Hiring vs Buying Your Linen


The decision for any catering or hospitality based company to hire or buy their linen is one that should be considered carefully. Each business is different so rather than taking a one size fits all approach, you will need to look at your individual requirements and needs before coming to a conclusion.

Luckily, we’re here to assist you in this process by detailing exactly what you should be considering when making your decision. This article will provide a detailed overview and will help you decide if buying or hiring is right for you.

Corporate Branding and Identity

Depending on the business you’re involved in and the services you offer, you may have a need or a desire to create a unique brand or image for yourself. This could take many forms and could include a simple company insignia or logo to a specific colour scheme.

If this is the case, you will more than likely want to make sure that this branding is visible to all who visit your establishment or make use of your services.

If this sounds like you, buying your own linen is likely to be an attractive option.

  • You will be able to design and have produced a set of bespoke linens that represent your company perfectly. This linen will be yours to own and located onsite for safekeeping.

If you don’t have a need to personalise your tablecloths, towels or bedsheets, buying linen may appear as a less attractive option. Instead, most linen providers will be able to offer you a range of colours and patterns, one of which is sure to provide a good fit for your business.

You might even be able to place a bespoke order that provides 95% of what your own personally designed linen could do for you.

Capital Outlay

Purchasing large quantities of linen is never going to be cheap. Depending on the size and scale of your business, you will often find that the initial capital outlay comprises most of your budget.

Sadly, the expense doesn’t end there. Those who purchase their own linen will often decide to launder it in house which brings a range of other requirements that need to be taken into consideration, the largest and most expensive of which includes commercial washing machines and dryers.

  • Hiring linen will remove the need for large purchases of linen which could easily end up costing thousands of pounds. This is a benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked when your business is still finding its feet and you haven’t been operating for very long.
  • If you are adamant to go down the road of buying, keep in mind that most commercial linen providers will happily launder your own laundry for a cost. For many, this may represent the best course of action; personally branded linen that is laundered off site.

Onsite Storage

Hopefully you’ve also considered the storage requirements of the laundry you’re about to purchase. If you run a large hotel or restaurant, the linen required will often fill a large room, and then some. Large chain hotels will usually have the space available to them to store as much linen as they require but this is unlikely for smaller inns as well as establishments offering bed and breakfast.

Hiring linen would require you to store a much smaller amount of linen onsite as it would be taken away as soon as it was dirty. You would also only ever receive as much linen as you could use, removing the need to find somewhere to put it.

  • Professional laundry companies offer a quick turnaround time meaning that you will never be waiting for your linen. Simply decide on a schedule to suit you which is appropriate for your business model and facilitates the demand that you experience throughout the year.
  • If your business is seasonal, even better. Linen hire and laundry companies are very flexible so changing your order at a moment’s notice is both possible and encouraged.

Applicable to All Industries

Most people make the mistake in assuming that it is only hospitality businesses who stand to benefit from the services of a commercial laundry provider. Companies that provide uniforms to staff who carry out specialist roles and require specialist clothing often choose to launder their employee uniforms on site. Workwear laundry services are very common in the manufacturing and production industry as they’re a great way of ensuring that all garments are washed properly whilst adhering to the care requirements of each item of clothing. Simply make sure that any laundry company you choose has the ability to wash your workwear safely and efficiently.

  • Your staff will no longer be responsible for washing their uniforms and workwear. Instead, you will be able to guarantee their cleanliness and make sure that each garment continues to perform as it should.
  • Completing this laundering process offsite saves you money in the long run, allowing you to concentrate on your core service offering.

Ongoing Replacement

No fabric or linen is going to last forever. The linen that you initially bought will soon wear out and require replacement which is a capital cost you’re going to incur over and over again. The cost of replacement has already been taken into account when you make use of the services of a linen company, leaving you to concentrate on what’s really important and redirect those vital funds elsewhere.

  • The price you pay to hire linen is an all in one cost which includes for everything. Simply pay the invoice each month and your laundry will be taken care of.

Hopefully we’ve provided you with some much needed pointers. Our preference is always for an offsite laundry process which is handled by the professionals. The reasons for this are simple. The environmental footprint of large scale laundry operations is considerable so its best if it’s done in one place by the people who have the latest technology and can do it as environmentally friendly as possible.

Whatever you decide, you’ve now been presented with all the information you need to go and make a decision.

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