For over 25 years, Talab and family have owned and operated a number of successful retail businesses in Anaheim, California, catering to both the local community as well as to the many tourists who flock to nearby Disneyland. Just over a year ago, Talab decided to add a vended laundry to his roster of businesses, taking over a failed laundromat in a shopping center his family manages. His prior experience in the industry was limited to helping collect quarters in a laundromat his father owned when he was quite young. He has no real memories of that time except for how heavy the bag was when he was done!
The “new” laundromat had seen better days when Talab acquired it. It was rundown and offered only a few working machines for the handful of customers who still patronized the business. As an experienced retail operator, Talab understood he needed to offer an appealing modern facility that enabled customers to complete their business quickly and efficiently with quality results.
To accomplish this, he commissioned a complete renovation of the space and acquired a full complement of brand new Dexter commercial laundry equipment as follows:
- (5) Dexter T-300 20 lb. Washers
- (7) Dexter T-400 30 lb. Washers
- (5) Dexter T-600 40 lb. Washers
- (5) Dexter T-900 60 lb. Washers
- (2) Dexter T-1200 80 lb. Washers
- (9) Dexter T-30×2 Stack Dryers
- (7) Dexter T-50×2 Stack Dryers
- Laundroworks integrated payment system
- Standard change machine
Among the improvements Talab is most proud of, in addition to the impressive array of state-of-the-art Dexter laundry equipment, is a beautiful hand-painted mural on the back walls depicting the city of Anaheim. Painted by a local artist, the mural attracts people into the store as news of its existence spreads via word-of-mouth.
Newly renamed Laundry Land opened its doors in early September. Talab opted for a soft opening—with no advertising or promotion—to allow himself some time to learn the business. He plans to schedule a grand opening in the next few months. But, so far, so good. New customers are finding Laundry Land on their own and through word-of-mouth as current customers rave about the new Dexter Laundry machines. It helps that the laundromat is located in a busy retail area adjacent to some huge apartment complexes. The location is in a highly visible location and there’s no competition within a half-mile. These are all critical elements of a prosperous laundromat business.
Why Dexter Commercial Laundry Equipment?
Based on his research, Talab initially considered top-rated Dexter Laundry equipment along with another leading brand. He reached out to each of the manufacturers’ local representatives for additional information and a price quote. Immediately, he perceived a difference between the two companies through their reps: the Dexter Laundry rep—Steve Erlinger from Western State Design—was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and didn’t pressure Talab to make a decision. In particular, Talab says Erlinger was very forthright about potential issues such as delays and didn’t try to push him to spend more. The other brand rep seemed to be solely interested in making a deal—quickly. That made the decision easy.
From the outset, Talab knew he wanted to offer customers a choice in payment methods. He did a lot of research and considered various card payment systems, finally opting for Laundroworks as the best solution for his business. His priorities included having a loyalty card program, offering EBT cash, and being able to choose his own payment processor.
When asked how the card system is working out, Talab says it’s too soon to tell. So far, the majority of customers continue to use quarters. He thinks they’re afraid of change. He says he’s okay with that, which is why he decided to offer a hybrid payment system in the first place. But he firmly believes customers will like the card system once they’ve tried it which is why he’s currently offering a special promotion to tempt them to take the plunge.
Running a Laundromat: Any Surprises So Far?
Based on his prior research and input from other laundromat operators, Talab was surprised to see how much customers like the larger Dexter machines, like the Dexter T-900. He had always heard that a common problem was for customers to overload smaller machines; he observes many of his customers underfilling the larger machines…he’s not sure what’s driving this, except the larger machines are very impressive looking.
Talab has also been surprised by how much of his time the business requires; it’s not entirely self-serve as some would believe. He plans to hire a full-time attendant and ultimately offer value added services such as Fluff and Fold. He also intends to pursue local commercial business. But first, he’s going to learn the ropes, in between running all his other businesses. He’s off to a great start!
WSD’s Erlinger added some final words of advice for Talab:
“As time goes on, managing the store won’t require as much of your time as it does now.. You’ll find a rhythm and implement systems that will make it less time consuming. Also, based on my experience, the card will gain traction; it will just take some time.”
If you’re considering starting or buying a vended laundry business, contact a Western State Design Laundry Specialist today learn how we can work together to optimize your investment.
Landry Land 636 W. Orangewood Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802 714-971-2000 Hours: 6am-10pm