Coin-op laundry customers spend about 120 minutes doing their laundry, leaving the coin-op owner with a captive audience. Providing extra services will provide a more hospitable experience and increase revenue. By going above and beyond the traditional wash-and-dry amenities offered by most coin-operated laundry facilities, you will stand out.
There are a variety of ways to increase revenue by focusing on your existing customer base. Work to accommodate them in every possible way and your customers will keep coming back, possibly paying more for new services. Here are a few ways to increase revenue at your laundromat.
Include food and drink options. Think about installing a few different options. Vending machines are a popular way to please customers and make you some extra cash. New vending machines may be cost prohibitive, but plenty of used equipment is available. Stock up on simple snacks and drinks — water and coffee are two best-sellers. Why not add a comfy coffee bar?
You could go above and beyond the simple vending machines and combine your coin-op laundry business with a restaurant, bar or both. If going it alone makes you uncomfortable, restaurant/laundromat franchises are available. This concept appeals most to singles and renters, and works best in areas near colleges or vacation hot spots. In terms of investment, the typical amount ranges between $205,300 and $415,300. Franchises provide help with location selection and lease negotiation guidance, complete training, opening assistance, start-up materials, supplies and equipment, recipes, ongoing research, and development.
Offer other services. Washing and drying are the minimum services that a coin-op laundy must provide, but going above and beyond is a simple way to increase revenue. Ideas include dry cleaning, folding, stain removal and simple repairs (buttons, zippers, hems, etc). Creative business owners appeal to their busy customers by encouraging multitasking and some even include a hair salon. Coin-op laundry facilities need to respond to changes and trends of their customers, and offering services is a simple way to do that.
People struggle to find enough time in a day to get everything done. With long work hours and little time for their personal lives, many people look for assistance such as a drop-off laundry service. The concept of drop-off laundering services requires little cost up-front but results in an immediate increase in revenue for businesses.
Sell laundry supplies. Although most customers will come prepared, there are always those who forget or run out of product. Stock up on laundry soap, bleach, dryer sheets, stain remover and hangers and sell them in your store. Keep track of sales so you can adjust inventory for the future. Buying in bulk or wholesale can save you a good amount of money and allows you to sell each item at a slightly higher price to make a profit. Selling soap and other items in a vending machine typically brings in an average of $1,000 a month.
Provide internet access. Offering your customers Wi-Fi and ample outlets to charge computers and phones will keep customers coming back. Many customers would agree to pay a small fee for Internet access– usually around $5-10 for a full day of usage. The cost of providing Wi-Fi to customers is generally low. You will need a router (around $100) and an Internet service plan, which costs about $60 a month. Since a large percentage of the population uses smartphones and laptops on-the-go, the return on offering Wi-Fi can be huge.
Branch out. Consider working with outside groups, local businesses or sports teams to help them with their laundry. Set up a discount for large orders of uniforms or do private washings for those who don’t have the time. Business-to-business client work is very common.