In nearly every restaurant towels are an issue. Anyone who has cooked for any amount of time can tell you tales of coming in for their shift early, either to grab towels before everyone else gets there, or to pull their stash out of its hiding place so no one else can see.
The standard thinking is that owners are parsimonious, reluctant to spend money on towels. This is no doubt true in some cases. What is less rarely mentioned is that almost all cooks, myself included, will use towels to the exact level of their availability.
In trying to solve one problem, that of plates getting sooty and greasy when stored on the overshelf of the stoves, I solved another. The towels used to go in a non-working counter top refrigerator next to the cook line, close to the waiter's station. Note: Broken fridges make the best cabinets. They're stainless, lockable, have shelving, and are many times, free. We decided to put the plates there, pulling a few at a time to heat above the range. The towels wound up near the changing area, on the other side of the restaurant.
It appears having to walk to other end of the restaurant is sufficiently daunting to halt the spendthrift use of towels. We had a crazy busy Friday, normal Saturday, along with a 60 person off-site wedding. We get linen delivered today. Normally, we'd have only a couple of towels left, unless I had stashed some to get though the end of the week. Last night we had two bags left. Unheard of.
Now, if I can get the crew to keep the spices alphabetized.