FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jason Mitchell didn’t set out to start a laundry and linen service.
In fact, the Southwest Florida native started his career in finance working for large banks.
In the early 2000s, Mitchell and his wife, Brooke, started a B2B technology and information company, servicing some of the largest insurance companies in the world.
“We grew very quickly, and it was an incredible learning experience because our company had to constantly adapt to handle the growth, and we had to learn how to scale and retain a great team,” he says.
In 2014, a large private equity group acquired the business.
“I found myself essentially retired at 35,” Mitchell shares. “Brooke became a stay-at-home mom, so life was great. I spent the next few years buying and selling commercial real estate, but this left me feeling very unfulfilled.
“I really missed the camaraderie of building a great and cohesive team and the affirmation that comes from your clients when you do great work.”
His desire to be part of an operating company led him to research dozens, possibly hundreds, of different industries.
That’s where the laundry and linen services industry enters the story as the Mitchells opened Premier Linen Services in 2019 and overcame the challenges of 2020-22, moving into a new facility in 2022.
Premier Linen Services’ facility is designed to process up to 150,000 pounds in 24 hours.
The facility operates seven days a week, 365 days a year, and averages about 70 employees at any given time.
“Currently, our largest days are around 55,000-60,000 pounds,” says Mitchell.
“Our engineering team is very experienced, and we work very closely with our chemical provider to ensure the proper formulation and that the look, smell and feel of the linen is the best possible quality available.”
Mitchell says he can talk about how great the company’s equipment and technology are, but, ultimately, success comes down to assembling a great team.
“I believe this is our major differentiator,” he shares. “Our approach is to provide better quality and service, and our customers see that.
“We want them to have that ‘wow’ experience, just like they do for their guests. I love onboarding new accounts. That first delivery to the housekeeping team, they are like ‘Wow!’”
From the very beginning, Mitchell and Premier Linen Services have aimed to ‘wow’ customers.
“I think one of our greatest successes came from our very first account,” he shares. “It took several months just to get a first meeting, and it was the Crystal Shores Marriott on Marco Island.
“I convinced them to let us start with just their pool towels. Less than six months later, they called us and offered us the entire account.
“It was spring break and peak season, and it was our first real contract. We wanted to execute this perfectly, but it was short notice and we had less than a week to get ready.
“It was very exciting, but also an all-hands-on-deck experience that I will never forget.”
Make no mistake, Mitchell and his crew are still excited and looking to grow and ‘wow’ hotel customers.
And this growth isn’t limited to the immediate future.
“We have started building great friendships in this industry, and I’m always amazed that there are individuals like myself that came from outside of laundry but are still here 30 or 40 years later—and still loving what they do,” he shares.
“There is a strange attraction, almost an addiction, to what we do, but this business can be very rewarding and will test you if you are not prepared.”
Miss Part 1 on how the Mitchells launched Premier Linen Services after achieving success in B2B technology and information services? Click HERE to read it!
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