Wash with Wally: Vend Pricing, Flooring Options and More...

By Wally Makowsky, CLA Member posted 20 days ago

  
I want to increase the vend prices on my washing machines. What is the best method for making these changes?

The best way to increase your washer prices is to raise the pricing on one size of washer at a time. For example, increase the cost of your 50-pound machines only. Wait two or three months for your customers to adjust to this price hike, and then increase the vend price on your 30-pounders. Again, wait a few months, and then raise the price on your smaller washing machines, and so on.

With this strategy, you won’t be “shocking” your laundry customers with one massive, sweeping price increase across the board. In addition, you’re providing them with the option to use your less-expensive machines in the interim.

In addition, I would warn against advertising the fact that you’re raising your prices or making an excuse (“increased water rates”) as to why you are upping the cost of a wash. Most customers don’t need – or want – to be reminded that they are going to have to pay more. And most will simply accept the fact that everything eventually goes up in price.

I have a problem with some of my customers leaving their clothes in my washers and dryers, and then leaving the store to going shopping – for hours! How do I stop this behavior?

The best advice I can offer is to post signs in your store. These signs should state: “Clothes left unattended in washers and dryers will be removed and stored by the staff member on duty.”

However, be sure to post this signage – clearly spelling out your store’s policy on unattended loads – before you actually implement this plan. Some customers don’t like others handling their personal items, and doing so without fair warning could create issues for your business.

I’m building a new laundromat, and I’d like your opinion as to the type of flooring I should install. What are my options? What would you suggest?

In my opinion, large, ceramic tiles are the very best flooring option for a vended laundry. It’s durable, long-lasting and easy to maintain. Also, I think it’s more attractive than the other types of flooring available to laundry owners. If you go with this option, be sure to install tile that features a non-slip resin in the ceramic.

As second possible option is what’s called a “poured floor,” which is an acrylic flooring material that is installed in two or three segments. This option comes in a variety of colors and is great for high-traffic areas. Poured flooring is used a lot in warehouses. However, you definitely need to find a qualified and experienced installer to properly pour such a floor.

I’m having trouble removing heavily soiled perspiration stains. I have tried ammonia and vinegar, but with little success. Do you have any ideas?

Your best (and least expensive) option is to mix a quality liquid detergent with water in a spray bottle – three parts water to one part detergent. Spray this mixture onto the stained areas and let sit for a while. Then, simple run the garments through a normal wash cycle.

Be aware that the fabric on some of these items may be permanently discolored in certain spots, due to previous perspiration stains.
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