January 6, 2023

The Top 10 Things a Future-Modern Laundromat Must Have in 2023

Imagine for a moment as the owner of a laundromat in 2023. COVID, deflation, and falling prices and growing customer expectations have disrupted the industry forever. The way we used to do laundry has changed significantly and You've probably heard the saying, "If you're not growing, you're dying."

Every owner out there is looking to differentiate their business from the competition just around the block and even the new age Pickup and delivery tech companies.

It’s not easy to be unique in a world where everyone can use apps like Uber or Postmates, but there are still some small things you can do to make your business stand out from others. 

But worry not, we have collected the top 10 must haves for a new owner in 2023 for you and your business to stand out and shine. We have collected this list from curating feedback and insights from our role as a laundromat and cleaner management system across multiple countries.

Must Have 1: Energy-efficient washers and dryers

What's better than a laundromat?

A laundromat that uses new energy-efficient dryers and washers using 50% less water and 37% less electricity and also looks like a dime . All the major commercial laundry machine manufacturers like Dexter, SpeeQueen, and Huebsch are coming out with their version of the same.

Investing in energy-efficient appliances also appeals to environmentally-conscious customers. In the era of making an effort for the climate is the right look for your laundromat and can also be used as an anchor point in the differentiation with the older generation laundromats.

Must Have 2: Card-based payment systems

The world is moving towards a cashless society, and we're all here for it. We believe that making it easy for your customers to pay you is an important step in getting there. 

With card-based payments, you can make it easier for your clients to pay with credit or debit cards. This reduces the need for cash handling, which can be a huge headache for both self-service and WDF customers alike. With card payments, customers can pay via their mobile phones directly, and in case of any issues, refunds are also handled with a breeze. 

Turns payments is a great solution for modern laundromats as it enables you to take payments offline via card terminal or on mobile instantly—no matter where or when your customer might be! You can accept payments from multiple payment methods like Venmo, Apple Pay, and  Google Pay—and even bill your customer with their cards on file! 

Must  Have 3: A clean and well-maintained facility

Didn’t we just come out of a once-in-a-century pandemic a year ago? The standards for cleanliness and maintenance are at an all-time high and only seem to be pointing north. 

According to the American Coin Laundry Association, more than 80 percent of customers say that cleanliness is a major factor when they are selecting a laundromat to patronize. Clearly, if you plan to run a successful operation, determining how to keep your laundromat clean has to be a top priority

 Keep your laundromat clean and well-maintained to improve the customer experience in 2023. It’s not a need anymore for your laundromat but a must-have in 2023.

A clean and well-maintained laundromat also prevents any hazards like customer injury and dryer fires that could arise from dirty or poorly-maintained equipment.

Must Have 4: Security cameras

We live in the era of cameras, and no, it’s not about being Big brother. Laundromats in the past few years have struggled with persistent issues of loitering, drug abuse, vandalism and even with the above Laundromats are beasts of a business with multiple moving parts. It's impossible to keep track of everything and that's why they invented security cams.

Whether it's a customer disputing the weight of their WDF, asking for a refund from a failed machine in self-service or an attendant just not pulling their weight, map it all out on camera. Customers feel more secure and comfortable when owners take more effort on the security of their laundromat.

 Installing security cameras can help deter theft and also provide a record of any incidents that may occur on your property.

Must Have 5: Adequate lighting and space

When it comes to zombie mat vs laundromat, it's pretty clear: modern laundromats are the winners in 2023

First of all, they have a lot more light than zombie mats. Light is important because it helps your customers see what they're doing and gets them out of the house quicker (and zombies hate light).

Second, they're spacious. You need room to move around in a laundromat—if you don't have enough space between your washing machines and dryers, you'll end up bumping into each other and ruining everyone's clothes.

Third, modern laundromats have attendants present on the floor in specific locations suited best for your customer and are helpful! Zombie mats just have those weird dudes with eye patches telling you that you can't get in until after midnight on Tuesdays or whatever.

