Should your laundromat be open 24/7? In today’s 24-hour world, it’s not unusual for big-box stores, gyms, convenience stores, laundromats, and other establishments to be open around the clock. How do you decide if your laundromat should offer regularly scheduled operating hours or follow in the footsteps of places that are always open?
Should Your Laundromat Be Open 24/7?
Should your laundromat be open 24/7? Both choices have pros and cons. Identifying the positives and negatives and weighing them carefully is vital if you want to make an informed decision about the best hours for your laundromat.
What advantages come with operating 24/7? For starters, it is a perk that appeals to many customers. People often like to do their laundry in their downtime, and the middle of the night suits many night owls. There is also the fact that a growing number of people are working non-traditional shifts. For people who are used to sleeping during the day and working through the night, doing their laundry in the wee hours makes perfect sense. In addition, sometimes laundry emergencies occur in the middle of the night. For example, parents might need to use a laundromat late at night if their child is sick. Frankly, even people who will never use the facility during the night are often happy to know that they could do so if they wanted to, so being open 24/7 can create a lot of goodwill.
When your laundromat is always open, you never have to turn away customers. Operating continuously also allows you to maximize your machines’ usage by catering to the varied schedules of your customers. How does this work? Many customers find the option to avoid peak hours attractive, so they’ll arrive during times that are traditionally slower. When these people make use of your extended hours, this frees up machines and other resources during your busiest times so that your location can accommodate more people with less hassle.
The Question of Vandalism
Some argue that having a business open throughout the night decreases the likelihood of crime because the building is constantly lit and in use. Others express concerns that an unattended laundromat might trigger issues with the area’s homeless population or provide a tempting target to those who are intent on mischief. While some neighborhoods may be safe places for unattended businesses to remain open overnight, others will require an on-site attendant to deter vandalism, thievery, and other issues. It’s worth noting that some laundromats have settled on a clever compromise: Instead of keeping an attendant on hand around the clock, they’ve created membership programs. Customers accepted to these programs provide pertinent personal information in return for a key or security code that allows them to enter an unattended laundromat during off-hours.
The Cost of 24/7 Operation
Keeping a laundromat open 24/7 comes at a cost. While it may allow you to maximize the use of the machinery, there will be additional costs for electricity and other utilities. If the laundromat is attended, it will also mean paying for an additional shift. Of course, nights also tend to be slower, so they can offer an ideal time for attendants to complete cleaning and maintenance tasks.
Lease Issues and Insurance Concerns
Before you switch your operation to run 24/7, be sure to review your lease. Some buildings limit the hours that businesses can be open. You’ll also want to check in with your insurance agent. In some cases, staying open 24 hours a day can result in increased insurance premiums.
Questions to Ask
When trying to decide whether to stay open 24/7 or not, it can be helpful to ask questions like these:
- How much business are you likely to do during the hours you are currently closed?
- Are there advantages to staying open around the clock?
- Would you need an attendant on hand to remain open safely?
- What will it cost you to remain open 24/7?
- Will your lease permit 24-hour operation?
- Are other nearby businesses open overnight?
Should your laundromat be open 24/7? Ultimately, this is a question that only you can answer. Right now, the most common hours of operation for laundromats are seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For some laundromat owners, always being open is a profitable choice. Others find that a 24/7 schedule simply isn’t right for their operation. If you do choose to experiment with your laundromat’s hours, make sure that you give it enough time for a true test. Whenever you enact new hours of operation, keep them in place for at least three months so that your customers have time to learn of the change and take advantage of it if they want to do so.
Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a reliable distributor, be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Our leasing program provides no mileage fees, no service fees, and no parts fees. You will be able to use high-quality Speed Queen equipment while enjoying a flexible lease and predictable payments. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!