IS YOUR ATTENDANT EARNING
laundry owner should notate their sales breakdown by week according to washer
revenue, dryer revenue, wash dry fold, drop off dry cleaning and vending. This
record keeping method yields much useful information – including whether your
full time attendant is worth the salary you are paying her.
In profitable coin laundries, the attendants
generate income by taking in the drop off dry cleaning orders, and processing
the wash dry fold orders. Your net on these services (what you make minus your
supplies and the dry cleaner’s cost) should cover the attendant’s salary, plus
make a profit for you, the owner.
Compare your average weekly net on your services to
your attendant’s weekly pay. If it has been awhile since you’ve gone through
this exercise, you may be surprised to find that your employees make more than
they generate in increased revenue! If you find that this is the case, there
are several possible solutions.
Eliminate Services: Perhaps the demographics in
your area have changed so that most of your customers are now self-service. In
some cases you can make a higher net by doing away with services, along with
the attendants, and operating an “all coin” store. Eliminating services also
eliminates much of your supply costs, some of your utility costs and the dry
cleaner’s cost. Remember, a part time janitor is much less costly than a full
Convert to Partially Attended: Maintain your services while cutting labor
expenses by keeping your laundry attended only until 6 or 7pm. This will give
drop customers enough time to pick up the orders they dropped off that morning.
Enclose your counter area so that your coin-op can be operated as self-service
only during nighttime hours. This method is extremely effective in trimming
labor costs. If handled effectively most laundries will not lose any drop off
customers, even if they are partially attended.
Add Commercial Accounts: If you feel that it is best for your laundry
to be attended full time, the key to making money is to keep your
attendants busy! Do this by finding local commercial
accounts – restaurants, motels, nursing homes, beauty salons, etc – to
supplement the normal drop off business. Since you already have the location,
equipment and labor in place, this move can result in a high profit margin. You
only need to pay for your supplies, plus additional utility costs. (Note: For
more information on Commercial Accounts, see related article “Commercial Accounts:
The Best Kept Secret”)
Give the Wash Dry Fold Away: Consider keeping your best attendant on as an
independent contractor. With this arrangement, your drop off customers still
have access to this service. Your attendant would be self-employed, using your
machines to run her own drop off business. She would supply her own soaps and
supplies, and use her own money to start your machines, and of course any money
from this drop off business would be hers to keep. The advantage to you is your
coin revenue will increase due to the independent contractor’s added money in
your machines. Additionally, it is close to having a “free attendant” watching
over the store as she did before, but with no labor costs.
Making decisions about labor, hours of operation and
services is easier if you learn to focus on your net profit after paying
for the services. This is the most effective way to pin down whether or not
offering services and a fully attended store is still a profitable idea for
your particular laundry.
If you do decide that changes are in order, keep
your customers informed of any changes that affect them. Post professionally
lettered signs throughout the coin-op, and mention the changes to customers
when they pick up orders, get change, etc.
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