These laundry amenities can boost revenue and customer engagement, increasing profits and giving you an edge on the competition.
In Norway, Cafe Laundromat holds 4,000 books, a full menu, reading nooks, and retro commercial washers and dryers. In Spain, Splash Laundry has a DJ spinning dance tunes while your delicates tumble dry. In Brooklyn, Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball offers a pinball arcade, beer, and art gallery. A few states over, World’s Largest Laundromat in Illinois boasts a custom kids’ play-and-homework area, a 90” TV (yes, 90; not a typo), and—in an area away from your clean clothes—a small bird sanctuary.
While you may not want to hire a DJ, stock a university-level library, or purchase vintage pinball machines/rescue canaries for your laundromat, the trends in the industry point to optimizing your revenue with value added services to your commercial laundry business. Businesses around the world and across the country understand the simple concept of adding extras to set themselves apart, attract customers, and boost sales. Laundromats with beer and laundromats with video games do well in some neighborhoods with the right demographics while laundromats with coffee shops or cafes do well in others.
Western State Design clients have seen the benefits of value-added services in their laundromats. Neighborhood Laundry in Santa Maria, CA., gained a following after opening a 400 sq. ft. two-story playground in their business, and we helped The Laundry Room in Santa Cruz, CA., attract more customers by installing a state-0f-the-art ArtiClean Ozone Laundry System, which kills viruses and bacteria. Other WSD customers have included a coffee/baked falafel cafe in their laundromats and one is considering adding a Peloton-for-rent.
However, each business owner can decide how to best leverage these extras based on location, budget, and clientele. After all, what works in Oslo, Norway may not work in Sacramento. There are also add-on services for your vended laundry business that increase revenues without adding huge costs to overhead.
Let’s take a look at five additional services that can add value to your coin laundry business.
Wash-Dry-Fold or Dry and FoldThe concept here is easy. Customers drop off their laundry, and you or your staff wash, dry, and fold their clothes and linens for pick up. If you have attendants or staff, incorporating wash-dry-fold services may be a great idea. During your laundromat’s down time or slow days, you or your employees can fill orders for this full-service laundry option. You can make more money and increase productivity. Or, you can offer just dry and fold services. Customers start their clothes in the washers then go about their days, paying you to dry and fold their laundry for pick up. Many laundromats charge per pound of laundry or set a flat rate for these services. You can grow your business by offering wash-dry-fold or dry and fold services to companies, organizations, or higher-income clientele. This service is also a great way to attract new customers who don’t have the time or desire to do their own laundry and are willing to pay someone else to do it.
Laundry Delivery ServicePeople pay for convenience, and what’s more convenient than having your clean, folded laundry delivered to your front door? Some laundromat owners add on a delivery service since many people are willing to pay the upcharges to avoid the chore of laundry or the hassle of an extra trip to the laundromat to pick up clean clothes from a wash-dry-fold service. You will have to purchase a van or similar vehicle if you don’t have one already, and your state may have associated licenses or permits you’ll need to buy. On average, laundromat owners charge between $1-$3 per pound for delivery, often with a minimum charge of anywhere between $15-$45. However, you can decide what prices work best for you based on your clientele, and if it’s worth it to add pick-up to your delivery service for added revenue. Partnering with Airbnb or VRBO owners in your area may be a smart way to generate reliable income with your laundry delivery service—they have linens that need regular cleaning plus their clients may want access to a laundry pick up and delivery service as well.
Card Laundromat or Laundry Payment AppAdding card payment options to your machines is another convenience service you can incorporate to attract customers and build clientele. A card payment system offers two important benefits: 1) it’s cleaner than coins, which has a high appeal especially during the current Covid era and 2) it’s extremely convenient, especially for customers using high-capacity washers and dryers that may cost anywhere from $5 to $20 per load. While coins still matter, many laundromat owners are switching to a card-coin hybrid format or using cash apps, like DexterPay—which we offer at Western State Design. DexterPay does not involve any up front costs or annual fees or machine modifications. It works seamlessly with all C Series controls connected to the Dexter Live network, which benefits your customers without costing you.
Vending MachinesTraditionally, vended laundry owners turned to other coin-operated machines to deliver extra income. After all, people already have quarters on hand in a laundromat. Adding drink and snack machines, sticker dispensers, video games, or a claw machine continues to increase profits in your laundromat by keeping a steady stream of money coming in, especially if your vending machines are the only ones in your location. If there’s an after school program at the Tae Kwon Do studio next door, or customers at the hair salon need a drink, you will likely earn income from these businesses as well since you have the beverages, cookies, and chips they need.
Kids’ CornerAt the end of the day, what adds value to your laundromat is whatever makes the customer’s experience better, easier, and more pleasant. For the single parent who has to juggle minding the children while minding the timer to add fabric softener, a dedicated kids’ corner in your laundromat can ease that parent’s stress. Establish a place for kids to play or do homework that includes books, coloring books, games, desks, rugs, or comfy kids furniture; while this area may not generate primary additional income, it can encourage repeat business or create positive word of mouth referrals.
A laundromat offers a lot of potential for more revenue, whether you combine the laundry business with another business like food and beverage, an entertainment venue, or arcade—or if you incorporate add-on services to boost sales or your customer base. If you’re thinking about starting a vended laundry business or if you’ve decided to upgrade your commercial washers and dryers to include the DexterPay laundry payment app, give us a call at 1-800-633-7153 or contact a WSD Laundry Equipment Expert.