Restaurant Tablecloths: Buy or Rent?


Is it More Affordable to Buy or Rent Restaurant Tablecloths?

Every restaurant owner wants to balance saving money with providing customers with top-notch service and food. Linens can run restaurant owners a lot more money than expected, especially when hiring a linen service to clean, deliver, and provide quality restaurant tablecloths and napkins on a weekly basis. The answer to whether buying or renting restaurant tablecloths is more affordable varies from business to business, and mostly depends on the size and customer volume of the restaurant.


You have to consider the value of the table linens versus how much linen services and retailers charge. Typically, any type of rental service is going to charge significantly more for comparable products than linen retailers because the final price takes transporting and cleaning the linens into account. LinenTablecloth is able to offer some of the most competitive prices on table linens because we manufacture our linens and sell them direct to consumers, whereas linen service companies buy the linens from manufacturers. Piece to piece, it’s definitely cheaper to buy tablecloths from a linen retailer, but what about upkeep? Restaurant owners who buy table linens either have to put down the initial investment to buy cleaning equipment to launder the linens in-house, or take them to a nearby laundering facility. Although using a linen service is a lot easier than laundering your own linens, your guaranteed to pay hefty fees for destroyed tablecloths. All it takes is one kid to destroy a linen with hot wax, or an intoxicated patron to spill a full glass of the house red over a white tablecloth to permanently ruin the linen. And guess what? As a restaurant owner, you’re totally liable to replace any linens damaged by your customers.


Replacing a tablecloth you bought from a linen retailer is probably much less expensive than replacing a tablecloth from a linen service because, since the linen service is buying from a manufacturer, the price per tablecloth is much higher. Detergent does add up if you have a laundry machine in-house, but it’s nothing compared to the hefty fees of paying a service to transport and clean the linens for you.


Here’s what I believe is the best advice in the buy vs rent debate over restaurant tablecloths: buy tablecloths and make sure to protect them! And, even if they do get ruined, it will be much cheaper to rebuy the same restaurant tablecloth from a linen supplier. What’s the best way to protect your linens? Place a sheet of glass on top of your tablecloth. Tabletop glass is seldom noticed, and it nearly eliminates the possibility of damages to the linens underneath.



Care to weigh in on the buy vs rent debate for restaurants? Tell us in the comment section below!