changes in terms of your cleaning requirements based on seasonal changes or a promotion which may see an increase in customers, the linen hire company should be able to accommodate you.
- The Linens Are Cleaned to Code
Apart from having fresh and great-looking linens delivered to your restaurant on time every time, the linens which you are providing to your customers must be cleaned to code. This is important in terms of keeping your customers healthy, your staff healthy, and your restaurant’s reputation healthy.
- The Linen Company Inspects and Replaces Damaged Linens
The linen company which you choose to work with will inspect every napkin, tablecloth and apron which they deliver to you. These items are checked for holes, signs of wear, loose strings and more, and are either repaired or replaced before arriving at your door.
- You Will Save Square Footage
If your restaurant is like most, then space is at a premium. By not having to have industrial-sized washers and dryers on your premises, you are saving loads of space in your establishment that can otherwise be used as a food preparation area, a dishwashing area, or a storage area in your restaurant.
The Characteristics of a Great Linen Hire Company
As touched on above, the above benefits can only be realised if you choose the right linen hire company for the job. So what should you be looking for?
The Company Should Have Fantastic Customer Service
Customer service is key if you are going to be able to regularly keep in touch with the linen hire company and be able to convey your needs to them. When checking the company’s references, make a point to ask the reference about what kind of queries they have asked the customer service team within the linen hire company, and if they were satisfied with the service they received. It also never hurts to call up the customer service team yourself to see how friendly and helpful they are with you.
The Company Should Have the Options You Need
The next important factor to consider is whether the company has the options you need and can customise items. The company should:
- Have the right type, style and colour of linens necessary for you to best represent your brand;
- Have the right type of contract (or lack thereof) so that you can easily scale your business and upgrade or downgrade your services as necessary; and
- Have flexibility as to when linens can be picked up and dropped off so that it suits your business needs.
The Company Should Be Well-established and Reputable
The only way for you to be able to run your business effectively is to have reputable and reliable partners working with you. The linen hire company you choose should be well-known for being punctual, and providing superior customer service, as well as providing top-quality linens every time.