For companies that utilize a large volume of uniforms and/or linens, working with a uniform rental company that fits their needs is a must. Though many uniform companies offer similar services, one provider may be a better fit due to pricing, the industry you operate in, and/or the locations the vendor operates in.
In this article, we will take a look at the uniform rental industry as a whole, things you should consider when working with a uniform rental company, and provide a list of some of the top uniform rental companies you can work with.
Uniform and linen rental companies come in various shapes and sizes. The major players in the industry that control much of the market are typically full-service companies. On top of renting uniforms and day-to-day linens, these companies may offer different types of PPE, cleaning products, first aid supplies, and more. They also typically provide services to many different industries.
Other rental companies in the industry may specialize in either uniform, linen, or cleaning supplies rentals. These companies may be regional or local providers that aim to serve certain business sectors or industries. By focussing on a specific industry and/or location, these smaller companies can compete with the larger providers within their respective markets.
As mentioned above, the major uniform companies have somewhat of a monopoly in the industry. Due to this, it’s common for them to use aggressive pricing tactics and impose confusing billing variables on customers. There’s also an issue of billing standardization within the industry which allows uniform and linen providers to write their contracts and invoices in ways that serve themselves instead of customers.
Oftentimes, uniform and linen providers breach their own contracts and overcharge customers without reasonable explanations. It’s not unheard of for customers to see annual price increases occurring at 3-4x the current rate of inflation. Furthermore, pricing varies drastically by market, and we often see customers with the same service, paying dramatically different rates. Unfortunately, since most customers don’t have relevant industry knowledge or expertise, they will be overcharged without even knowing it.
For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to work with a third-party cost reduction agency to make sure that you aren’t being taken advantage of by your provider.
Aramark is a US-based provider of food service, health safety, facility management services, and uniform/linen rental services for a variety of different business sectors. These sectors include healthcare, education, correctional facilities, hospitality, and entertainment venues. With an impressive global footprint, Aramark serves over 20 different countries and was rated the 27th largest employer in the Fortune 500 in 2018.
As one of the major uniform and linen rental companies, Cintas offers its customers a wide variety of products and services. These include uniforms for rental or purchase, cleaning supplies, linens, first aid supplies, safety courses, and fire extinguisher testing. In response to Covid-19, Cintas has increased its offerings in regards to cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and PPE.
According to Cintas, it aims to help businesses stay clean and maintain a professional image. It tries to make renting or buying products easy so that businesses can focus their attention on effectively running their daily operations.
Alsco is the oldest company on this list, with over 130 years of experience in the linen and uniform rental industry. Alsco serves many customers in 14 countries in business sectors such as industrial facilities, automotive, healthcare, and restaurants. Alsco puts an emphasis on sustainability practices when sourcing products and providing its services. It offers thousands of different types of uniforms and focuses on sourcing uniforms from trusted suppliers.
UniFirst is another well-known uniform, linen, and protective clothing rental services provider operating in North America and Europe. UniFirst also provides facility services and first aid supplies in many industries including automotive, industrial, food and beverage, healthcare and dental, education, hospitality, transportation, and more. UniFirst claims to outfit more than two million workers on a daily basis and it also employs more than 14,000 people across its 260 facilities.
AmeriPride is a subsidiary company of Aramark and operates more than 115 production facilities. AmeriPride is a major provider of uniform and linen rental services for many industries including industrial, manufacturing, food and beverage, automotive, healthcare, and hospitality. With the combined coverage of both AmeriPride and Aramark, AmeriPride says it can address customer needs quickly and more comprehensively.
Prudential Overall Supply focuses on sourcing its uniforms and products from some of the finest vendors in the industry. It guarantees a broad selection of styles, colors, and materials that can fit the needs of many types of businesses. Prudential Overall Supply prides itself on its top-notch customer service and quality products.
Mission Linen offers uniform and linen rental services as well as various cleaning and first aid products. The company operates 43 facilities across the USA and also has a fleet of 800+ vehicles to help deliver its products and services. Mission Linen believes its customer-focused philosophy and emphasis on sustainability are key differentiators from other competitors in the industry. Additionally, Mission Linen does its best to support the communities it works in through volunteer efforts, sponsoring community events, and donating goods or services to those in need.
US Linen & Uniform is a reliable provider of uniform and linen services to the Pacific Northwest. As a family-owned company with 75 years of experience, U.S. Linen is proud of its loyal customer base and the quality services it delivers.
As part of the Mi Hub family of brands, Affinity Apparel provides custom uniform solutions for customers in the healthcare, retail, transportation, food and beverage, manufacturing, hospitality, utilities, and automotive industries. With Affinity’s global resources, it can deliver flexible and tailored uniform products and services to companies of all sizes. Additionally, Affinity Apparel works hard to understand each client’s culture and business needs to create positive partnerships.
As a family-owned and operated business, United Linen provides uniform and linen rental services in a number of states across the country. The key industries United Linen serves are food and beverage, hospitality, and medical. United Linen prides itself on the quality of its products and services and says it works hard to anticipate the current and future needs of its customers. Additionally, the core values at United Linen include teamwork, integrity, care, and friendliness.
As mentioned above, billing in the uniform and linen rental industry is quite complex. Without the right expertise and experience, customers all across the country face fees, overcharges, and unreasonable price increases without them realizing it.
At P3 Cost Analysts, we specialize in working with the major uniform and linen providers and know how to reduce spending in this cost category. By working through a detailed uniform and linen billing audit, we can find many areas of savings. Additionally, we will take a close look at your vendor contracts to see if your vendor is following the terms it has outlined. If not, we work on your behalf to correct errors and or renegotiate your contracts to get the best terms possible.
On average, we can achieve a 35%–40% cost reduction on uniform and linen rental services.
As we’ve explored, there are many uniform and linen rental companies for you to choose from. Since many of these companies offer similar services, you’ll have to decide which vendor works best for your industry, location, and budget. As such, it’s best to get a few quotes and to compare pricing between these vendors.
Additionally, it serves you well to consult a third-party cost reduction agency such as P3 Cost Analysts to make sure you are being billed and treated fairly in regards to your uniform and linen rental services. If you would like to learn more about our uniform and linen services auditing program, schedule your free expense audit today!