Opening a new restaurant is a thrilling experience. You have so many decisions to make regarding the menu, décor and kitchen layout. One question that you should have already answered is whether or not you need table linens and staff attire. No fine-dining restaurant gets away without having properly covered tables, elegant cloth napkins and a small battalion of culinary professionals decked out in formal chef jackets.
Of course, you can purchase these items and routinely launder them yourself. In the case of chef, waitstaff and other worker attire, you can trust your crew to buy and properly launder their own chef coats, aprons, button-down shirts and work pants.
Or, you can use a linen and uniform service to manage restaurant linens and staff attire. A linen and uniform service delivers fresh coats, cleaning towels and tablecloths to your restaurant door each week when they pick up your soiled linens.
Casual and upscale fine-dining restaurants often hire linen and uniform services to supply their kitchen and front-of-house needs. Here are several reasons why hiring a service is a wise business decision.
Your Image Is Enhanced and Consistent With Impeccable Linens
People visit a fine-dining restaurant to relax and enjoy a taste of luxury. They don't want to think about ordinary cares or responsibilities. Stains, holes, loose threads and wrinkles on tablecloths and waitstaff's shirts are distractions to guests. Unkept linens and uniforms project an image of sloppiness.
A linen and uniform service supplies fresh, pressed linens that arrive crisp and clean. So your executive chef always has a pristine jacket to wear in the dining room when he greets the guests. In addition, your diners feel special and pampered. They trust that the kitchen is sanitary when they see that the table linens and waitstaff aprons are thoroughly laundered and spotless.
You Have the Tools to Keep Track of Linen Costs
If you buy your own linens, uniforms and cleaning cloths, you will need a way to launder them. You must either invest in a washer and dryer for your business or find a laundry service that will wash linens for you. If you choose to wash linens at the restaurant, you must pay for the labor involved in washing and pressing the linens. You also pay for the water, cleaning supplies, power and gas needed to run the laundry machines.
You need a heavy-duty commercial laundry set if you run a large kitchen. But getting one may not be possible in your location or with your current utility service. In addition, you may have to pay for costly upgrades and permits to wash clothes in your facility. The up-front expenses add up.
A linen and uniform service already has the infrastructure in place to wash, sanitize, press and fold your linens and uniforms. They give you a printout each week of how many of each type of product you used. Armed with a convenient linen source and inventory tracking, you can make smart choices to reduce your linen and uniform costs.
You Don't Worry About What Could Go Wrong With the Laundry
Wine, blood and coffee stains are common in fine dining. If you manage your own linens, you must trust their care to people who know how to remove these stains without damaging the fabric. You must trust your workers to keep track of their own laundry and arrive with freshly ironed uniforms, which isn't always possible for some of your staff.
Too much bleach eats holes in chef coats and wash towels. Too little bleaching agent won't properly brighten whites. Improperly washed or bleached linens will smell sour or swampy. Specialty fabrics require specialty care.
A linen service delivers tablecloths and uniforms that smell fresh and clean. They repair and replace any linens that are damaged. If your laundry workers get sick or your washing machine fails, you're in a bind. With a laundry service, there are no glitches to worry about when it comes to your table service or your staff’s appearance.
The professionals at General Linen & Uniform Service will help you choose the perfect table settings, kitchen cleaning supplies and uniforms for your new restaurant. Give us a call today to get started.