Laundry R Us is a successful laundromat owned by a small group of investors in San Antonio, Texas. We caught up with David Barrios, Area Sales Manager for Wascomat Direct Texas, to learn more about retooling an existing store, building a unique laundromat brand, and partnering with a trusted laundry advisor.
- LOCATION: San Antonio, TX
- SIZE: 3,315 sq. feet
- Wascomat 100G WLD Washers
- Wascomat Reversing Dryers
- LAUNDROMAT SERVICES
- Self-Service, Wash-and-Fold
- LAUNDRYLUX SERVICES
- Laundromat Design, Marketing, Financing
Finding a location
David Barrios has his ear to the ground when it comes to laundromat opportunities in the San Antonio area. With years of experience as a trusted laundromat advisor, he’s helped many new store owners succeed in the industry.
When a well-known laundromat chain began selling its stores in the area, David and his team at Laundrylux recognized it as the perfect retool opportunity and began to create a strategy for success. The store was in a fantastic location next to other community anchor points like a shopping center and hair salon, with ample parking for its customers. All it needed was the right investors with the motivation to succeed.
Starting a laundromat as a multi-owner investment team
David matched the winning laundromat location with a group of five entrepreneurs from the restaurant, convenience store, and hair salon industries looking for a new profitable business opportunity with a high ROI. One of the investors, Amin, had previous success at retooling a laundromat – when the others saw this, they decided to capitalize on the opportunity and minimize their upfront investment by teaming up. “They saw what he was doing. They saw that he’s been successful. They see a laundromat business as a great way to make passive income,” says David.
The addition of a card-only laundry payment system made it even easier for the five investors to work together. With fast and accurate revenue reports, a card-only system enables multiple owners to split the laundromat’s profits, creating total transparency and trust among all parties and saving precious time counting quarters.
Did you know? Laundrylux offers Laundry Pay, a mobile and card payment system that allows laundromat owners to provide more convenient laundry payment options, manage their stores remotely and boost profitability. We can also advise our customers on the best third-party laundry payment systems compatible with our commercial laundry equipment.
Laundromat retool and design
Once laundromat financing was secured from Laundrylux’s Funding Services, the investors purchased the property and began renovating the space. David organized an experienced architect and general contractor to come on board to expand the store size from 2000 to 3,315 square feet. The team also added extra height to the ceiling, creating a more airy and comfortable environment for Laundry R Us customers while leaving space for the business to grow.
The team then created a layout and design that would maximize customer experience. They balanced the store with equal washer and dryer capacities to create a better flow through the laundromat. They also placed the most popular machines at the front of the store to make it appear busier and attract more passersby.
The owners of Laundry R Us chose to equip their store with Wascomat commercial washers and dryers because they loved the reliability, legacy, and history of the equipment.
The easy programmability of Wascomat’s Compass Pro controls has enabled the store owners to create special revenue-boosting cycles for their customers, and the dual-language display makes it easier for the neighborhood’s 60% Spanish-speaking customers to do their laundry. Wascomat’s energy-efficient reversing dryers also work to lower utility costs and provide a better, faster drying experience. The trusted advisor also helped the business investors select a range of washer and dryer capacities to meet all their customers’ needs.
A glimpse of laundromat equipment mix at Laundry R Us:
- 20 lb. washers
- 45 lb. washers
- 60 lb. washers
- 83 lb. dryers
- Stacked 35 lb. dryers
- Stacked 50 lb. dryers
David and his hands-on team strategically equipped the store to 75% to save room for future expansion as the business grows. They expertly installed and programmed the equipment, trained all staff, and attended the store’s grand opening to show customers around the new laundromat and its offerings.
Laundromat branding and marketing
Laundrylux’s marketing service worked with the store owners in creating a color scheme and interior design that was fun, friendly, energetic, and accessible to complement the ethos of the Wascomat brand. They then created a custom-designed logo that expertly matched the color book of the interior furnishings for a complete in-store brand experience. By building a memorable, recognizable brand, the Laundry R Us owners increased the value of their investment and created a scalable model for the future growth of their business.
David and his team then created a marketing strategy to help spread the word about the new laundromat in town. They enlisted help from Laundrylux’s marketing team to create custom postcards and door hangers, which were handed out around the neighborhood’s apartment buildings. They also placed advertisements outside the local grocery store and on the back of grocery receipts to advertise the free dry promotion for the store’s first customers. Within days of its grand opening, Laundry R Us was already a busy store providing great laundry service and excellent customer experience.
Offering a great customer experience
Laundry R Us wanted to offer an elevated laundromat experience to its customers and the community. In addition to delivering remarkable laundry results with Wascomat equipment, they introduced a wash-and-fold service for busier households and installed snack machines and massage chairs to make every trip to the laundromat more enjoyable.
David and his team also installed clear in-store signage to make it easier for customers to choose the right equipment for their needs. Each washer in the laundromat is labeled according to the number of laundry baskets it can process, so a customer with two baskets knows that the “2-loader” washer is the perfect one for them.
All wash and dry pricing is clearly indicated, and the addition of laundry cards enables customers to easily pay for their laundry and redeem promotions and discounts while encouraging repeat business for the store. And if customers forget their own soap or fabric softener, Laundry R Us is conveniently stocked with all their favorite brands!
Choosing a trusted laundromat advisor
David stresses the importance of partnering with local experts like his Laundrylux team in Texas. By connecting with a trusted and experienced advisor from the start, you’ll be guided through the entire process of opening a new laundromat. This will speed up your journey to success and help avoid the common pitfalls of leaving things up to chance.
David tells us a cautionary tale about an investor who partnered with an independent online laundromat broker who cared more about getting their commission than their customer’s goals. The investor blindly signed a lease on a promising location without first obtaining laundromat financing or consulting with a verified industry expert. When his financing application was ultimately unsuccessful due to a lack of upfront funds, the dream of opening a laundromat soon crumbled, and the investor lost time and money he couldn’t get back.
David encourages serious investors to connect with their local industry expert before starting their laundromat business venture. The trusted advisors at Laundrylux, like David and his team, will guide investors through every step of the process and deliver turnkey solutions for laundromat financing, location services, equipment selection, marketing, and more.
So, what should aspiring laundromat owners do to get started on their journey to success?
- Laundromats are a profitable business opportunity for investors looking to generate dependable passive income.
- Investing in a laundromat with a group of business partners is a great way to lower the upfront investment for each individual.
- Laundry management and payment systems make it easy to accurately review laundromat revenue and share profits evenly between multiple owners.
- Building a strong laundromat brand increases the value of your business while creating a model that’s scalable across multiple store locations.
- Partnering with a trusted laundry advisor helps you achieve your goals more quickly and easily, and avoid common mistakes made by first-time investors.