Rental laundry experts for hotels and restaurants
Success that has grown: Founded over 100 years ago, GREIF Mietwäsche has developed from a small ironing service into a successful rental laundry provider with locations across Germany. Always on board: The Greif family has a talent for spotting future-proof trends and promising developments.
The beginning: The roots of GREIF Mietwäsche reach back over 100 years to a small ironing service in Augsburg – run by Franziska Steinbichler. As a result of the currency depreciation at the time, the ironing service became a lucrative business. Even affluent households were no longer able to keep their staff and actively accepted the offer of alternative laundry services.
Despite being bombed multiple times during the Second World War, Franziska Steinbichler managed to continue growing and expanding her business. After the end of the war, Walter Greif Senior, the son-in-law of Franziska Steinbichler, began actively supporting the company. At the same time, private washing machines were being introduced into German households.
To continue offering a sought-after business model, the GREIF company took inspiration from textile service providers in the USA and Scandinavia and brought the model to the German market. With Walter Greif Junior joining the company, the business began to specialise more and more in rental laundry as a service for commercial customers. In addition, the use of hand-towel roll dispensers and doormat rental were introduced to the German market.
The 50-year company anniversary and the Olympic Games in Germany awoke new pioneering spirit in the company. Above all, the numerous newly built hotels benefited from the convenient hotel rental laundry service. This industry milestone heralded the steady expansion of GREIF across the entire nation. In 1989, the headquarters were established at Sterzinger Straße 7 in Augsburg, where they can still be found today.
As well as Walter Greif Junior and Angelika Greif, their children, Markus, Martin and Andrea Greif, have continued the family tradition. Even with the fourth generation, the company continues to have its finger on the pulse. This includes the focus on promising business areas such as increasing awareness of sustainability in the hotel and restaurant industry. The secure foundation of the successful nationwide textile service provider is sustainably cemented through targeted expansion.
Working with over 200 sustainably oriented restaurants and hotels, GREIF Mietwäsche is able to offset around 2,400 tonnes of CO₂ each year. This currently happens via a climate protection project to renature the Königsmoor moorland in Germany and a drinking-water treatment initiative in Uganda.
GREIF Mietwäsche celebrates its first century and the successes of recent years. Despite the global pandemic, it managed to continue operating. What’s more, it successfully overcame the challenge of retaining all its employees. GREIF Mietwäsche, together with the entire GREIF workforce and all its customers, looks forward to many more successful years in the rental laundry industry.
From new company colours and the evolution of the logo to a completely new website – the whole GREIF family and all its customers and partners are delighted with the fully updated appearance of GREIF Mietwäsche. Despite the changes, some things remain the same: reliable, tailored services for all GREIF customers in the hotel and restaurant industry.
‘For us, there was no separation between the family and the business. From the very start, I grew up as part of the whole thing. I still remember how I would always walk through the company with my grandfather. Some of our employees today have been with us for 40 years and can remember me as a young boy.’
‘With over 100 years of Greif, I have many images of the family in my head: my great-grandmother, who I know from pictures, my grandfather, who expanded the entire company after the war, my dad, who continued to develop the whole thing. But then I also think about how we were at a tipping point during the coronavirus pandemic and there was a big risk that these 100 years would go down the drain. I am proud of what we have achieved together as a family over this long period.’
‘How the generation change happened and how my parents did it was simply fantastic. From the very beginning, my dad would always let us get a taste of everything and then also simply let us do things – even if he sometimes had a different opinion, he always supported us.’
‘I remember how we would always work for the company during the holidays so that we could earn a bit of money. We screwed together containers, sorted dirty laundry and delivered linen. In any case, I experienced a lot of stations, enjoyed the work and got to know nice employees.’
‘Something extremely positive that I have to mention is that over the many years, I have always been surrounded by really, really wonderful people. Wonderful employees. That’s really cool.’