Hey Geburton...really this is an age old question and one which can be argued either way. Linen rental is not always cheap...but the busier you are the more economical it is. The linen hire guys can either hire you napkins, aprons, bar towels, floor mats etc....of you can buy your own and get them to launder them for you (called C.O.G- customers own goods). The advantage of full hire is you do not have to worry about replacement- especially of the generic types of linen such as napkins. They leave your place in a mess, enter a 'pool' of linen at the laundry, and a nice, clean, starched napkin is left on your shelf. Of course some line companies don't have enough stock in their pool and you can find yourself just before the lunch/dinner rush on the phone ranting and raving 'cause you have run out of all of the hired items and the linen company has too! Once you have experienced the hassles of trying to get coffee stains out of white napkins, get grunge off waiters aprons, get whatever out of the bar towels....I reckon hire works out to be economical. Cost..... well depends on volume. Napkins can be had from about $0.07 each, bar towels $0.15, mats are charged on a weekly rental plus clean basis.