Open Forum

WDF Issue

  • 1.  WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hello

    My name is Richard DeFelice and I own a Laundromat called Scrubs Laundromat in Little Ferry, NJ.  I am not a member any longer and haven't been for quite few years but I always read the forum and try and learn from the various topics that pertain to my operation. Michael Sokolowski has given me permission to post to the open forum.

    I have recently began an enormous amount of WDF, I was always doing it in the past but now for my size store which is 2500 sq ft with 34 washers and 34 dryers, I am now doing over 7000 lbs a month and talking with a wholesale dry cleaner to do his WDF of an additional 100LBS per day or another 3000 lbs per month, so now looking at close to 10,000 lbs per month.

    My issue is I have 3 attendants and the morning to 3pm shift, M-F girl seems to grab most of the "tippers" leaving the non-tippers for the other two. Additionally they are selective is the size of the orders they choose as well, huge 100 plus orders are left especially if known baby clothes customer. What she does is time and date for order to be ready allowing her to "skip" tickets to do the ones she prefers. There are plenty of customers that drop off and state this day or next week is fine etc and some specify needed by same day, next day before 3 etc.

    My thought was to change procedure to do the order is which it was received, being time and day sensitive regardless of when customer needs it by excluding the ones that need a :favor: and ready same day ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I am at my wits end with the arguments between the attendants. If you do not do that end of the business could you direct me to either a member or other staff that does a large volume of WDF please.

    Kindest regards,

    Rich

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    RICHARD W DEFELICE
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Emerson NJ
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  • 2.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    Richard:  I don't do WDF.  If the tips are not outrageous to your lead operator, then maybe have a policy that splits all tips among your seasoned WDF crew on a sliding scale by number of years working.  Maybe even everything out at 12 months.

    Then Pay the lead WDF the difference in what she would have been paid in tips on a monthly basis.  Being designated the lead, this rep would be the only one allowed the bonus.

    If your business is going to continue to grow, you will need the best WDF help around.

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    Les Monthei
    Potential Investor
    Redding CA
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  • 3.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Les,

    Thanks for your input. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending whom is being referred) the tips run anywhere from just a few dollars to 20+ on large orders and consistent every week. My guesstimate is she is making over 120 bucks extra in tips per week which is allot to go around if other attendants got the opportunity to do these orders. I thought about doing what you suggested by sharing but I think that may lower the quality of output due to "well if I am not getting the whole tip" or " if I only get part why should I...." I think you get my drift. I thought best way was to do them in order received but that just doesn't seem to work.

    anybody else with ideas?

    Rich

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    RICHARD W DEFELICE
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Emerson NJ
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  • 4.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    Richard:  I am not sure how many WDF employees you have, but I assume all are getting some tips.  My thought is to tally those tips for each individual, then throw the money into an imaginary pot and divide it by the number of employees that work the WDF.  Your lead that gets the $120 per week or so in tips will get her "fair share" of the pot to begin with, and you would make up the bonus difference based on her would be tips that month.

    I was guessing all the employees are then getting tips equally, with the exception of the lead WDF, who would be paid the bonus difference of ??  a few hundred or more for being the lead.  You justify the bonus as you are paying the lead, and you are out of pocket for calming things down.

    Since I don't run a WDF and don't know the particulars, not sure it will work.  I value a good employee, and with an expanding business, that employee might become a lead for advanced operations.

    Here is how my brother would do it based on how he ran the DOD work we have done in the past.....The tips are split even and if you don't like that mutually beneficial arrangement, the door is that direction.  And he had that consistent policy whether we were dying for qualified workers or swimming in qualified workers.  And if anyone was not working up to standards (as in not getting their fair share of tips coming in) then, you guessed it, door time again.

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    Les Monthei
    Potential Investor
    Redding CA
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  • 5.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi
    Tips can be a very frustrating issue.  I have gotten so sick of what I call "Tip Wars" between attendants.

    An attendant may spend her shift cleaning the floor and bathrooms, another may spend it folding clothes.  They are all working.  The way that I have evened this out is to have all tips shared between the attendants, proportional to the number of shifts they work that week.  All tips go into a locked tip box.  If a customer tries to hand me a tip I ask them to put it in the box and explain that all tips are shared.

    All attendants know that if tips are not put in the box- we will have a NO tip policy.

    Good luck!

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    Sally Anderson
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Super Clean Laundromat and Cleaners
    Union CT
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  • 6.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    Richard,

    This is a management problem. Set a policy of "first in, first out."  Have a tip jar and divide tips at the end of the day equally among all who worked a full shift.

    Explain that tips are provided to the business, not the individual.  Point out that all of YOUR customers should receive the same quality service. Special orders for rapid service should be your income, not a tip. If the staff can't get along on this issue tell them you may have to post signs stating "NO TIPPING ALLOWED."

    Bad attitudes can spread so you need to take control of the policies of your business. You either run your business or your business runs you.  Just my opinion.

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    Larry Larsen
    Laundromat123.com
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
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  • 7.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago

    Having put myself through part of college as a tipped employee, I can tell you this:  tread very, very carefully on seizing other people's tips, even if it's to "pool" them.

    First off, the customer didn't give the tip to a "pool" to help you pay your employees. The tipper gave the tip to the person who did their very personal tasks, laundry.   Why would they do this?  Because their laundry is personal, they appreciate it done well, folded well and treated carefully. 

    Why would they just throw money in a bucket to other employees that had nothing to do with this personal task?  I would be quite miffed if I tipped my laundry attendant for doing a good job and found out the manager took it out of her pocket to spread to other folks.

    Also, tip money really isn't the purview of management.  It's not yours.  It wasn't given to you to spend how you wish.  While it's not really an important item, there are usually state laws that address this.

