GLENDALE, Calif. — Blue Bird Uniform, located here, is a family-owned linen rental business providing food and beverage clients with perfectly cleaned, fully ironed table linens, towels and custom-designed chef coats and aprons.
In 11 years, Blue Bird has grown to handle more than 150 banquet and restaurant accounts. Its on-premises laundry, equipped with Continental Girbau laundry equipment, has grown proportionately, as well.
“We are unlike other linen rental companies because we manufacture all of our table linens and chef coats,” says Lucine Igraryan from Blue Bird. “We purchase the fabric and cut and sew it to meet each customer’s unique table linen and uniform specifications.”
Each day, Blue Bird cleans 5,000 pounds of laundry using large-capacity Continental E-Series Washer-Extractors. The washers are engineered to properly clean a wide variety of items. This is because every variable of a wash cycle is programmable, from water temperatures and levels, to number of baths, extract speed and mechanical action. This ensures that even the most greasy, stained kitchen towels come out of the wash looking hospital white.
Once washed, laundry is loaded into a corresponding dryer. Blue Bird’s Continental Pro-Series II Dryer features a moisture-sensing system to prevent damaged due to over drying. Additionally, a programmable control makes for simple operation.
While towels are fully dried and subsequently folded, table linens are loaded into the dryer for just two minutes for untangling. Then they are fed through one of two Continental flatwork ironers, where they are automatically straightened, dried and ironed in a single pass.
The ironers are significantly more efficient than hand folding, according to Igraryan.
“We cut that time by nearly half with the installation of our first ironer,” she says. “Before we had our first ironer, we were doing everything by hand. It was a lot of labor and work.”
Now, it takes just 22 minutes to iron a 60-pound laundry load consisting of 17 108-inch tablecloths.
“We were able to bring in more clients and purchased a second ironer a year later,” adds Igraryan. “We just moved into a new, larger location. We are constantly growing.”