Created by Greenwald Industries in 1957, the coin-operated washing machine has been the standard for 64 years. For those who have ever experienced the need to go to the laundromat to wash your laundry, you would remember saving your quarters for wash day. Well, times have changed since the first machine was installed.
Today, the thought of saving and then carrying quarters around with you is moving towards a new, cashless laundry technology. This provides options that make it easier for residents and customers to use your equipment while at the same time reducing theft and machine damage. Let’s look at the evolution of these machines and how these new options are the wave of the future of coin-operated laundry machines.
Coin-Operated Washing Machines Have Evolved
Like any technology, it evolves as the needs and demand change, and coin-operated washers and dryers are no exception. Today, there are three primary pay-style machines: coin-only, cashless (app/ credit or debit card), and a hybrid mix of coin and cashless.
For your business, vending revenue is really where the rubber meets the road, or in this case, where the coin hits the machine. As a business owner, your return on investment should be based on not only a strong business plan but a robust set of equipment. Remember the old saying, “a little goes a long way.” This rings true in the vended laundry world as well. An average laundromat can bring in several hundreds of dollars a day. And even though an average person only spends a few dollars washing and drying each load of laundry, all those small transactions add up. In fact, based on some simple research and costing, the average American family does eight loads of laundry each week. Based on these numbers and an average cost per load of $5.21, this amounts to about $41.68 per week to use the laundromat. That’s a lot of quarters.
Selecting a Payment System
Over the years, customers have learned to expect coin-operated washers and dryers since they have been the standard for the past 65 years, but coin-operated machines can have their drawbacks:
- Theft and its related damage not only losing the money from that machine but replacing the broken machine and losing revenue while unusable
- Change machines have a cost of their own and need to be restocked regularly. Because they are also storing money, like an ATM, they are a risk to your operations.
- It is cumbersome for customers to constantly carry change or go back and forth between washers and dryers and change machines. Not exactly the best customer experience.
- Tracking revenue and expenses is not seamless with coin-only machines. You will have to be on-site to count the coins after removing them from the devices. This can be a time-consuming task.
If these things sound good to you, then you should look at Dexter’s integrated card systems. They come from the factory prepped for any of the major card systems. If your store is networked, you can program groups of machines all once, gathering real-time cycle status, and export audit data to a spreadsheet without ever touching a machine.
Whether you prefer coin or card operation, communication with your Dexter laundry equipment is the wave of the future.
Cashless Machines Offer Significant Returns and Time Savings
Times have changed, and so should your laundry technology. Although coin washers and dryers are still available, a newer option is to use a simple credit card swipe or mobile app where customers quickly swipe their cards or connect to the facility to pay for their laundry. Other systems have kiosks allowing customers to add money to a particular card only accepted at your laundromat.
Embracing the cashless system can result in more significant returns on investments and time savings for owners.
- No more coin-counting - Get automated tracking reports on demand to evaluate machine and facility performance, customer usage, equipment efficiency, and more.
- Theft is not an issue as thieves can no longer break into the coin box of your machines
- Reward your customers with incentives and marketing programs that bring them back again and again.
The Hybrid Approach
If you are not ready to take the leap from coin-operated washers and dryers to 100% coinless machines, you might consider a hybrid option. Hybrid machines are designed to accept both cash and cards (or apps). You can also add kiosks for loyalty cards and credit cards in addition to cash.
Vended Machines from Dexter: The Trusted Standard
If you are comfortable with the trusted standard, Dexter vended, and coin-operated washing machines might be the best option for you. Here are some things to consider:
- Optimize your space with vertically stacked machines.
- Look for machines that have wide door openings to help with easy loading.
- Durable commercial machines are proven to last longer and require less maintenance
- Customers like high-capacity washers to handle hefty loads.
- Invest in machines with secure coin storage to prevent damage and theft.
Coin Operated Washers and Dryers Stand the Test of Time
A lot has changed since the first coin-operated washing machine came into play. Since 1996, AAdvantage Laundry Solutions provides outstanding support, design services, and laundry equipment parts and services. If you are looking for an investment that is tried and tested, AAdvantage can help. Call us today to see how we can help you get the best ROI for your coin-operated laundry business.
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