    It's interesting to watch the top-down management styles here, I smile because I think it's a factor of being entrepreneurs, few folks here seem to give much leeway with employees.

    Why not the obvious answer?  Talk to each of the attendants and say everyone is interested in folding the "good" (meaning tipped) laundry, how can we work this out so it is fair?

    Give them some agency.  It's not your money, it's theirs.  You can dictate, but why?  It's not your money.  You should want to keep the employees feeling a sense of fairness, but "fair" doesn't have to equal "equal".  Maybe the most senior gets to choose? Then someday, someone else will have the chance. Maybe the first shift operator gets to choose?  Maybe they alternate?  Doesn't matter as long as it's objective and the have nots can become haves someday.

    Don't take money out of minimum wage employee's pockets to redistribute.  Gonna make your own tiny Venezuela? 



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    Luigi
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  • 8.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 6 days ago
    I completely agree with Larry. You need to take charge of your business. We had this same problem for awhile even with the first in, first out policy in place. Then we had done customers tip when dropping off and/or picking up. Problem was the attendant doing the laundry often wasn't the one checking in or out the customers laundry. Then we had issues with attendants arguing "he gave the tip to me. It was meant for me". It was exhausting and definitely affected employee morale so I ended it. We now have a strict no tipping policy. If any employee accepts a tip they're disciplined, if it happens again they're terminated. When we do have customers try to tip, our employees let them know that they can't accept a tip but we appreciate a positive review on Google or Facebook

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    Dave Menz
    Queen City Laundry Chain
    Cincinnati, OH
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  • 9.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    I think an automated POS system will solve most of these problems. A few have been recommended on this site. At the very least you'll be able to track the time the order came in and enforce a first in-first out rule.
    Good luck.

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    Pete
    Store Owner
    Congers NY
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  • 10.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    Also, at 90 cents a pound your prices are too low. Increase to $1 and you will lose a little business but make just as much profit.

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    Pete
    Store Owner
    Congers NY
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  • 11.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    Consider raising your prices a little and offering 10% commissions to employees on orders they do. That will incentivize the bigger orders to get done, everyone will feel like they are getting a little "extra" for pulling their weight.

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    Nicole Iger
    Full Service Laundry Management
    Los Angeles, CA
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  • 12.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    I agree with the sentiment that you need to take control of your business and a POS would solve many of your problems by taking the tips out of the hands of the employees.

    We process 15,000 - 17,000 pounds per month and all orders are processed through our POS, Shopkeep. We have a first in first done policy unless a customer requests express which costs extra. 90% of my payments are via credit card and I dole out the tips with each payroll based on the percentage of hours an employee works. The other 10% cash payments may get a tip but they go into a tip jar and are divided up between the employees once a week.

    Since the customer may not know who actually processed the order, giving a tip to the employee who checked the customer out is totally unfair.  Credit card tips in my store usually exceed $1000 per month and I have explained to my employees that the amount they get is based on total tips received and hours worked. That way, no ones feelings get hurt, and all orders are processed with the same care and quality they deserve.



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    James Barnes
    Owner
    Aroma Laundry & Water
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 13.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    We do roughly 4-5k lbs a month of WDF, and it is continuing to build. I have one attendant per shift (2 per day). All WDF orders get processed by the order received. Customers are told at time of drop off when their laundry should be finished based on the orders in front of them. Emergency orders must be approved by me before they are put in front of any other orders. Any tips that come in on those orders are given to the attendant that processed the order. If 2 attendants worked on it, they split the tip.

    Now, maybe I am just lucky, but my girls are very good about this. Everyone here knows that tips will come for many of their orders when they are no longer working. As they ALL want to receive any tips for THEIR orders from the other attendants, they work together well to pass off the tips to whom they belong. Mind you, it doesn't hurt that we have an excellent camera system in the laundry and many SOP's in place that make them understand that we are watching at all times. But the bigger picture, with my girls at least, is that they all want their own tips given to them, so they act in accordance with the do unto others motto. I try to give them as much autonomy as I possibly can so that they can be allowed to make the right decisions. I pull back when necessary. Good luck!


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    REBECCA Jenkins
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Corner Wash Club
    www.cornerwashclub.com
    Largo FL
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  • 14.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 5 days ago
    Rich,

    Tips have been talked about enough on here, so I'll concentrate mostly on WDF.

    I have about the same sized store as you.  If I took in that amount of WDF there would be no machines available for paying customers.  I look at our WDF a different way.  It makes payroll for our attendants and gives them something to do during their shift other than making change, checking in/out dry cleaning, cleaning up after messy customers, and my favorite, getting snacks that hang up in my vending machines.

    Your machines are making you money while they are running for customers.  They are not making you money if they are filled with WDF, that's just making your payroll.  Why not hire on a third shift after closing.  Your machines make you no money if they are idle at night.  A couple of attendants after hours could knock them out plus your commercial accounts if you brought more of those in.  The more your machines are running, the more money you're making.

    Oh, and invest in an automated POS system.  If you don't do dry cleaning, start!  Raise your prices too as mentioned before.  Ours is $1.10/pound.  The next city over is charging $1.25/pound.  Price compare with other mats in your area, or closest by.

    Good luck in any nugget of advice you find here.

    Will

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    William Harper
    Store Owner/ Employee
    The Laundry Room of Palmetto LLC
    Peachtree City GA
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  • 15.  RE: WDF Issue

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Richard - My entire business is predicated on wash and fold albeit pickup and delivery (25k lbs/day) but same work issues (minus drivers) so I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about best practices...We have a saying here..."serve it while its hot"...don't get caught up on the day its do...first in/first out regarding orders...You can reach me at 888-675-8168.... All the best, Rick

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    Rick Rome
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Wash Club
    Brooklyn NY
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