Bar Towels are usually 16″ x 19″- made from 100% cotton and are hemmed on all four sides. The sewn edges allow the towel to be washed over and over again for added value, and they are very absorbent due to the cotton content. Cotton Bar Towels are used to wipe down the table and counter tops, clean up spills and are used not only in the front of the house where the patrons are but also in the kitchen. The 16″ x 19″ size allows the towel to fit comfortably in hand or waistband. Bar Towels come in two grades, A and B.
A Grade Bar Mops are made to exact specifications where every towel is the same. They generally range from 19 oz. To 34 oz. This means that if you weighed one dozen towels, they would weigh 19 oz. Per dozen. Or 24 oz., or 28 oz., etc… Obviously a 34 oz. Bar Mop is thicker and heavier than a 19 oz. It is also more expensive. A Grade is sold by the dozen. A Grade Towels also come in two styles. Either full terry or ribbed. Full terry means that the entire surface of the towel has terry cotton loops sticking up. This leads to a slightly fluffier towel. Ribbed means that the terry loops alternate rows with a flat surface. Think of the rows in a garden or a ribbed undershirt. These ribs allow for a little added “scrubbing power.” Finally, A Grade Bar Towels can come in all white, or with a colored stripe down the center. This colored stripe is for color coding. Just think if you prepare raw meat in your kitchen. Do you want to use the same towel you used for that area to wipe down tables where customers sit? Absolutely not. So use a bar towel with a blue stripe for the food prep area and an all-white towel for the front of the house. Choosing whether you get terry or ribbed or 19 oz. or 34 oz. is a personal preference depending on needs, budget, etc… Now that we know about A Grade what is a B Grade Bar Towel?
Well, we all make mistakes. So what happens when they make a mistake while producing a Bar Towel? Let’s say some oil from the knitting machine gets on the towel. Or how about if a needle or two breaks while knitting and the finished towel has a missed stitch or a “run” in the fabric. These Bar Towels are all mixed and sold as B Grade. It will be a mixture of different weights, 19 oz., 34 oz., 24 oz., different styles, full terry and ribbed and different colors, all white or with a colored stripe. What’s good about B Grade is that you get them for about the cost of A Grade Bar Towels. They are still new and 100% cotton but just have a flaw kind of like a retail store that sells irregular clothing.
Now that we know what Bar Towels are as well as what they are for let’s get the most value from them. Aside from maybe going with a B Grade instead of an A Grade, we can gain value by buying and laundering our own. It is common that huge establishment does not have the time or even machinery to wash all of their towels along with tablecloths, napkins, aprons, etc… But what about a smaller place? Linen supply services have to buy the towels just like you. Then they put a markup on it. An employee gets paid to deliver the towels to you.
That gets added on to the price. The gas, insurance and repairs for the truck that the employee drives gets added on. The employee who washes and sorts the dirty towels, the laundry equipment, and utilities and rent for the supply services’ building, that all gets added on. Then what happens when one of the towels gets too bad to use or one mysteriously walks out your door? Many companies will charge you a replacement charge for that towel along with the current rental charges. All of these fees could take a towel that costs .25 cents and makes it .40 cents, per week. Wouldn’t be much more economical to buy a couple hundred towels at .25 cents each and either take them home to wash (200 towels fit in a 16″ x 16″ x 16″ box., so that is not a lot of room) than to buy a small, inexpensive washer and dryer for your establishment? Those towels would last you six months. That could add up to meaningful profits for a small bar or restaurant. Now, the above figures of .25 cents and .40 cents each are just for examples so the savings could be much bigger depending on the terms of your rental agreement.