Whether you’re visiting a laundromat for the first time, you’re trying to improve your weekly laundry experience, or you’re considering buying a laundromat, it’s helpful to know when laundromats are most likely to be packed to the brim. If you’re a customer, this will let you know which times and days of the week to avoid. And if you’re an owner or manager, this will tell you when to have all hands on deck! So when are laundromats the busiest?
When Are Laundromats the Busiest?
So when are laundromats the busiest? As a general rule, laundromats are most crowded on weekends. Since most people work Monday to Friday, they save their visits to the laundromat for Saturday or Sunday. According to American Coin-Op’s survey of self-service laundries, Sunday tends to be a bit busier than Saturday. If you want to beat the rush, arrive early in the morning, right when the laundromat is opening its doors.
In that same survey, respondents reported that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the slowest days of the week, followed by Thursdays. On weekdays, traffic tends to escalate after the typical workday ends, so around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. until about 8:00 p.m. Sometimes lunchtime (12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.) is busier as well.
In addition, some laundromats are busier in the middle of the month and at the end of the month, as most people are paid by their employers on the 15th or at the end of the month.
There are a few other things to take into consideration as well . . .
Consider Your Area
If you live near a university or college, students likely frequent the laundromat, and their schedules can vary dramatically. They may stop in throughout the week (between classes and activities), and they’re less likely to do laundry on Fridays. Or if you live near a lot of retirees or seniors, who aren’t constricted by traditional work schedules, you may notice that the laundromat is busier on weekdays mornings and afternoons.
Consider Discounts and Deals
Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes laundromats offer discount days to increase store traffic. If your laundromat does this, you may wish to avoid that day if you know that it’s quite popular. On the other hand, if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind dealing with a crowded laundromat, you may choose to visit on a discount day.
Consider Asking the Staff
Finally, if you’re tired of waiting for a washer every time you visit the laundromat, try asking the staff members which days and times are slowest.
Tips for Laundromat Managers
According to American Coin-Op’s survey, laundromat owners and managers find that the greatest challenges on busy days are the following (in this order):
- Cleaning up after customers
- Customer waiting time for washers/dryers
- Store feeling overcrowded
- Customers’ children misbehaving
- Machinery going down
When your store is especially busy, it can be helpful to have staff members on site and ready to assist customers. For example, staff members can help customers locate free machines, ensure that customers are taking their laundry out soon after a cycle ends, keep the facility clean, assist customers who aren’t sure how to work the machines, and have free carts ready for customers who need them.
Ideally, you would spread out your customers so that no one is ever waiting and the store never feels overcrowded. To persuade customers to visit on slower days and at slower times, you can try hosting special events (like discount days or “Bagel Mondays”) or offering coupons or giveaways.
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