CHICAGO — The majority of laundry operators who took the most recent American Laundry News Your Views survey indicate that 2023 was a good year for laundry and linen services.
When asked to rate their businesses for the year, 55.6% say it was “good” while 22.2% share they had “great” performances.
Just over 22% say 2023 was “average” for their businesses.
Nearly 80% of respondents indicate that 2023 turned out as expected. Just over 22% say the year didn’t quite go as hoped.
The reasons for 2023 either turning out as expected or not?
- Being proactive.
- Increase in volume.
- I design a lot of hotel laundries and my volume is definitely down from the last two years.
- Lack of experienced mechanics—equipment down for longer than it should have been. Lack of personnel—hard to find people that actually wanted to work.
- Excellent consistent services, cleanness.
- Service quality and on-time delivery.
Part of achieving success is setting goals, and 66.7% of respondents indicate their laundries accomplished some of their goals.
More than 22% say they achieved all of their goals, and 11% indicate their operations accomplished none of their goals.
When asked to detail what goals they did accomplish in 2023, operators write:
- Revenue, poundage, capital.
- Reaching our revenue projection and cost control.
- Was able to provide linen throughout hurricane season.
- We exceeded the forecast.
- Reaching my $ numbers.
The goals laundries didn’t accomplish?
- Labor and plant expenses.
- Quality of distribution area.
- Meeting all of the par levels on a daily basis—and that is just the reason we exist.
- Shoes cleaning, service purses.
Looking ahead to 2024, more than 55% of respondents indicate their laundry’s top priority for the coming year is to increase production.
This was followed by “improve service quality,” “market service to attract more business,” and “add or replace equipment” each with an 11.1% response rate.
One survey taker writes, “I am looking for LEED-compliant washer-extractors, and no vendor claims to have them for larger units—60-200 pounds.”
Half of the operators taking the survey indicate their operation has a “good chance” of accomplishing its priority. A quarter say they “will accomplish it, without a doubt.”
Both “50-50 chance” and “slim chance” were selected by 12.5% of respondents.
When asked to comment on 2023 performance and 2024 priorities, survey takers wrote:
- On the whole, it was good and still needs improvement in all the areas.
- Manufacturers make lots of claims but when tasked to provide information they do not respond.
- Have just started a new batch of employees, including new equipment mechanics. Having trainers come here on site to train them. Giving retention bonuses to some employees. And working on more flexible shifts.
- We are improving and increasing our WDF business by investing in resources, marketing and by providing great customer service and will continue doing the same in 2024.
- Hiring right people and getting my tailoring people back in place ... for 2024 hoping to increase alteration to next level.
While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.
Subscribers to American Laundry News e-mails are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each quarter. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and identify industry trends.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].