Specialised Partner for Hotels and Restaurants
1922 - 1924 | Our Beginnings

The origins of our company date back almost a full century. An ironing shop, opened up in the year 1922 by Franziska Steinbichler in Augsburg, laid the foundation for a modern textile service provider with nine subsidiaries all over Germany. The ironing shop, established after World War I, offered back then an emerging service which shortly before had been carried out by domestics.

The increasing devaluation of the years 1923/1924 caused mass layoffs in the sector of domestics working in wealthy households. As a consequence, there was a high demand for personnel skilled in keeping large-size textiles clean. A need for alternative services was developing - and increased over the years. The one-woman business was becoming a small enterprise.

1939 - 1946 | War and Drastic Social Changes

During World War II, the existing building was bombed out twice. With makeshift equipment Franziska Steinbichler continued to run the business after the war. A continuous upward trend set in, making several relocations of the business necessary.

Walter Greif Sr., her son in law, joined the company after the end of the war. The time that followed was marked by the next social change. The introduction of private washing machines to German households inevitably led to a shift of laundry treatment, away from service providers towards the privacy of one‘s home. This would have been the end of our existing business model in the intermediate term. The ‚ironing shop‘ and our coin laundromats were doomed. Therefore, Walter Greif Sr., the then business owner, decided to meet the challenge of the obviously growing trend by developing a modern textile service model.

1950 - 1969 | Pioneering Spirit and Convincing

In the 1950s, first companies in the US and in Scandinavia, but also in Berlin, started offering rental services for workwear and hotel textiles. These companies were an inspiration for us to develop innovative services tailored to the German market. The insights gained were adapted to the prevailing conditions and led to a reorientation of our company.

In 1967, Walter Greif Jr. joined the company‘s management and was significantly involved in the subsequent changes. The 1960s already marked a sound establishment process of our rental services for commercial customers. By offering textile rental services we were well ahead of our time. Not only the services as such but also the new products were largely unknown and made a lot of convincing necessary. We introduced towel roll dispensers to the German market and were pioneers in offering rental services for floor mats in the southern parts of Germany. The introduction of the concept of leasing instead of buying gave new momentum to the idea of rental services. Towards the end of the 1960s, we decided to specialise for good in textile rental services for commercial customers.

1972 | Tourism as Driving Force of a New Service

The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich had initiated a construction boom in the region. The company‘s 50th anniversary together with the Olympics re-kindled our pioneering spirit: the time had come for textile rental services in the hotel industry.

The services we offered were unique and represented obvious advantages for the new hotels. By choosing Greif Textile Mietsysteme for the handling of hotel textiles, the financial burden on the hotels was lessened as investments in equipment and textiles were no longer necessary. The newly created service set a milestone in the sector and was a starting point for steady growth and expansion all over Germany.

1989 - 2000 | Start of the Company‘s Course of Expansion

The company building constructed in 1989 still marks the headquarters of Greif Textile Mietsysteme, located at Sterzinger Strasse 7, Augsburg-Lechhausen.

The start of the nineties marked the beginning of our company‘s expansion. With the aim of broadening our supply area to include the entire region of Bavaria and the neighbouring parts of Austria, an additional subsidiary located in Cadolzburg in the vicinity of the city of Nuremberg was integrated into the company in the year 1991. Simultaneously, the Augsburg headquarters were expanded: by the turn of the millennium, new premises for production and administration were added to the existing company building.

2005 - 2009 | The Course of Expansion Continues

The first subsidiaries outside of Bavaria were added to our company in 2005: thanks to the incorporation of two laundry facilities in Berlin-Wedding and Oranienburg, hotels and restaurants on the North-South axis have since been able to profit from our textile services.

Coverage of the supply area in the western part of Germany – including above all the metropolitan area of Frankfurt/Main – was taken over by the company Kreuznacher Zentralwäscherei (KZW) in Bad Kreuznach, to which we are strongly bond by family ties.

In 2009, with the incorporation of two additional laundry facilities - one in Langenfeld (between the cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne), the other in Wolfratshausen in the southern vicinity of Munich - we established ourselves for good as a reliable, nationwide available partner for textile services in the hotel chain industry.

2011 | A Veteran Passes Away

Having joined the company after the war as son-in-law of Franziska Steinbichler, he contributed considerably to the company‘s success story. His managerial decisions were driven by wisdom and vision; the company as it exists today was named after him.

One of the probably most important decisions he made together with his son, Walter Greif Jr., was the reorientation towards a textile rental system. He was also well known for innumerable aid projects in Germany and abroad, even in Africa and South America. He was Master of the Guild of ‚Washers and Ironers‘, a branch of industry no longer existent.

Walter Greif Sr. died in April 2011 at the age of 90.

Today | Success over Four Generations

Today, the fourth Greif generation has taken over the responsibility for company management. Along with Walter Greif Jr. and Angelika Greif, the children Markus, Martin and Andrea Greif carry on the family tradition: with a keen sense for trends, the focus is put on promising and visionary business sectors, including the increasing emphasis put on sustainable concepts in both, the hotel and restaurant industries.

Courage and risk-awareness are important success factors for the fourth generation as well, as demonstrated by our most current project, the Berlin-Lichtenberg subsidiary. For the construction of Germany‘s most up-to-date and largest hotel textiles processing plant in a rapidly developing tourist region we are investing approximately € 20 million. With the beginning of 2017, about 100 tons of bed and table linen as well as towels will be processed daily for the regions Berlin and Brandenburg, in facilities with a production area of approximately 7,500 square meters. With this project we strengthen the foundation for the next generation and our clients to rely on.