Among the many amenities provided by a hotel, one of them is laundry service for the guest. It is an amenity which is essential in resort hotels where guests are long-staying and prefer to travel light. Even if full-fledged laundry service is not available, at least some facility for ironing is required as clothes get crumpled in packing. It is a source of revenue in hotels and may serve as a means of preventing them from washing clothes and hanging them out to dry in hotel guest rooms.
Laundry service may be Normal (Ordinary) or Urgent (Express) and provide Drycleaning, Washing and Ironing. The time gap between the collection and delivery is dependent on whether the laundry is on-premises or off-premises.
A guest may avail of laundry service by either telephoning the Housekeeping Desk and a Room Attendant is sent to collect the laundry Alternatively, if the Laundry is on-premises, the Order-taker in the Laundry cabin will receive the call and the Valet Runner will collect the laundry. If the hotel provides a Laundry Hanger, the guest may hang this out on the doorknob indicating that there is laundry for collection.
Laundry lists are provided in the room or the format is printed on the laundry bag. Should the guest wish to avail of laundry services, the necessary details will have to be entered like the date, room no., name of the guest, no. of the type of articles and service required. If a list is filled in, it is signed by a guest and kept along with the articles to be laundered in the laundry bag. The staff collecting the laundry must check the articles given against the entries made. They must also look out for tears and damages or guest belongings left behind on/in the articles. It is especially important to check if the guest has left the laundry for collection when the laundry is off-premises.
It is absolutely essential to mark guest articles before despatch to an off-premises laundry in order to prevent any mix-up. Marking is done on a marking machine which usually indicates only the room number but may also indicate the initials of the guest.
The heat-sealed tape used for marking does not come out in the normal wash procedure but can be peeled off if so desired. The laundry list is used for making the bill which is charged according to the service requested.
Extra care must be taken when handling guest laundry. If stains and damages are present, they must be dealt with prior to the laundering process. As it is directly related to guest satisfaction, staff working on guest laundry should be most experienced. The machine capacity is also smaller to deal with smaller loads and control the quality of the wash. Instructions for washing and washing symbols on the garment must be strictly adhered to and small items are tied loosely in a net, prior to loading to prevent them from getting lost. When delivering guest articles, some will be folded while others are placed on hangers. Folded articles are put together in a laundry bag with the room number written on it while hanging articles are clubbed with a tie label indicating the room number.