Must Have 6: Ample seating and amenities like WIFI

When was the last time you were waiting on something and didn't check your phone to pass the time? The new generation of millennials breathe and browse.

Amenities are not a useless expense but an investment in customer experience and every amenity can be weaponized as a feature against the old and withered competitors

Amenities like WIFI are a must for your laundromat in 2023 to attract the young crowd while other amenities like TV and books for children help retain the women and mothers with kids to the service as they spend a significant amount of time washing higher quantity of loads.

Must Have 7: Laundry detergent and other supplies for sale

If you want to make money, you've gotta get a vending machine in your laundry.

No, seriously. It's a fact: Vending machines are everywhere, and they're making laundry owners tons of cash. Beyond washers, dryers, and folding tables, perhaps the most commonly found pieces of equipment in nearly every self-service laundry are vending machines selling not just products related to the laundry experience like tide pods, scents, and soap but also extending it to vending items like bottled water, and snacks  

In fact, according to recent Coin Laundry Association statistics, more than 80 percent of laundry owners offer vended snacks and/or beverages to their customers.

Choose the drinks and snacks according to your demographics, vending experts suggest. If you’re based in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood, take that into account. You certainly can load a vending machine by ethnic clientele and location.

Everything about your laundry should try to cater to the people you’re serving. You have to listen to your customers. If you do, vending can be a great addition to your modern laundromat to make some extra cash in 2023.

Must Have 8: A loyalty program

Laundromats are a business of habits: people know they need their clothes clean, they know they need their clothes dry, and they know where to go to get them done. But what sets one laundromat apart from another is that sense of loyalty—the feeling that you're not just going to a place where you can get your clothes cleaned, but that you're going home. And when you have loyal customers who feel like they belong somewhere, you can bet there's going to be some serious word-of-mouth advertising going on.

What if we told you we could help foster that sense of community in your laundromat? What if we told you it was as easy as rewarding your customers for their loyalty? Imagine how great it would be if every time someone brought in their laundry, they got treated like family and got rewarded for their loyal business —and then went home and told all their friends about it.

Running a loyalty program and managing it on pen and paper is a very hard task but with Turns, you can simply create a robust reward program for loyal customers and easily manage it . Your attendants can easily identify the loyal customers and enable them to pay via reward points.

Mobile loyalty and reward programs for your laundromat in 2023, would make you the star of the neighbourhood. 

Must Have 9: A website and online presence

Well, websites were hot in 2010, now they are the bare minimum for a laundromat to have.

A website is also your laundromat storefront online and when you work so hard to maintain and unify your brand offline then why miss out this opportunity online. Every successful laundromat today essentially is already an online force or planning to be one.

Website with images of your laundromat and a clear pricelist and operating hours with advanced features like integrating a blog and newsletter can grow your online audience. With laundromats growing pickup and delivery and routes, the website can be a very easy way for customers to signup to your services.

Going online sounds hard but then that's why we built the Turns Website platform. Powering viewership of 1M+ online customers for our partner laundromats across 5 countries. One time setup and drag and drop interface with 24 * 7 support with one click templates built for laundromats of the future.

Must Have 10: A laundromat management software

Future of laundromats is learning from the mistakes and then not letting them happen again. The days of sales being tracked on pen and paper and orders being managed with color tags only are over. Any mistake can ruin the reputation for your business that you're built so hard to build. 

Customers also expect better communication and experience with online receipts, mobile payments and more convenience like delivery services.

It's impossible to scale a modern laundromat without software but then your primary job is to take care of your patrons and not connecting and maintaining all the best technology out there.

So, buying an integrated management system for POS, customers, employees, order management, payments, invoicing, accounting, delivery  is a boon and a must have for any laundromat owner. Advanced but affordable laundromat management systems like Turns also provide granular insights for owners to keep improving their bottom line and experience throughout 2023.