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Top-quality restaurants need top-quality towels to keep the front and back of the house running smoothly, but you don't have to break the bank to get them. Towel Supercenter offers the durable, dependable wholesale restaurant towels chefs, servers and bartenders need to work safely and efficiently.

Restaurant Towels

Item#: M1619-24WH

Our Price: $3.95

16x19-24 oz/doz 100% Cotton Bar towels or Bar mops all white terry ribbed are highly absorbent...

Item#: M1518-20R

Our Price: $3.35

Bar Mops Ribbed 15x18- 20 oz/doz 100% Cotton all white are highly absorbent terry towels used in...

Item#: M1619-32WH

Our Price: $4.85

Bar Towels 16x19-32oz/doz 100% Cotton Ribbed terry are highly absorbent terry towels used in...

Item#: M1619-32GLD

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Gold stripe 16x19-32 oz/doz 100% Cotton Bar towels highly absorbent terry towels used in...

Wholesale Restaurant Towels

Wholesale Restaurant Towels

A restaurant's full complement of equipment keeps food service running smoothly — and towels are a crucial tool in your arsenal. You'll find towels in every corner of your restaurant, from the front to the back of the house. Every single staff member, from the servers to the sous chef, will touch a towel in their restaurant career. Many of them don't understand just how crucial towels are to maintaining a clean and efficient restaurant.

The Importance of Disinfecting Restaurant Towels

The towels in your restaurant represent your first line of defense from contamination. No matter where you use them, restaurant towels see a good deal of dirt and other unsavory substances. From the towels you employ to clean the bathroom to the ones you carry hot plates on, every towel contacts a surface you don't want to get dirty.

Disinfecting towels keeps your restaurant clean and defends against contaminants.

Disinfecting towels is the number one way to keep your restaurant clean and defend against contaminants like bacteria and viruses that can make people sick. More than 48 million people come down with a foodborne illness each year, with 128,000 of them showing symptoms dangerous enough to require hospitalization. There are more than 250 different types of foodborne disease, but just a few of them make up the bulk of all cases. They include:

  • Norovirus: Norovirus is the quintessential nasty stomach bug, delivered in the form of a virus. This is the contaminant most closely associated with "food poisoning" and "stomach flu." People struck with norovirus experience unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. They start with abdominal pain about 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus, and the illness lasts one to three days. Norovirus is a risk year-round but becomes more common between November and April. Restaurants and catered events are one of the top four exposure sites for norovirus. The most common foods involved in outbreaks include leafy greens, fresh fruits and shellfish, all ingredients that touch restaurant towels.
  • Salmonella: This well-known bacteria causes more problems in individual households than it does in restaurants. Salmonella hitches a ride on many different types of raw foods. Eggs, meat and vegetables can all carry salmonella, but the danger usually comes from a failure to cook food properly. Chefs can eliminate salmonella through cooking, but just one contaminated restaurant towel can undo that hard work.
  • Staph: The least dangerous of these three, staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a bacteria that causes classic food poisoning symptoms. These come on lightning fast, setting in between half an hour and eight hours after someone consumes contaminated food. Illness from staph only lasts about a day and rarely causes hospitalization. While proper cooking kills staph bacteria, that doesn't prevent illness. Before they are destroyed by heat, the bacteria multiply and produce toxins in the food. The toxins don't break down during cooking and are responsible for sickness. The only way to keep staph from reproducing in food is to follow guidelines on the temperature danger zone by ensuring food never sits at room temperature between 40°F and 140°F. Restaurant towels that contact raw meat and eggs must be thoroughly disinfected immediately after use to prevent transmission.

One other germ is responsible for far fewer bouts of illness overall but is more likely to lead to a hospital stay when it does cause illness. Most people first hear of escherichia coli (E. coli) when they're told not to eat raw cookie dough because it can make them sick. Many strains of these bacteria exist, but only a few cause illness. These target different body systems, like the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract or respiratory system.

