When it comes to laundry, the customers do most of the labor for a typical laundromat owner. However, for laundromat owners who are looking to grow their revenue, offering other services can make a big difference. What does it mean to be a full-service laundromat?
What Does It Mean to Be a Full-Service Laundromat?
For all of its complexity, the standard model of laundromat ownership is fairly basic. Your job is to keep the laundromat clean and friendly, make sure the machines are operational, and handle the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the lights on and the doors open. For some laundromat owners, this is more than enough!
However, other laundromat owners see the potential in expanding their services past providing machines for customers to use. Maybe you’re considering making the leap from a coin-operated laundromat to a full-service operation, but you’re not sure how to proceed. What does it mean to be a full-service laundromat?
Full-Service Laundromats Do the Work for the Customer
If a coin-operated laundromat gives a customer space to do their own laundry, a full-service laundromat does that and a lot more, too. A full-service laundromat provides options for the customer depending on what their laundry needs are.
Sometimes referred to as “fluff and fold,” this is one of the most basic services a laundromat can offer. Customers drop off laundry at a service counter, and laundromat staff members wash and dry their clothes for them. Most laundromats charge drop-off clients by the pound, and typical turn-around times range from a few hours to a business day. If you have slow times where machines are typically not in use, adding drop-off services could be a smart way to make some extra revenue.
If you really want to expand your customer base, look to the other businesses in your area and see who needs laundry services. Clients like restaurants, gyms, and other businesses that generate a lot of laundry may be happy to work with you. You can accept deliveries of laundry from them, or pick-up and drop-off directly at their place of business. This service requires more start-up expenses, such as a delivery vehicle, but the payoff can be significant.
A residential laundry pick-up service allows customers to schedule pick-up and drop-off times for their laundry. All the customer needs to do is bag their dirty laundry up, and the laundromat picks it up from their doorstep or another designated delivery area and takes it from there. Some people use these services as needed, but other customers will make it a monthly or even weekly habit. Residential pick-up can be a great resource for customers that need reliable laundry service but lack the time and ability to do it themselves.
To be the ultimate one-stop shop for laundry customers, some laundromats offer dry cleaning services. Instead of installing dry-cleaning equipment themselves, most laundromats will work with a dry-cleaning wholesaler to get clothing cleaned that cannot be cleaned at the laundromat. This service is not as typical, but it’s a convenience many customers will appreciate if you can make it work.
What Does a Full-Service Laundromat Mean to Me?
These are a few of the services a laundromat can offer to customers. Really, any laundromat that offers to wash clothes for its customers can call itself a “full-service” laundromat. However, the more services you offer to customers, the more likely they are to keep coming back. On the other hand, if you offer services you don’t have the capacity to provide without harming your day-to-day operations, your business could suffer. So, consider these questions when adding services to your laundromat:
- Is this a service our core customers will appreciate?
- Do we have the space to offer this service?
- Do we have the equipment we need, or will we need to lease or purchase it?
- Do we need to hire additional staff?
- Do we need to partner with other businesses to offer this effectively?
If you can’t confidently answer these questions, hit pause and do some more planning first.
Are you ready to take the plunge into becoming a full-service laundromat? If you’re looking to expand your laundromat’s capacity, give us a call. We can work with you and your budget to find what you need.
Be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Since 1976, we have been providing exceptional sales support, laundry design services, commercial laundry equipment (and leasing options), and laundry equipment service and parts. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!