Alexander J. Neuzerling is sales manager at the regional DBL partner, ITEX Gaebler-Industrie-Textilpflege in Montabaur. In an interview with food-service.de, he outlines how the workwear market is changing and the challenges posed by the pandemic.
How has demand for workwear changed over the past five years?
It has become significantly stronger. Especially in the kitchen and service sectors. Here, there has been an increased demand for business clothing in the rental service over the past five years. That's why we provide high-quality collection items for the sector, ranging from classic to casual. That goes down well.
What new challenges are posed by the stricter hygiene regulations due to the Corona pandemic?
For those businesses that already worked with us before the pandemic, there were not so many changes with regard to hygiene regulations, as we already supported them in implementing a coherent hygiene concept. This includes the regular, hygienic reprocessing of all clothing items used and their proper storage. After all, companies should also ensure for their employees that clothing already worn - whether for work or private use - does not come into contact with fresh work clothing.
How is this actually solved?
This can be achieved, for example, by using locker systems or waste collectors such as those we provide. In this way, hygiene is ensured by a routine interaction between the professional collection of worn clothing, its collection, hygienic reprocessing and the delivery of hygienically reprocessed workwear.
Where do you see growth potential?
Particularly in those companies that currently still buy clothing for their employees, there will certainly be a closer look due to the increased hygiene requirements as well as the sensitization around the topic. Many companies want to be on the safe side, especially when it comes to hygiene. Here, the willingness to work together with textile service providers is growing. This is because they not only guarantee hygienic reprocessing, but also document this for the customer. You should attach importance to individual consultation and the joint finding of a resilient hygiene concept right from the start.
Whoever buys the clothes of their employees bears the responsibility for their hygienically impeccable washing and care, for repair and replacement. Not so with renting and leasing. Leasing instalments take the place of the capital required for the purchase. This creates flexibility and financial and time freedom. And it offers a high security potential with regard to the HACCP proof required by law.
The responsibility for the clothing is transferred to the contractual partner as a specialist for work and professional clothing - at agreed and thus regular, plannable leasing conditions. Even with the frequent use of temporary staff, a clothing pool ensures that the uniform line of a company is maintained.
This is a key argument in the search for optimisation potential. Ludger Schikora of DBL: "The use of complex, textile rental services makes a significant contribution to minimising in-house costs and ensuring a uniform image in the long term." With leasing, the customer thus receives all-round support with a fixed, agreed range of services.