Hotel Laundry Service: Valet or Coin-Operated?

WWL Blog Image Hotel Laundry Valet or Coin-Operated

Offering laundry services to guests is an amenity most travelers appreciate, but how do you decide between providing a valet service or coin-operated machines? Patrons will expect access to at least one of these options, and both are an additional source of revenue, but which you select should be based on your business’ clientele, staff, and facility logistics. Consider the pros and cons of each solution before deciding which amenities to provide.

Valet Laundry Services in Hotels

Valet is a full-service laundry amenity that many business travelers and guests of upscale properties will expect. This includes clothing pickup and delivery after it has been cleaned and pressed or steamed, if requested. There are upsides and downsides to providing this convenient service, and it will be up to your individual business to determine if it is feasible.

Pros of Offering Valet Laundry Service

A comprehensive assortment of hotel amenities can draw in guests, and having a well-run laundry service among your offerings can provide many benefits, including:

  • Attracting new guests looking for a tailored experience, and improve loyalty of guests who appreciate this level of service.
  • Increasing guest and staff interactions, providing additional opportunities to provide superior customer service and help your brand stand out.
  • Full-service offerings utilize the commercial equipment you already have in your hotel facility, so there’s little up-front equipment costs.
  • Cleaning fees plus other upsell services for pressing and steaming provide additional revenue for your business.
  • Placing marketing materials on clothing tickets or bags to promote room service or airport pickup to highlight other catered services and sources of revenue.
  • Increase the volume of your laundry room, keeping staff busy and machines operating during off-peak hours.

Cons of Offering Valet Laundry Service

Operating a valet laundry service requires a high level of organization, extra staffing, and space to create a successful program. Not all hotels have the resources to provide this amenity, and doing so can have these drawbacks:

  • Processing guests’ expensive, delicate, or sentimental clothing puts extra responsibility on staff for proper linen handling and cycle selection, and loss or mishandling can be detrimental to your brand’s reputation.
  • Laundering guest items might require costly upgrades to provide better linen care with features such as programmed wash cycles and auto-sensing dryers.
  • Laundry room scheduling requires manager oversight to ensure guest volumes do not lead to backlogs or delays in day-to-day operations.
  • Hiring dedicated staff for the valet position may be required to effectively manage interactions with guests and for proper billing, inventory, tagging, and so on.
  • Creating a service counter or processing area within your hotel laundry room will be essential to organize incoming and completed requests, and to give bellhops and housekeepers a designated area for clothing drop-off and delivery.
  • Operating a valet service requires supplies such as laundry bags, full-service price lists, and other informational and marketing collateral that will need to be purchased, inventoried, and managed.

Coin-Operated Hotel Guest Laundry

Coin-operated laundry is an amenity commonly expected at extended stay hotels and resorts. Guests appreciate the convenience of having a longer stay without needing to pack multiple suitcases. Self-service machines are an investment which can yield a return, but there are many factors to weigh when considering this option.

Pros of Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Facilities

Coin-operated hotel laundry facilities can increase guest satisfaction and provide an additional revenue stream. For travelers looking for value with their stay, having access to washers and dryers can be a deciding factor for booking. Providing reliable coin-operated equipment for your guests can provide many benefits, such as:

  • Guests appreciate the more cost-efficient option of doing their own laundry, especially when they are traveling as a family or booking an extended stay and will need multiple items laundered.
  • Today’s tech-savvy vended washers and dryers impress guests with easy-to-use controls, cashless payments, and cycle monitoring with DexterLive, prompting positive guest reviews and loyalty.
  • Remote access technology allows managers to reset controls, disable equipment, or start a cycle from anywhere, making their response time faster and eliminating the need for extra staff to manage this area in-person.
  • Providing energy efficient equipment, gives you an edge for marketing to eco-minded patrons.
  • Coin-operated laundry provides a profitable revenue stream, especially if you take advantage of Dexter’s features to upsell enhanced cycles and introduce promotional pricing to help improve your return on investment.
  • Selling other vended goods with traditionally high markups for increased profits (single-use soaps, stain removers, and other essentials). To avoid having to lease equipment, offer these items for sale in your lobby’s convenience area.

Cons of Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Facilities

Any amenity can tax resources and staff, even coin-operated equipment that requires less direct customer service. In order to provide a quality experience, you’ll need to factor in these challenges related to equipment, staff, and facility before taking on this endeavor:

  • This service doesn’t utilize existing equipment, so you’ll need to purchase coin-operated machines to provide this amenity. Because equipment is often installed on each floor, this can require a substantial investment to start.
  • If you’re modifying an existing building, the cost of any needed modifications and utility hookups can negatively affect your return on investment.
  • Implementing laundry near guest quarters can introduce noise and vibrations if not thoughtfully planned with a building engineer and knowledgeable equipment distributor.
  • Additional time will be needed for training reception desk or housekeeping staff so they may accurately assist with troubleshooting and answer questions, plus you’ll need to manage the change machines and coin deposits.
  • Housekeeping will need to take on extra duties for keeping this space clean and orderly.
  • Having a knowledgeable laundry technician may also be necessary for preventive maintenance and periodic repair.

Hotels With Coin-Operated & Valet Laundry Services

Implementing both valet and coin-operated machines is a one-size-fits all solution, but there are bonuses and challenges to this approach too. Your hotel can advertise both laundry amenities to attract business and vacation travelers. Having well-rounded offerings provides guests with the option to select the most cost-effective solution, giving them a value-add. However, having too much invested in laundry-related amenities may spread your resources too thin and you may find your staff has to split focus to tend to either service. Likewise, this blanketed approach may cause one or the other to be under-utilized leading to wasted labor and vacant facilities.

Which Guest Laundry Service Is Best?

Determining which option is best is up to your property and the guests you’re looking to attract, and while you may think that it is easier to skip all laundry services, this is a huge inconvenience to guests and can affect your ratings, reviews, and occupancy rates.

In the end, understanding what your guests expect, who you are looking to cater to, and where your staff is limited or excels are factors that will help determine what laundry services that are best for your hotel. When it comes time to decide on equipment for your hotel, trust our expertise to provide recommendations and start planning your amenities today.

Need Help Designing the Best Laundry Service for Hotel Guests?

Contact the experts at Worldwide Laundry for commercial and coin-operated laundry equipment and solutions today.