Trying to compare commercial laundry contracts, quotes and proposals can be a tricky business. There are so many variables and laundry suppliers charge in different ways.
In our previous blog we talked about the variables that affect your commercial laundry contract fees.
- How many bedrooms you have
- How many venues you have
- Where those venues are located, in relation to the commercial laundry supplier
- How regularly you have people checking in and out
- What spec of linen you want
But, what else should you look out for when you look to compare commercial laundry contracts, quotes and proposals for your business?
Here are a few things to ask and get clarity around, to make sure you’re happy with the answer before committing your hard-earned cash and investing in a good supplier relationship:
What days do they deliver to your area?
Is it a set day every week? Are they flexible enough? If you, as a customer, have specific requirements, can they match that?
…and, what time of day?
This is an oft-overlooked one. Consider a timing window that works for you. As your primary aim is to create a great guest experience, you don’t want them bumping into the laundry guy as they pop down for breakfast!
Where on your premises is the ideal delivery point?
Perhaps it’s through the front door. Maybe you’ve a space around the back that is ideal.
Many laundries will not do stairs and will simply roll the laundry cage off the truck and dump it at the door leaving you and your team to do the heavy lifting. This could pose a problem if your place has a ton of stairs and your storage is up several flights.
A lock box is ideal for self-catering venues. Many laundry suppliers are happy to work that way with owners, as it provides you with flexibility and is less demanding on specific timings for the supplier.
What’s the linen like?
Not all linen is created equal. It’s not unreasonable to request a sample pack so you can make a decision about the spec and the quality. However, do bear in mind that it’s easy to make a sample pack look good! So make sure to keep your sample pack(s) from your chosen commercial laundry supplier so that you can cross-check it against the linen you ultimately are getting, once you’ve signed up.
What’s the minimum charge?
Most places will have a minimum delivery charge. Make sure this is stated in any quote you get.
What charges are there, over and above the actual piece rate?
Some places do have other charges that come as a wee surprise, unless you know of them upfront. Charges such as environmental charges: has your laundry been wrapped in plastic, for example? You might find a charge for abused or lost linen. Ask for clarity around any other charges that might arise, over and above the linen hire and delivery.
How do I get out of a contract if I change my mind?
A typical contract is around 3 years. It can take up to a year for a supplier to see the return on the investment they’ve made on the linen they’ve bought in for a larger venue. For smaller venues, some suppliers offer a shorter contract which affords flexibility.
So, look at your own delivery requirements, where the ideal delivery point will be and what days suit you best. Check with each laundry you’re speaking to so that they can manage all of that. And make sure you’re happy that there are no hidden charges!
Lastly, if all things were equal, a good question to ask is how local they are to you, to resolve a problem if there was a last-minute issue.
These are the things to ask so you can make an informed decision and don’t just go with the cheapest or most smiliest salesperson!