Offering towel service is a perk many clients appreciate. It’s a way to reinforce a high-end customer experience, but the costs can be high. Is it worth it?
Many experienced fitness devotees have come to expect that towels will be provided by their boutique studios. It’s a personal touch that makes your clients’ lives easier as they pack for class.
If your studio has showers, providing towels is key. For clients coming to class before work, forgetting a towel could mean catastrophe for their day.
Equipment cleanliness is another reason to offer towels. If you ask clients to wipe down equipment after each use, it helps if towels are readily available. And cloth towels are a much more environmentally responsible option compared to generating tons of paper towel waste.
Cost is probably the biggest concern. In addition to the initial investment of buying the towels and periodically replacing lost or damaged ones, there is the expense of keeping them clean. Depending on your city and the volume of laundry your studio produces, a laundry service can cost you between $500 and $1,000 per month. More on that later.
Most clients will be conscious of throwing used towels in the hampers you provide. However, you can expect to find towels left all over your studio. Towel clean-up adds another task to your staff’s daily chore list.
Keeping track of your towels is a near impossible task. Clients will forget they have them and walk out with your towels in large number. When you offer towel service, you should expect to lose one or two daily. Some studios count towels on a weekly basis, while others do a towel roundup just a few times per year. Either way, you will have to devote some staff time to towel inventory control.
LAUNDRY SERVICE VS. WASHING YOUR OWN
If your studio already has a washer and dryer hookup, the decision to offer towel service could be a bit easier. The costs involved are minimal and include machine maintenance and repair, detergent, staff time and increased energy bills. You can ask staff to pitch in with washing, folding and storing the towels.
If you are lugging bags of towels back and forth to your home and spending your precious time off in your laundry room, offering towel service can become a significant inconvenience.
Hiring a wash and fold laundry service may be the best — although most expensive — option. Not only is it convenient, but by hiring a service with experience in serving fitness studios, you are ensuring the linens will be cleaned with top hygiene standards. A good service will use the proper detergents and make sure all of your towels are returned stain-free and smelling great. Many services will also clean yoga towels and floor mats.
TIPS FOR TOWEL SERVICE
- Provide hampers strategically around your studio. They should be placed in class spaces as well as in the locker rooms. Make it as easy as possible for clients to help you keep the studio neat.
- Do not let dirty towels sit around in hampers for days. Not only does it look sloppy, but also your studio will start to get that musty gym smell.
- If you have an on-site washer and dryer, keep towel storage close by. You want to reduce the likelihood of staff leaving stacks of towels out waiting to be put away.