The wash-dry-fold business continues to be one of the largest growing segments of the vended laundry industry — and the future of this full-service offering is on many laundry owners’ minds.
This is why the Coin Laundry Association dedicated its first educational session on the third day of Clean 2019 in New Orleans to “Wash Dry Fold 2.0: What’s Next for Full-Service Laundry.”
Minnesota store owner Jeff Gardner, president of The Laundry Doctor, led this presentation, which also featured Vijen Patel of Tide Cleaners and Amy Martinez-Monfort, who owns Tampa Laundry Company.
“It’s been an incredible journey to see this industry change,” Patel noted. “How do we eliminate laundry day? If we can take this pain point and turn it into a pleasure point, we can create an evolution — much like the one Uber created within the taxicab industry. It’s up to us to create this, and I believe that all of us with all of our customer interactions can make it happen.”
Martinez-Monfort, who opened her laundromat in 2015, turned to wash-dry-fold to keep her machines turning during her store’s slower times of day, as well as to combat a long-term construction project in her area that was impacting walk-in business.
“This can be done no matter what size store you have or where you’re located,” explained Martinez-Monfort, who purchased an ironer and some larger machines dedicated to her wash-dry-fold business.
Focusing on residential and commercial accounts, including a pickup and delivery service, she started out using her personal vehicle for deliveries.
“I began by using my black Honda Odyssey,” she said. “I’d pick up my daughter from school, and if there was still laundry in the back, she knew we still had more deliveries to make.
“Start as small as you need to. Don’t grow too fast, and use what you’ve got.”
Martinez-Monfort also shared a list considerations today’s laundry owners should think about before adding a wash-dry-fold service. They included:
- Do you have sufficient staff?
- Do you have enough room to process this work without interfering with your self-service business?
- Do have the right kind of equipment and supplies to do this kind of work?
- Do you have a system for intake and keeping items separate?
- Are you prepared for receivables?
She also pointed out the importance of leveraging social media, especially with regard to commercial accounts.
“Share who you’re working with on social media,” she explained. “It’s a great way to develop some cross marketing.”
The one-hour session also touched on such issues as the continuing trend of outsourcing services, pickup and delivery options, and processing higher-end garments — and it wrapped up with questions from the audience.
Clean 2019 Panel on Buying and Selling a Laundry
The second session of the morning focused on the due diligence processes of preparing to buy and sell a self-service laundry.
This panel discussion featured Carol Dang of Elite Business Investments; Bob Eisenberg of BFE Consulting; Daryl Johnson of Giant Wash Coin Laundry; and Bill Kelson of Statewide Laundry Equipment. The panelists shared a number of tips and strategies for getting the fairest price when buying a vended laundry, as well as for receiving top dollar when selling a laundromat.