None of these germs are pleasant, and if someone gets sick after eating at your restaurant, you'll have to weather some negative reviews and potentially an extra health inspection. Neither of these prospects is ideal, and if your restaurant is the source of an outbreak, you'll have a real problem on your hands. Conscientious disinfection of your restaurant kitchen towels will prevent them from becoming bacteria breeding grounds.

The Process of Bacteria Buildup

To disinfect restaurant towels, it helps to understand what factors influence the buildup of bacteria. After all, you can't tell how much bacteria is in a towel just by looking at it. A stained old dish rag that's been sanitized will harbor fewer bacteria than a newer towel that was recently used to mop up around the fish prep station.

Bacteria are built to reproduce. They can adapt to harsh conditions all over the Earth, and they have no problem settling down in towels. One recent study from the University of Mauritius investigated the buildup of bacteria in ordinary household kitchen towels. They found several predictors associated with the growth of both staph and e. coli on towels, such as:

  • The household had more than one member.
  • The towels were used for multiple purposes.
  • The towels were frequently wet or stored in a damp environment.
  • The towels were used in meat preparation areas.

Restaurants contain each of these bacteria-encouraging factors at significantly higher levels than in households. A kitchen crew is much larger than the families surveyed in the study, and restaurant towels almost always perform multiple functions — even if their purpose only changes between washings.

A restaurant kitchen is full of steam and involves mopping up a lot of liquids, so towels become damp. And, of course, most restaurants prep and serve a substantial array of meat dishes. In short, restaurant kitchen towels need constant disinfection to stay safe and sanitary.

Tips for Disinfecting Restaurant Towels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes a new edition of the Food Code every four years. The Food Code includes required processes and procedures specifically relating to the use of towels in restaurants. These are the basics every chef, cook and kitchen manager should know::

  • Store reusable towels in a container with the mandated concentration of sanitizer solution.
  • Launder reusable towels daily.
  • Separate reusable towels used to clean surfaces that contact meat, dairy or eggs from other towels for storage and use.

These guidelines seem like common sense, but there are some things you can do to make disinfecting restaurant towels easier on the kitchen staff.

Color Code Your Towels

It's not always easy to ensure that towels meant for meat and raw animal products stay separate from the rest. Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen as well as the size of the kitchen crew, the team may be quite spread out. When communication is a challenge, it's easier to visually identify the right towels by color than any other marker. Designating black towels for use in meat prep, for example, makes it immediately obvious which ones to use for what task.

Separate Your Sanitizing Stations

Space is a concern in many restaurants, so chefs or managers may choose to place sanitizer buckets together in one spot. Even with proper labeling, mistakes happen — especially with new employees. If a meat prep towel is carelessly dropped into the wrong sanitizer bucket, that bucket needs to be emptied and refilled while all the towels head to the head to the laundry.

This takes someone off of their current task and disrupts the flow of food service. Place sanitizer buckets with different designations in different spots in the kitchen. Often, you can simply place the bucket for meat prep towels near the meat prep station, and so on. But in small kitchens where a couple of prep stations serve multiple purposes, keeping sanitizer buckets separate can avoid time-consuming cross-contamination.

Create a Sanitizer Schedule

Create a Santizer Schedule

The Food Code has detailed guidance on the concentration requirements for sanitizer used in disinfecting restaurant towels. Surprisingly, it contains little information on how often to change out that sanitizer. Most restaurants dump sanitizer at the end of the day and start over in the morning, but larger or more complex operations may need to change it more than once a day.

Visual cues such as food particles or haziness in the sanitation container suggest you need to change your solution, but you don't want to rely on those alone. Ideally, you should freshen towel sanitizer before you can tell it's dirty. A schedule encourages accountability and ensures your restaurant towels stay as clean as possible.

