Is It Time to Switch to Cloth Napkins?

There’s no stopping a change in the season. Are you ready?

If you’re looking for a healthy, cost-effective change to make at your restaurant, consider changing from paper napkins to cloth. If you haven’t made the switch yet, there are plenty of reasons why you should.

They’re cheaper.

Studies have shown  the average diner uses about three paper napkins versus one cloth napkin. If we assume an average paper napkin cost of $0.03 per napkin and an average cloth napkin rental of $0.08, this means investing in cloth napkins that can be laundered and used again and again will save you money.

They’re better for the environment.

Consider this: paper products account for more than 28% of all trash sent to landfills – textiles account for less than 1%. Less waste translates to a healthier earth, and by switching to cloth, you’ll save yourself (and your trash removal service) a ton in waste. And, to get the most drastic decrease in your restaurant’s carbon footprint, make sure you sign on with a laundry service with TRSA CleanGreen Certification, proving it has taken steps to demonstrate responsible leadership in sustainability. For example, Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply’s ESP program efforts have decreased water usage by 40% and decreased energy usage in laundering by 11%.

Consumers prefer them.

Studies show restaurant patrons prefer how cloth napkins look and feel over paper napkins. 75% of consumers associate tables set with cloth napkins with better food quality and 88% say restaurants that use cloth napkins have better service. Not only that, U.S. consumers who prefer cloth napkins will pay 64% more per entree than those who prefer paper napkins! Those are the kind of patrons you want in your restaurant.

They’re classier.

There’s something about placing a fine linen napkin on your lap that tells patrons they are about to be treated to a fine dining experience, no matter what’s on the menu. Linen napkins are, quite simply, more sophisticated and stylish than paper. Your patrons will notice the way your tables are set when they walk in the door. And, they associate cloth napkins with a better restaurant appearance and elevated ambiance.

They add personality and color.

Changing the color of your napkins gives an instant punch of personality to any dining room – an impossible task if you use plain, old, white paper napkins. While white is a standard color for cloth napkins as well, some linen services have several shades to choose from, so do your research and select a hue that complements the decor and mood you’re trying to set.

So, is this the season of the cloth napkin switch for your restaurant? There are plenty of reasons to say “yes!”

Data was sourced from the “Consumer Napkin Preference Study, Jackson Marketing Group, 2012” and “Decision-Maker’s Guide to Solid Waste Mgt, Vol. II 1995” and “EPA MSW Facts and Figures, 2011.” Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply offers restaurant linen services, medical linen, and uniform rentals. Headquartered in Jessup, PA, Dempsey has a service footprint that spans the Mid-Atlantic. Our $18 million commercial laundry service facility in Jessup has received national recognition for its state-of-the-art, environmentally sound processing systems.

For more information, call 1-800-378-8060.