How to keep your hotel bedding and bath supplies on Par (Part 1  of 4)

How to keep your hotel bedding and bath supplies on Par (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by Judson Uhre on Aug 7th 2023

In this blog series, we will be discussing the best practices for managing hotel bedding  & bath supplies, also known as hotel inventory.

Par Levels

One of the first and most essential tasks in effectively managing an Inn, motel, or hotel supplies is determining each supply item's par level. PAR is the standard number of inventory items to support daily, routine hotel room cleaning operations. Par level is a system for stocking and measuring inventory levels needed for housekeeping to function. The par level is a numeric value formatted as a multiple required to support day-to-day functions. The par level of linen mainly depends upon a hotel's laundry cycle.

Linen: Linen-like personnel is one of the most critical responsibilities of a head housekeeper; linen, also called hotel bedding and hotel towels, can be one of the highest expenses in the housekeeping department. Conservative policies and procedures are thus needed to control the hotel's linen supplies. A responsible executive housekeeper will develop and maintain the guidelines for storing, issuing, using, and replacing all linen inventories.

Types of hotel beddingTowels

The head-housekeeper is generally responsible for three types of linen: top of the bed, bed sheets, and bath terry. Bedding typically comes in bedspreads, coverlets, comforters, duvets, blankets, and mattress pads or waterproof covers & Bed Sheets come in flat & fitted. Both are usually labeled twin, full, queen, and king sizes and are commonly purchased in white or bone with matching pillowcases or shams. Bath terry includes bath towels, hand towels, specialty towels, washcloths, and fabric bath mats.

Establishing Par levels

If you are a new hotel owner, one of the 1st tasks of housekeeping operations is to determine the proper inventory level for all bedding used in the hotel or motel. The inventory level for bedding & towels must be sufficient to ensure the operational integrity of the housekeeping department. When a property gets undersupplied for laundry, you risk disrupting your housekeeping department, irritating guests, and being forced to reduce the number of guestrooms you can sell. Additionally, you will hamper the life of linens due to intensified laundering. Housekeeping operations can run smoothly when inventory levels are set too high; however, the excessive amount of tied-up resources is not a good ROI. One Par of linen equates to the total number of each type of bedding required to outfit all of the hotel rooms at one time. One Par of linen is sometimes called the house setup.

An efficient operation would not use one Par of linen as your bed, and bath supplies are usually above what is needed to supply your hotel rooms one time. Two Par of linens is the total number of each type of linen required to equip all guest rooms two times, and Three Par is the total number needed to outfit all guestrooms three times; and so on. In this blog, our goals are to help you determine how many pars of bedding and towels are necessary to support efficient housekeeping operations. There are three things to consider when establishing a par number for linens:

  1. The laundry cycle:
  2. replacement linens & terry
  3. emergencies

The hotel's Laundry cycle is the most critical factor in determining linen pars. Effective hoteliers strip and launder linens daily. At any given time, housekeeping carts move large amounts of linen between guestrooms and the laundry. When setting a proper linen inventory level, your executive housekeeper must think through the laundry cycle regarding the hotel's busiest days when it is at 100 percent occupancy for several days in a row. Suppose housekeeping manages an efficient on-premise laundry operation. A proper laundry cycle indicates housekeeping maintains three Par of linensOne par-linens for cleaning, a second Par for the shelf, and a third on the bed. Many guests will request extra linen, a rollaway, a sofa bed, and cribs, which must factor into your purchasing decision.

The laundry cycle in motels that use commercial laundry service will be somewhat longer than the properties with their laundry equipment. The laundry pick-up and drop-off frequency will affect the quantities of linen the hospitality facility needs to stock. The more frequent the service, the less inventory is required to cover those days.

Replacement linen: The second factor to consider when setting linen par levels is the replacement of worn-out, damaged, missing, or stolen linen. Linen losses will vary from property to property, so an executive housekeeper will want to determine what a reasonable replacement par level will develop from its history. The rate of linen replacement can be determined by studying monthly, quarterly, or annual inventory reports in which losses and replacement needs get tracked. A common rule of thumb is to store one Par of new linen for your replacement stock annually.

Emergency Situation: Finally, emergencies can put any executive housekeeper on their heels, so they must be prepared for any emergency. For example, a power failure or equipment damage may shut down a hotel's laundry operations. Today, the threats of Covid-19 could shut down supply chains, making it impossible to keep the hotel serviceable. Your head housekeeper may decide to hold one total Par of linens in reserve so that their operations will continue to run smoothly during an emergency.

Therefore, a hotel's laundry cycle, bedding replacement needs, and emergency linen reserves suggest maintaining a minimum of five Par of bedding and bath towels annually. Properties using outside commercial laundry service will need to add a sixth par to cover linens in transit.