The company’s dispensers, which allow users to pull out only one paper towel at a time, can reduce an establishment’s waste by 25%, according to Josh Lenihan, partial and regional marketing director of SCA. Best of all, the hand towels are fashionably designed, with an embossed leaf pattern, for fine dining restaurants, and other top-end establishments.
“The leaf design represents quality you can see and feel – and people will notice the quality of these towels,” said Joe Russo, SCA vice president sales & marketing, Away from Home Professional Hygiene North America. “We know that for our customers, every impression counts, which is why we used a leaf to reinforce their high-end image and provide a luxurious experience, even in the restroom.”
Lenihan said the company sees this new towel in restrooms where comfort and style are important, primarily in office buildings, but also in casinos, convention centers, and lodging establishments.
But fine dining is one area SCA also plans to zero in on. “Within fine dining establishments, we see an awful lot of products in baskets,” he said. “Whether it's high-end C-fold towels or folded towels in general, there's a lot of potential waste. The customer could come in and basically take a clump or a stack of product. And there's a lot of waste associated with that, because they just wind up on the floor, over-filling the wastebasket. Not to mention all over the counter!
“So when we looked at fine dining restaurants, we saw primarily the need for replacing the types of folded towels, paper towels, that are usually found in baskets in restrooms, as well as the stacks of disposable cloth-like types of product that are typically folded in half that guests use, like a guest towel,’ Lenihan added.
Another drawback of lower-end paper towels is that they’re usually not used all the way, Lenihan said. “It's just the bottom and the top sheets that are used. And typically, the rest is thrown out. So what these products are intended to do is to be part of a one-at-a-time dispensing unit, whether it's through a fixed cabinet that's recessed in the wall in the restroom or our new H2 express counter top dispensing system that is designed to fit on the counter, in places where space is limited.”
The dispenser itself is a very chic, fashionable high-end dispenser, Lenihan added. “Users get only one towel at a time, and thus reduce the waste immensely.”
The products will be manufactured in an environmentally sensitive way, and meet Forest Stewardship Council sustainability standards.
Lenihan said the challenge with these products is that they have to be manufactured and designed to perform, at a high level, but also to look and feel like a luxury brand.
They may be priced higher, Lenihan admits, “but it's all about cost and use, waste reduction, consumption reduction. It cuts down on the amount of product that's being dispensed. The hand towels are also presented in a much more user-friendly fashion, with the dispensers. So users grab what they need and only use what they need.”
Lenihan said he certainly doesn’t mean to play down the high-end quality of the hand towels. “Just the visual appearance, hand feel, softness that you can see, with a leaf-embossed pattern, really signals to the market that high-end image that the Tork brand is known for.”
To help businesses see what exactly these hand towels can do for them, Lenihan said trials will be offered. Customers can also learn more at torkusa.com/feelfree, to be able to experience this product firsthand. “The idea is to get it into those environments where it’s going to please the tenants or customers, to make sure they get that good tenant feedback,” Lenihan said.
Lenihan said the company did a lot of research into just how much waste is involved when paper towels are set out in baskets. “We've noticed that through the one-at-a-time dispensing systems, we actually have a guarantee of a 25% reduction in paper waste. No high-end establishment wants to see clumps of towels coming out, overflowing in the wastebasket or on the floor or on the counter. And when they're on the counter they get wet. It’s just not a very good image or appearance. This complements the other aesthetics establishments use for those customers who expect nothing but the best.”
The appearance of the towels can’t be under-estimated, Lenihan said. “It’s key and critical. And the main attraction here is the leaf. This leaf is either embossed in our premium extra-soft and premium soft range of quality tiers. And within our advanced soft, which is more like an affordable luxury tier, it’s a printed leaf. Either way you’re getting far more than just a paper towel to dry your hands on.”
Of course, the towels also have to perform. “When you wash your hands, the paper towels have to absorb and wick up the water, very fast and very effectively. Even more important, when it's being dispensed, it needs to be strong enough as well, so when you have that softness, strength is typically compromised. These sheets withstand any of that pull force required, especially when the user's hands are wet. So it won't break or shred. What we have here is the best of both worlds.”
Free demos are being arranged by SCA sales reps, who will have the ability to demonstrate the product first-hand, Lenihan said. “We're in the process of going out to our distributor partners, building their capabilities around and equipping them with the tools and knowledge, and ultimately the resources within the sales organization, to go out and make those calls in tandem to the end customer.”