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No matter what industry you're in, there is always a risk that your business will be robbed or stolen from. Thieves thrive on easy targets and opportunity. With 70% of laundromat investors having 0-2 employees, often times there is a single attendant, or no one at all, staffing the facility. An advantage of operating a laundromat is that they run themselves. Protecting your laundromat with added security measures will ensure that there is more risk than reward for those looking to steal from your laundry business, and HK wants to share them with you.
Set a Precedent within Your Facility
As a laundromat owner, it's important to set a precedent within your laundry facility that speaks to a zero theft tolerance and strict security surveillance. By vocalizing these measures, typically done with various signage and equipment throughout your laundromat, you give customers the impression that you take all criminal activity seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute offenders. Not only will this help reduce your business as an easy target for a robbery, it will also help create a safe community for customers who will keep coming back.
Invest in a Surveillance System
With little to no employees having a physical presence at a coin laundry facility, keeping eyes and ears on your investment is imperative to ensure that it remains protected. A good surveillance system costs starts around $1,000 and is well worth the money. HK Laundry recommends these systems that are used by others in the industry and have proven to be reliable when heightening laundromat security.
Vary Your Behavior Patterns
Arguably the most important area to address when improving the security of your laundromat is being aware of and varying your behavior patterns. Thieves feel more comfortable robbing a business where they can easily predict the behavior and movements of the employees or owner. They capitalize on "weak" moments within a routine to make their moves. For the laundry industry those weak moments are during collection times. Mixing up your collection days, securing money in the mornings versus at night, and keeping your pick-up times discreet helps add protection against theft. Make sure not to post when the machines will be emptied (trust us when we say a lot of owners do this!) and use a backpack or duffle bag to put the money in for added discretion.
Other Laundromat Security Tips
Once you have installed a surveillance system and varied your behavior patterns, use these extra tips to heighten your security precautions:
Process your collection as quickly as possible: Some laundromat owners prefer for an armored car service to pick-up their cash while others head straight to the bank to use the night deposit. Either way choose a solution that allows you to process your collection as quickly as possible.
Have good situational awareness: During your pick-up times, make sure to have a heightened awareness of your surroundings. Use swiveling head movements during your collection and address anyone who speaks to you during this time with good, strong eye contact.
Lock up your money right away: If you are addressing other items in your laundromat prior to leaving, make sure to lock your money up right after you are done collecting it. A secure backroom or a locked car that is visible from inside the facility are great options.
Prioritize the order of your machines: As you are beginning your collection process, make sure that you start with the machines that will take the longest amount of time to collect and have the smallest amount of money (dryers and vending machines) first. The machines that have the largest amount of money in them should be emptied last, reducing your exposure to theft.
It's always important to have good situational awareness and limited cash exposure as a laundromat owner or employee. If you are ever threatened with bodily harm, give them the cash. Safety and health should always remain your number one priority over protecting business assets, if ever faced with a robbery.