The most crippling expense for any salon is its people, and with minimum wage increases being implemented across almost half the country in 2022, that cost will only go up. Yet thousands of hours are spent by trainee and qualified cosmetologists doing the most menial tasks—like laundry—that do not generate income. In today’s climate, finding ways to cut back on those unproductive jobs has become a priority.
Minimum Wage Maxing Out Salons
According to a report published by USA Today from the National Employment Law Project, by 2026 about 40 percent of the US workforce will be on a minimum hourly wage of $15. The same report revealed in 2022, 25 states and 56 localities lifted their pay floors, although not to $15/hour—not yet.
Perhaps only a few salons will be forced to comply as the mandates are mostly focused on larger employers, however the trickle-down effect will be felt. In an industry struggling to attract talent, salons will have to increase wages or lose out on new recruits tempted into other, higher-paying sectors.
But if you are forced to pay up to $15 an hour to attract recruits, then you don’t want them stuck sorting laundry or cutting up foils when they could be looking after guests and contributing revenue to the business.
Disposable Towels Provide Solution
“We’ve really focused on modernizing systems and procedures to minimize costs," says James Alba, co-owner of B-Hive in Hillsdale, New Jersey, and founder of The Salon Movement. "For us that meant jettisoning cotton towels in favor of disposable, biodegradable towels from Scrummi. Getting rid of cotton towels is more sustainable as our highly trained team no longer waste time on the laundry, folding and tidying them away once washed and dried.”
For Alba, the disposable towels had to be made from a natural, biodegradable material as well as absorbent, easy to use and comfortable for the client.
“Scrummi have been around for more than a decade, and besides having a long track record of reliability they had the highest sustainability credibility, being the only disposable towel with full accreditation,” says Alba. “We had little pushback from the team. They were just so delighted to escape the laundry short-straw but they’ve also recognized the improvement the towels mean to our service. Meanwhile, we are no longer paying premium wages for menial tasks, saving us money, especially as these
disposable towels cost around the same or less than laundering cotton towels.”
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