How to Run a Laundromat: 5 Ways to Structure Your Laundry Business - Jordan Berry's 2 Cents

There are many different types of laundromat businesses, but which one is right for you? Your decisions will be influenced by your goals, resources, and preferences. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 most popular ways to run a laundromat business:

  • Self-Service

  • Wash-Dry-Fold

  • Combination: Self-Service and Wash-Dry-Fold

  • Pickup and Delivery

  • Combination: Wash-Dry-Fold and Pickup and Delivery

Let's talk about the pros and cons of each type of business model.


How to start a laundromat business: choosing your focus

Step one is deciding to start a laundromat business. Congratulations! You're off to a great start.

All jokes aside, starting a laundromat business can be daunting. There are usually established laundromats already existing in your community (unless you're really lucky), and that makes breaking into the market difficult. To get past this problem, you need to decide what service(s) your laundromat will focus on. From there, you can work on carving out a niche in your community.


Setting your new laundromat up for success

Before diving into the different types of laundromat businesses, ask yourself these two either/or questions:

  1. Are you looking to create a laundry business that you can eventually sell, or do you plan on running a laundromat as a passive income stream?

  2. Do you want to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your laundromat, or would you prefer to be more hands-off?

Once you figure out the answers to these questions, take a look at the different ways you can structure your business. Remember that this is a starting point. Later on, you can always add unique services to your business to make it really stand out.


Structuring your laundromat business

1. Self-service

A person stands in front of several laundry machines.The self-service laundromat model is the most traditional and simplest way to run a laundromat business. Customers bring their laundry, wash it themselves, and then dry and fold it.

Self-service laundromats typically have a lower operation cost than full-service laundromats, as they require less staff and overhead. Keeping employee payroll to a minimum is a big factor in keeping ongoing expenses low. They are also generally easier to operate, as there is no need to coordinate drivers or manage pick-ups and drop-offs.


2. Wash-dry-fold

The Wash Dry Fold model is similar to the self-service model, except that the business offers to wash, dry, and fold the laundry for the customer.

This can be a more convenient option for customers since they don't need to wash their laundry and spend time at the laundromat. However, it requires more staff and overhead, as the business owner needs to hire employees to wash, dry, and fold the laundry. Learn more about getting started with wash and fold services from our whitepaper on the topic.


3. Combination: self-service and wash-dry-fold

A combination of the self-service and wash-dry-fold models is a popular option for laundromat owners. Customers can choose to wash their own laundry or have the business wash it for them.

This provides customers with more flexibility and convenience, as they can choose the option that best suits their needs. Providing a higher level of convenience also allows the business owner to charge more for the wash-dry-fold service, increasing the average profit margin.

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Paul Hansen, Owner of Su Nueva Lavanderia, and Ariana Roviello, Owner of Laundré, discuss what they've done to create a successful, profitable premium service offering at their laundromat. Learn more about what it takes to offer a successful wash and fold operation at your laundromat.

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4. Pickup and delivery

The pickup and delivery model is a newer option that is becoming increasingly popular. Customers can choose to have their laundry picked up from their home or office and delivered back to them when it is finished. 

Pickup and delivery is all about convenience. Customers don't need to leave their homes or offices to drop off their laundry and it allows business owners to charge more for the service. In most cases, customers will pay a premium for convenience.


5. Combination: wash-dry-fold and pickup and delivery

Basic Cents Design Elements-1A person scans a QR code in front of a laundromat sign that highlights a pickup and delivery service.The wash-dry-fold and pickup and delivery model is similar to the more basic combination model, except that it includes pickup and delivery services.

If you already are doing the hard work of running a wash-dry-fold business, getting a software system for pick-up and delivery to help manage your orders could help streamline processes and improve efficiency at your business.


Putting it all together

Now that you know the different types of laundromat business models, it's time to decide which business structure is right for you. Consider your target market, your budget, and your level of involvement before making a decision.

Obviously, it's all easier said than done, but knowing what your business will focus on goes a long way towards helping you make decisions down the line. If you choose to run a pickup and delivery model, for example, you know that you'll need to prioritize items like choosing how to handle deliveries. Having a business plan makes everything more manageable, if not easier.

To learn more laundromat tips and tricks and how Cents can help you run your laundry business, schedule a demo today.

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Jordan Berry is the mind behind, which aims to help clients learn about and break into the laundry industry. Jordan Berry’s 2 Cents is a spin cycle on our proverbial customer education machine that we like to run whenever we can. Keep an eye out for more of his featured input in the future!