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If you are an owner in the hospitality or medical industry, you already know that disappearing linens is a big problem. While guests and patients may consider it a souvenir, the hotel industry alone can spend between $50 to $70 per room replacing stolen linens. For premium linens, the bill is a lot higher. Industry-wide, that’s a loss of over $3.5 million every year. Linen theft is hard to track – and hard to prevent, but short of putting “please don’t steal the washcloths” signs up in your hospital or hotel rooms, there are a few more tactics you can use to ensure that your linens stay put.

1. Always Keep Storage Closets Locked

This may seem like an obvious decision, but many towels, washcloths, and other linens regularly disappear from hall closets when they are left open. Stress to your workers that every storage closet must be locked when not in use. Similarly, your staff shouldn’t leave carts in the hallway unattended. Staff should stay with the replacement cart at all times.

2. Itemize Replacements

It’s hard to account for theft if your staff isn’t itemizing replenishments properly. Advise them to never hand out “extras” in the hallway, and to only replenish when they are visiting a particular room. All products should be itemized. Replace everything on a one-for-one basis, so you have an accurate inventory count.

3. Confer With Your Linen Company

If you’re using a company that provides linen services, they should be tracking some of your company’s linen data. You should be keeping track of the total amount of laundry processed, the amount rejected, the total replacement cost per pound, and how many industrial textile products you have on hand for circulation. With these numbers, you should be able to garner an accurate estimate over time of how many of your linens are actually being stolen.

4. Conduct a Monthly Inventory for Linen Theft

Along with the number provided to you by your laundry service, you should also be tracking your own numbers. Take a monthly survey of how many linens you have in stock. Over the course of a month, try to keep track of how many linens had to be rejected, or thrown into the garbage. Linens do wear out, or get permanent stains. You don’t want this statistic merged in with the same data as theft–it will cause your numbers to be inaccurate.

5. Add Anti-Theft Devices

If you’re in a business that provides premium linens, you may want to consider installing anti-theft devices in your products, or installing alarms on hallway closets and replacement carts. An R.E.I.D. microchip can be used to track theft in hospital and hotel linens. While this is relatively new technology, it’s a pretty surefire way to ensure that your linens don’t get stolen (or if they do, that the person is swiftly caught).

You Can Trust Wilkins Linen 

When it comes to commercial laundry and other linen services, Wilkins Linen serves Houston and surrounding areas. Contact us today for all of your hospitality, medical, and restaurant bulk laundry needs. We’re here to help you make a great first impression.

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