COVID-19 Laundromat Business Guide
The COVID-19 virus has changed the business landscape for the foreseeable future. However, in the midst of this crisis, vended laundries stand on the front lines providing a valuable service. The importance of your business cannot be overstated. It’s vital to stay open and as the world leader in commercial laundry, Alliance Laundry Systems continues to partner with the Coin Laundry Association to lobby state and federal officials to classify vended laundries as essential businesses and allow them to stay open. We would encourage you to do the same in your area using the templated message attached.
We have created this guide to assist you with tips and materials to enable your laundry business to continue to provide a valuable service to customers, while also keeping them safe. We will continue to update our blogs and social media accounts to reflect the most current guidance and encourage you to check back.
With a few alterations to your store operations, you can not only continue to provide a key service by delivering clean laundry but do so in a way that keeps customers safe.
Kathryn Q. Rowen,
General Manager, North American Laundromat Segment
Alliance Laundry Systems
You need to let customers and prospective customers know you are open and the steps you are taking to keep them safe. You’ll also want to offer any guidance to how they should interact with the store, equipment etc.
Use your social media accounts, email, chamber of commerce, website and signage to communicate. You may also wish to send a press release to media (radio, newspaper, TV, local public access channel, etc.) using the template attached. News media is battling the same resource issues as all of us. Thus,
news about businesses that are open is sought after.
Messages to communicate include:
• Open and hours. Obviously, you want customers and prospective customers to know you are open and what your hours are.
• What you are doing to respond to the crisis and put them at ease the store is keeping them safe with extra cleaning, etc. The more detailed the better – also ensure your attendants are following these procedures. Customers will certainly be watching them. Put people at ease.
• What they can do while visiting your store
• Offer additional laundry tips
• Owners also may want to educate customers (and prospective customers) on the benefits of their commercial equipment, that home units can’t match. Commercial washer-extractors provide exceptional mechanical action, which, when combined with hot water and detergent, deliver exceptional hygienic results – on-par with hospital-grade machines. In addition, commercial gas-fired dryers achieve higher temperatures and proper heating to further protect garments from harm.
You will need to fine tune your operation to keep your employees and customers safe. Follow state, federal and CDC guidelines. Make sure to post signage on the door listing these new store policies and update them as needed.
Tips for interacting with your store should include the basics as we know them at present:
• Keep a distance of six feet from others
• Wash hands often or use sanitizer as a precaution after touching equipment, doors, etc.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow
• Try to refrain from touching your face.
• Wait outside or in a vehicle while loads are washing or drying to reduce the amount of people in store. This is where app systems are helpful with text message notifications of completed cycles.
Additional laundry tips:
• Heat and hot water are your friends. Where possible, wash loads with hot water and use dryers (allow the dryer to complete its cycle)
• Avoid shaking dirty laundry (it can spread germs)
• Where possible, use bleach to disinfect
• Clean hampers, baskets, bags, carts…anything coming in contact with dirty linens
• Wash hand towels and wash rags often
• An ill person’s laundry can be washed with other family members’ items, but please use disposable gloves when handling and wash hands immediately after
• Do laundry…the more urgency and emphasis we put on keeping things clean the better.
• Increase awareness by canvassing your coverage area with door hangers – providing bags can help with adoption as well as pricing awareness – “this bag will cost $xx to process”
• Marketing materials should list pricing and expectations for how laundry should be received
• Ensure staff processing laundry are using gloves and following all other CDC guidelines
• Where possible, stagger pick-up/drop off times to reduce large groups of customers arriving at the same times.