The Ultimate Guide To Hot Towels

The Ultimate Guide To Hot Towels

If you’re a restaurant owner or requent diner,  the chances are that at one point or another you will have been handed a hot or wet towel. Not only is this a luxurious and comforting gesture,  it enhances your dining experience as there is an element of novelty to it. There’s nothing as simple as clean, fresh table linen to start a customer experience on the right foot; hot towels are no exeption to this rule.

Originally a Japanese creation, hot towels or Oshibori are becoming more and more popular in restaurants all over the world. They signify that an element of care and an attention to detail has been put into the service. Plus, they feel great!

Here is London Linen’s guide to hot towels.


The tradition of hot towels being handed to guests before a meal dates back hundreds of years, to the Edo period in Japan. Originally, hot towels would be offered to travellers by innkeepers as a demonstration of kindness and hospitality. The idea was that travellers could wipe the dust from their journeys away before settling in for the night.

Although we are a long way from the travelers of Japanese Edo period, the sentiment of hot towels is still rather similar. They are offered to guests before a meal to clean their hands before eating and help them settle into the restaurant. As well as in a dining setting, hot towels are commonly used in otherhospitality settings, such as spas, hotels, resorts and casinos.

Preparation And Maintenance

Originally,  Oshiori would have been heated over steam or in a bucket of water over hot coals. Nowadays, however, hot towels are prepared in a more hygienic and efficient manner, using an electric warmer. During their preparation, scented chips are sometimes added to further the relaxing effects of the towels.

Maintaining your hot towels isnt a difficult task and there are just a few simple things to remember.  Obviously, towels need to be washed professionally between each use. Using a luxury linen supplier such as London Linen is the best way to ensure your restaurant has a pristine supply of clean, high-quality linen, such as towels and tableware.


There are numerous benefits to using hot towels within your establishment. Not only do they serve a practical purpose, cleaning guests’ hands, but they also work to make a guest feel relaxed and comfortable.

When handed a hot towel at the beginning of a meal, it works to ease a diner into their time at a restaurant, re-assuring them that the service to come will be of an equally high standard.

Luxury Linens In London

Using high-quality linen services in your restaurant of establishment will improve the overall  dining experience tenfold, creating an environment that is clean, relaxing and welcoming.

For all of your linen hire and supply needs in London and beyond, get in touch with London Linen. We have been serving the London restaurant and catering industry for over 80 years, specialising in only the highest quality linen, from chef’s uniforms to tablecloths.

Don’t hesitate to call us today on 020 8574 5569 or send an email to

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Contact us today to make an enquiry about kitchen linen hire in London or restaurant and table linens services. As the most reliable dry cleaning services in London, we can help you achieve your best.

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