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Laundromat Bars and Cafes: 4 Benefits of This New Trend

If you're thinking about opening up a laundromat, why not open up a laundromat bar? Laundromat bars, cafes, and restaurants have been opening up across the nation, first originating in European countries. When people spend a lot of time at the laundromat, they need something else to do. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating a cafe, bar, or restaurant into your laundromat.

1. Improve Your Customer Experience

Customers hate waiting for laundry when they have nothing else to do. Many laundromats try to get around this by placing televisions throughout the facilities, but a television alone may not be entertaining enough to chase away the doldrums. 

Bars, cafes, and restaurants all vastly improve the customer experience. Rather than just mindlessly waiting for their laundry, customers can try out a new coffee or alcoholic drink or order some appetizers. 

2. Create an Additional Revenue Stream

At a laundromat, you essentially have a captive audience. Laundry takes a few hours to do. During that time, you can be selling your customers drinks and food. Some customers may consume for a few hours, as long as the food and drink is reasonably priced.

Not only that, but people may come in just for the food, drinks, and atmosphere. If you have a well-known laundromat bar, some people may think of the laundromat as an additional bonus, rather than the main draw.

Adding a food or drink vending machine is one of the commonly suggested ways to grow your customer base or improve your profits. A bar and cafe adds a revenue stream along with an experience.

3. Have Attendants on Site for Security and Help

Many customers look for laundromats that have someone on duty, but having an attendant on staff can be prohibitively expensive. If you maintain a cafe or a bar on premises, you need to maintain staff regardless. It'll be rolled into the cost of manning the other side of the business.

Crime is a significant problem for laundromats. Traditionally, most laundromats need to improve upon their security to avoid hiring additional staff, and this can be a costly investment. Not only do attendants improve customer service, but they also naturally make the business more secure.

Having an attendant on staff is one of the leading ways to reduce theft and vandalism, as the premises will always be monitored. Customers will feel safer and more secure going to a laundromat that has an attendant, especially if the laundromat has more of a bar or restaurant atmosphere.

4.  Maintain Relevancy in a Changing World

Laundromats have declined by almost 20% in the United States since 2005. Though laundromats are still earning about $5 billion a year, they are finding it more difficult to remain in cities that are no longer active on a community level.

In the old days, laundromats used to be community centers; they were areas in which neighbors could talk and interact. Today, people are more likely to remain at home. This doesn't mean that laundromats aren't profitable; it just means that laundromats need to work harder to capture the new generation. Today's community centers are more likely to be entertainment venues. 

Laundromats are becoming gyms, craft beer venues, or coffee shops: things that appeal to the newer generation. Laundromat owners can be creative about choosing the type of venue they want to build.

At the heart of a laundromat bar, though, is still the laundromat. If you don't have the right machines or equipment, your business is still going to fail. To find out more about purchasing and financing equipment for your laundromat, contact SLM Commercial Laundry Products.
SLM Commercial Laundry Products
PO Box 209
705 North Main St.
Belton, SC 29627

Toll Free: 800-845-2585
Phone: 864-338-5502

Fax: 864-338-5523

Business Hours

Monday – Thursday, 8 am – 5 pm
Friday, 8 am – 4 pm
Closed, Noon – 1 pm for lunch


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