Restaurant Towel and Apron Services – Essential Pieces to Your Success

The sign of a great restaurant is not only evident in the front of the house but also in the kitchen. Towels that leave lint in the kitchen preparation area are more than a small distraction when building an exquisite, artful dish. Quality kitchen towels and aprons are necessary to keep kitchen and employees clean. There is a saying, “it’s hard to get clean linen out of a dirty laundry”. The same can be said about the heart of a restaurant; it’s hard to create great food in a dirty kitchen. The kitchen designs of today are chic, functional and significant for both chefs and customers. Their cooking tools need to be serviced with the same quality as the products they expect to put out to the restaurant patrons. When your chefs are happy with their towel and apron services, they will deliver the quality dishes your customers desire.

Kitchen towels have evolved from old 19th century tea towels into a wide array of materials, sizes and colors. While some of these new colorful designs might accentuate a uniform, function is the number one priority here. Similarly, aprons have transformed from their early days. Until recently, aprons were primarily made of cotton to help absorb cooking ingredients. The problem with these were that the stains were difficult to remove. Even for industrial laundries, these stains were tough. The times the stains were able to be removed, the fabric would deteriorate as a result of the heavy amounts of detergent and bleach used to clean the apron.

Over 90% of restaurants today use a linen supply company for their towel and apron services. These industrial laundries offer different products and buy from a variety of linen distributors. In order to keep your chefs and kitchen staff happy, consider these important factors before selecting which company will delivery the items to keep your kitchen clean and your chefs happy:

1. What quality of product does the linen and uniform company purchase?
Ideally the bar towels should be at least 28oz. per dozen. Anything less than that will result in cheap, lean threadbare after the first or second wash. The best quality apron on the market is a jet spun polyester apron. They are able to be cleaned easily and iron nicely. Aprons containing cotton aren’t ideal anymore as they will likely be delivered dirty and not pressed well.

2. How are the products delivered?
Bar Towels should be stacked (which obviously means a laundry worker has checked each piece for quality). Many of the uniform companies have begun to weigh and bag their bar towels to save costs. The problem with this is that there is ZERO quality control. There is also a large chance the quantities delivered will be off since the towel weights vary over time. Aprons should be ironed and packaged in plastic so they can’t get dirty on the way to the restaurant. As another cost cutting system, many companies have chosen to simply fold their aprons, without ironing. Keep your chefs happy with clean, pressed aprons.

3. Can you count on the service?
As any restaurateur will tell you, linen supply and uniform companies are generally not known for their greatness. Be sure the company you choose can meet your needs and deliver when you need them. Do they offer emergency service? Who will be your service rep (it’s generally not your sales person)? Will they guarantee the pricing for a minimum of a year and cap price increases thereafter? Who else does the company serve in the area that you can call for a reference? How long has the sales person been with the company? Those are a few items to question when evaluating if a particular company can meet your needs.

If you want help in your search for a restaurant towel and apron service, Linen Finder can help put you in touch with pre-screened linen companies who have met our standards. Visit our towel and apron services page to get started.