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October 26, 2022

Finding the Right Par Level for Hotel Linens

Par level helps ensure proper stock of linen in your laundry

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Par level is a simple concept that helps you maintain a proper stock of sheeting and towels in your hotel or short-term rental laundry. In this article, we will discuss what par level is, why it is important, and how to calculate your own par level to keep laundry operating smoothly.

Why is Par Level Important?

Laundering hospitality linen is a never-ending job. Whether part of a hotel/resort or a short-term rental property, laundry facilities face countless challenges daily in their quest to keep clean linen in guest rooms.

One of the most common laundry challenges is not having enough linen on property, which can lead to extended delays for housekeepers as they wait for linen to finish being laundered. This can cause delays in the check-in process and risk compromising the guest experience.

Maintaining a proper linen par level ensures you have an appropriate stock of bedding and towels, allowing your staff to efficiently clean and restock guest rooms.

What is Par Level?

Par level (or Periodic Automatic Replacement) is a system that calculates the minimum inventory your property’s laundry should keep in stock to avoid shortages. A “Par” represents the total amount of linen required to furnish one guest room, typically consisting of:

  • (1) set of sheets and comforter/duvet per bed
  • (4) pillows & covers per bed
  • (1) Mattress protector per bed
  • (4) Bath towels per room
  • (4) Hand towels per room
  • (4) Wash towels per room

So, a par level of 1 (or 1-par) would be one set of all the above-mentioned items. Clearly, 1-par is not a sufficient level of stock, since you would have no inventory in your laundry until guests check out and dirty linen is collected.

What is a Normal Par Level in Hotel Laundry?

When it comes to linen, most properties should aim to maintain 3-par. This means for every guest room you should have 3 complete sets of linen on property – one set clean in the guest room, one set dirty in the laundry, and one set on the laundry shelves resting and ready for the next day. (Find out why resting your linen is a critical step to comfortable, long-lasting linen)

There are some exceptions to 3-par. Mainly, this includes those linen items which aren’t replaced with each guest stay, such as mattress protectors and pillows. For these items, 1.25-par is a widely used industry standard. This ensures some level of safety stock when items must be taken out of service, while not using up too much valuable storage space.

Another consideration is your property’s laundry services. If your linen is sent to an off-premises laundry facility, you’ll likely need to increase your par levels to account for linen in transit to and from your property. Typically, properties with off-premises laundry will increase stock from 3-par to 4-par.

How to Calculate Linen Par Level

Your linen par level can be calculated using the following equation:

(# of items required per bed)  (total number of beds)  x  (desired par level)

*Terry products should be calculated on a per room basis while per bed is ideal for items such as sheets and pillows.

The example calculation below shows how simple it is to determine the proper par level for all the various textile products used across your property.

This example shows a Par Level calculation for a typical 100-room property

This example assumes a property with one bed size across all rooms. If your property uses multiple bed sizes, you will need to break your calculations down further to accommodate all bed linen sizes.

PRO TIP: Maintaining Par Levels

Calculating your par level and ordering linen accordingly is a good start, however, maintaining this inventory is just as important. It is crucial to re-order immediately when linen items drop below your ideal par level. Otherwise, you run the risk of shortages.

On the flipside, world events can also impact PAR levels. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example,  caused demand to drop and left many properties overstocked on linen with no room for storage.

Performing a weekly audit of linen supplies can be a helpful way to ensure just the right level of inventory is maintained all year long!

Need Help with your Par Levels?

Download our free Par Level Calculator or contact us today to discuss your property’s unique linen needs.

Download our free par level calculator!