UK hotels hit by bed linen and staff shortages

Hotels across the UK are being forced to cut back services after a surge in domestic travel clashed with bed linen and staff shortages, according to The Financial Times. 

Enforced limits on bed linen changes and delays to guest check-ins have curtailed the staycation boom.

Staff shortages have been a recurring issue for the industry, as furloughed workers moved country or sought work in other industries.

Intercontinental Hotel Group, owner of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, is among major hospitality companies that have reported issues with outsourced linen and towel supplies, as laundries struggle to keep pace with tight turnaround times.

To combat the potential impact, the group has installed limited daily bed linen changes at some hotels for guests staying multiple nights.

Richard Cooke, general manager at The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, said that the hotel was limiting occupancy to “significantly below” 2019 levels in order to cope with staffing and laundry constraints. This follows difficulties with shortages of bed sheets, towels, restaurant napkins and tablecloths.

Meanwhile, other hotels have been forced to delay guest check-ins in order due to the linen shortages.

David Stevens, chief executive at The Textiles Services Association, has reported that the sector is lacking 4000 of it’s 25000 staff:

He said:  “It’s critical. The biggest issue is we can’t deliver: 25%of what a laundry does is logistics.”

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