Q. WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER BUYING NEW WASHERS AND DRYERS?
If you've been waiting for things to get better before you buy some equipment, it's time to put your tool belt away and step up to plate. You're going to need to improve your Laundromat before competition steps in and takes away your customers. A lot of you are spending more on repairs than you would on a monthly payment for new washers. If you haven't placed enough front load washers in your store, now is the time. You can only make your store grow by putting a little money back in. Replace the old equipment and raise the prices. You can't continue to patch up some of your ancient equipment forever and expect people not to notice. Unreliable equipment hurts your business. How long has it been since you've spent any money on your Laundromat? More than three years and you're in need, especially if most of your equipment is over ten years old. At a minimum, you should replace a row or two of top load washers and buy a half dozen new laundry carts. Just my suggestion.
Q. WHAT SIZE OF EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BUY?
A Laundromat is a service business. Therefore, the equipment you provide is one of the most important factors in the success of your store. Customers must be satisfied with the quality of the wash and should be provided with a range of machines to handle all of their washables (including irregular-sized items like bedspreads, rugs, etc.). You should purchase reliable, dependable and easy-to-maintain equipment of various sizes for all your customer’s needs.
Q. MOST WASHERS LOOK ALIKE. WHICH BRAND SHOULD I BUY?
Reputation and efficiency should be your guides in choosing washers for your Laundromat. It's best to look for equipment that combines the latest energy efficiency with an attractive appearance. You should consider the new Super High Spin washers sold as a complete line only by Continental Girbau and Wascomat/Electrolux. Speed Queen and Huebsch are popular names in Southern California (both built by Alliance Laundry) but do not have a complete line of Super High Spin washers. Here is a ranking in order of quality features for maximum profit and energy savings: Continental, Dexter, Wascomat/Electrolux, Maytag, Speed Queen-Huebsch and Whirlpool.
Q. WHAT KIND OF DRYERS SHOULD I BUY?
Some Laundromats lack drying capacity; there are not enough dryers resulting customer delays at the dryers. The stack dryer (one tumbler stacked on another) allows you to double your drying capacity in the space occupied by a single dryer. Energy efficiency, history of repairs, and parts availability in Southern California should be considered. Continental Girbau, Speed Queen, and Huebsch are nearly the same dryer manufactured by Alliance Laundry. American, Milnor and Maytag are manufactured by ADC. Wascomat/Electrolcux imports a dryer and Dexter makes its own (also they made both Maytag and Continental in the past.) Reversing dryers with moisture awareness are the latest addition to the energy saving designs of experienced professionals.
Q. WHAT ABOUT THE WARRANTY ON THE EQUIPMENT?
New Laundromats will have manufacturer’s warranties ranging from one to five years on various components of their equipment. Manufacturers do not provide any payments to the distributor for warranty labor. The guarantees and warranties of the manufacturers relate to parts only. Any service technician help provided by your distributor comes directly out of his pocket and his profit.
Q. WHAT AFTER SALE HELP SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A DISTRIBUTOR?
Initially you should look for your distributor for advice and guidance. You should look to your distributor for training on how to repair, maintain your equipment and teach you how to manage your Laundromat for maximum success. No labor warranties available.
Q. WHAT OTHER EQUIPMENT IS NECESSARY TO OPERATE A LAUNDROMAT?
Laundry carts, folding tables, soap dispensers and change machines are necessary to provide a full-service Laundromat. Other additional equipment, such as video game machines, soda and candy machines, will largely depend on space availability and how you decide to operate your Laundromat. Be sure and plan for an energy efficient water heater as well, since water heaters typically consume 50% of the natural gas purchased for your Laundromat. The tank-less water heating
system provides the greatest utility savings to Laundromat owners, although "liming up" problems
can happen and may
require installation of pre-filters. You will also have to learn to de-lime
your heater coils with vinegar or a professional product.
It is possible to go a little too far in making your Laundromat attractive to customers.
As an example, see how this Laundromat owner decided to make the urinal a spot
where a favorite TV program doesn't have to be missed.
He's probably just a huge sports fan and doesn't want anyone to miss any part
of football game.
Sometimes being creative causes you to go a little overboard with your
Laundromat equipment, and maybe your televisions.