Coming in August – United Hospitality Services

Posted July 13, 2023 at 5:41 pm

For next month’s Textile Services magazine, we’ll spotlight Atlanta-area hospitality operator, United Hospitality Services (UHS), Austell, GA.

Like hotel laundries across the U.S. and beyond, UHS soldiered on through the downturn that accompanied the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Now the company has fully recovered and reports robust growth in the article titled “United Hospitality Services—‘A Company of Solutions.’”

President and CEO Philip Sharpe, an industry veteran with experience at Crothall and other companies, credits his managers for UHS’ comeback. “I attribute our success to a seasoned management team,” he says. “Being able to keep our team together and then the tenure that we’ve had, along with help from our affiliate staffing company. We took advantage of it, and now we’re here. We are running at 90% capacity right now for this facility and have a strong push for a new facility.”

Today, UHS is processing 450,000 lbs. (204,000 kg.) of mainly customer-owned goods (COG) per week from 40-plus hotel clients throughout the metro area as well as in Charlotte, NC. UHS is eyeing additional growth areas in the Southeast as well, with customer prospects in Nashville, TN, which is also experiencing a robust expansion.

The plant processes the bulk of its hotel linens in two Pellerin Milnor Corp. tunnel washers, each equipped with 12, 150 lb. (68 kg.) modules. A staff of 150 people work two shifts to keep pace with the flow of textiles into and out of the 65,000-square-foot (6,038-square-meter) plant located in a suburban industrial park, northwest of downtown Atlanta. Clean, extracted goods emerge from the tunnels and move via conveyor to any of 12 Milnor tunnel dryers.

In part because the metro area has grown so quickly, resource conservation – particularly water – is a must for UHS. The problem is not a lack of rainfall, as is common in the Southwest, but rather limited wastewater-processing capacity. In essence, local water authorities haven’t kept up with the area’s growth. In response, they’ve imposed restrictions on UHS of a maximum 33,000 gallons of wastewater discharge per day. Anything above that amount nets the company a $7.25 surcharge per gallon. Sharpe’s team hired an outside consultant to help manage its water use. The company now is fully compliant and reports an overall water-use rate of 0.33 gallons per lb.

On the finishing side of the plant, UHS is equipped with seven ironer lines, including a Chicago Dryer Co. SkyFeed feeder and a thermal ironer that can process 700 sheets an hour, or 450 fitted sheets or 500 duvet covers per hour with less manual labor than conventional feeders.

Finished goods are weighed, counted, inspected and placed in carts with a list of the contents, including the customer, weight and quantity of items ready for packout and delivery. UHS has leveraged technology, including LinenMaster for route accounting and Spindle for tracking on the finishing side to help ensure the integrity of each carload of goods. “Transparency is critical,” Sharpe says. “Our clients know how many pieces and pounds they will receive in their next delivery, a minimum of 2-6 hours prior to their scheduled delivery.”

Click here for a sneak peek at the forthcoming article planned for next month’s Textile Services.