The Royal Treatment

Article by Tony Carosella

You attend a fancy party along with another 500 people from your company. The food for dinner is fantastic, and then you accidentally knock a coffee pot over on the table. The coffee misses your boss, but some of it drips onto the floor. Then it is time for the keynote speaker and she gives an inspiring lecture while you snack on key lime pie. Now the party is over and, as you head to your car, you realize that on your calendar is another big event in the same venue tomorrow night. You wonder, how is it possible that the room can be cleaned and prepped and ready for another 1200 people in that short a time? That’s where RoyaLab comes in. RoyaLab helps the venue efficiently manage cleaning and prepping their business, from the back end to the front.

Origins in Cleaning

Originally known as Royal Papers, the business started in 1948 and was purchased in 1988 by current owner Paul Passanise. Since then, his family owned business has transformed the cleaning supply company into a full-service supply showroom staffed by blue shirted experts. RoyaLab has plenty of competition from Grainger, Amazon, and Loews, but when customers discover what RoyaLab has to offer, it’s no competition. RoyaLab has distinguished itself by featuring a showroom full of the latest cleaning equipment and products, and it is staffed by experienced experts ready to advise their customer’s regarding specific cleaning challenges. As Paul Passanise puts it, “One of our biggest challenges is to get the foot traffic into the showroom so people can see the RoyaLab advantage.”

In 1998, RoyaLab opened their first showroom super center in Westport Plaza. Then in 2013 they moved to their expanded and current location of 2121 RoyaLab Drive just east of Westport off Lackland Industrial Blvd. “The building was perfect for our needs because it was once a BMW motorcycle dealership and has a nice big showroom where we now display our products, and it also has a fullsize service area where they fixed BMW motorcycles and we now fix large, drivable cleaning machines,” says Paul.

RoyaLab is a dealership for these mobile cleaners and has the biggest display of them in the industry. Many of their clients discover that besides owning a new model, they can keep their costs down by renting or purchasing a used model. On the showroom floor are all types of cleaning equipment that can be demonstrated for and driven by prospective customers. This hands-on approach has given a lot of new customers the confidence to tackle the big jobs themselves. The new robotic floor scrubbers are also on display and have gotten a lot of interest from big clients like BJC Healthcare, which has purchased two and is looking to purchase a few more.

Cleaning Differently

A first-time customer might stop in with a clogged vacuum cleaner. While waiting for the vac to be fixed in the on-site service department, the customer can get some ideas from the blue shirted experts on other cleaning problems they might have. Paul’s son, Matt, explained  that RoyaLab’s mission was to “…[S]how our customers how to be better organized and to teach them how to make money. In an economy where 80% of the cleaning and maintenance budget is labor, money can be saved by using better equipment to complete the job faster and more efficiently.”

Many Cleaning personnel have been doing the old-school method of mop and bucket for a long time. RoyaLab offers training in their on-site training room to teach maintenance personnel some new tricks. The company’s expertise in training includes solutions for a wide variety of business segments, including building services, education, healthcare, hospitality, food service and manufacturing. Each segment has their own singular cleaning challenges. RoyaLab is a one-of-a-kind facility that can handle the needs of big corporate clients as well as the general public.

The RoyaLab Difference

RoyaLab services Missouri statewide with offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield. Their staff of 100 people are ready to assist with sales, delivery and mobile on-site repair. They sell the full line of Procter and Gamble cleaning products, along with all other standard and specialized pieces of equipment to support your cleaning needs. For the Hotel and Hospitality Industry, they cover laundry, housekeeping, and kitchen products and equipment. They also provide on-site maintenance and repair. “If you need to call in and ask advice, you will always be talking to a live person. We don’t have a computer replace a live call when it comes to our customers,” exclaims Paul. The combination of sales, showroom, expert advice, and service takes the guesswork out of accomplishing large cleaning challenges. The next time you attend a big event, you might marvel at the hard work and expertise that happened in the background to enable you to be served a delicious meal and to relax in an immaculate ballroom.


About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.