CHICAGO — Six out of 10 operators offering some form of drop-off laundry service rate it as “excellent” or “good” in terms of profitability, according to the most recent Wire survey. In addition to those operators, 22% of respondents say the service is “fair” and 13% say it’s “below average.” Only 5% say the service is “poor.”
The charge per pound for this service varies, according to the survey. Twenty-one percent of respondents charge less than 75 cents. Other prices include 76 cents to 85 cents (8.3%); 86 cents to 95 cents (20.8 %); 96 cents to $1 (25%); and more than $1.11 (25%).
Respondents were asked how they expect their drop-off service to do in the next 12 months. Slightly more than 60% of respondents say profits will increase. Thirty percent expect profits to stay the same, and 5% see a drop in profits. Four percent of respondents are not sure what the future will hold.
The coin laundry industry has never been associated with great marketing. With this in mind, we asked respondents how they stack up with other area operators in terms of marketing this extra service. Eight percent of respondents say, “I’m the best marketer in the area.” Thirty-eight percent of the respondents say they are better marketers than most, and 13% say they market as much as the next operator. However, 37% say they market this service very little. Four percent do no marketing at all.
While this extra service has proven profitable for operators, it can cause myriad problems. What are the biggest drop-off service headaches? Two problems share top honors. Twenty-nine percent of respondents say trusting an attendant with the job is the biggest headache. An equal number of respondents say dealing with problem garments is the biggest headache. Other headaches include “allocating the machines for the work” (23%); “customer complaints” (14.3%); and “getting the work done on time” (4.7%).