Dry Your Towels Thoroughly

A last bit of advice is not to skimp on drying after you launder restaurant towels. Many people think hot water kills germs in the laundry, but that's not the case. High-heat drying kills far more germs than the wash cycle itself. Kelly Reynolds, an associate professor of environmental health and germ researcher at the University of Arizona, notes that the most effective way to kill viruses is to use the high-heat dry cycle for at least 28 minutes.

The Versatility of Restaurant Towels

The Versatility of Restaurant Towels

The purpose of restaurant towels varies based on a person's role in the establishment. From food prep to casual cleaning, nearly every person in the building needs quality restaurant towels to do their job right. These three roles use the bulk of towels in a restaurant:

  • Chefs: Every chef needs a side towel. It's their number one tool for grabbing hot plates, wiping those stray flecks of herb from plates, and mopping up small spills in the prepping and cooking process. Chefs frequently use towels as hot mitts to move large, hot pots around the kitchen. They may also use towels as a coaster to ensure a hot pot doesn't burn a butcher block or other surface. Towels are crucial to shellfish prep as well. Oysters, in particular, come into heavy contact with towels. Cooks shucking oysters often use a towel to hold them as a barrier between skin and the sharp edges of the shells. The close contact means towels need to be strong enough not to get torn by jagged edges and absorbent enough to mop up all the liquid from oysters and other seafood.
  • Bartenders: Dealing with spills is a central duty of a bartender, and those sticky substances need a restaurant towel that can absorb them fast. Because bartenders are in direct contact with drinks, hand-washing is just as important as it is for back-of-house staff. Some bartenders may also prepare small plates or appetizers or and clean knives and cutting boards. Highly absorbent bar mop towels make for easier hand-drying and increase a bartender's overall efficiency. Restaurant towel versatility is another crucial requirement for bartenders. They need a towel that is robust enough to use for cleaning but gentle enough to polish dishware.
  • Servers: When it comes to spills on the dining room floor, servers need to take care of the problem quickly. Quality restaurant towels prevent slips and enhance overall safety for servers and guests. The most common server uses for towels include wiping down tables between tickets and using the towels as a barrier between hands and piping hot plates.

Everything in a restaurant needs to be cleaned frequently to keep up to code and protect the health of customers and workers alike. The best towels need to be extremely durable to stand up to constant use, exposure to sanitization chemicals and high-heat tumble drying. With proper care, they can last for a very long time.

Why Buy in Bulk?

Restaurants go through a staggering number of towels on a daily basis. A towel used for polishing glassware will see less wear and tear than the towels used to clean the dish machine, so you'll find yourself needing many for different categories of use.

Instead of placing small orders more frequently, you should consider purchasing restaurant towels in bulk from Towel Supercenter. Choosing wholesale restaurant towels provides three benefits any chef or kitchen manager will appreciate:

  • Significantly lowering prices paid per towel on bulk orders.
  • Giving your restaurant enough towels to maintain sanitary conditions while you have a load in the laundry.
  • Saving time on constant re-ordering.

Towel Supercenter carries towels that your restaurant can rely on. With 100 percent cotton terry weave, our bar and restaurant towels offer exceptional value to everyone in and out of the kitchen. You need towels to keep your restaurant running efficiently, but you don't have to pay a premium to keep your restaurant well-supplied.

Find a Better Bargain on Wholesale Restaurant Towels

Shop Towel Super Center for affordable restaurant towels in bulk now.

Towel Supercenter understands towels can't eat up too much of your budget. That's why we carry several varieties to mix and match for the best combined value.

Our tough economy towels get the job done at the lowest price point, while our premium cotton and premium plus lines add extra professionalism to the appearance of front-of-house staff. Our bleach-resistant towels are low-maintenance and sturdy, while our 86/14 blend line offers the exceptional quality and affordability of polyester combined with cotton.

Towel Supercenter is your source for finding affordable restaurant towels in bulk. Browse our extensive collection and stock up on this essential restaurant resource today.

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