Laundromat’s new main driver
Ahh, the laundromat business. You know what they say: Just stop in and collect the coins.
For Brian Mickley that routine included swinging by for only one machine.
The veteran chain operator found himself making extra 90-minute weekly round trips to empty out the crowd favorite — his 90-pound washer — which was getting pumped with over a roll of quarters per cycle.
“The limiting factor at my laundries is the fullness and overfilling of coin boxes with quarters,” he says. “That drives my need to make an otherwise unnecessary stop at the store.”
Customers feeding dozens of quarters into a front loader is absurd. The same goes for owners hitting the road simply to gather them up. Yet we see this scenario playing out in markets across the country.
That’s not the case nowadays at Mickley’s highest volume laundry in Canton, Ohio, thanks to his new dominant coin — the dollar token. Yes, quarters still circulate there just like his four other stores, but now it’s those golden brass dollars which really shine.
“It’s a pain in the neck to feed quarters. Dollar tokens are far more convenient,” he emphasizes.
Take a look around and you’ll see both high- and low-denomination coinage flowing seamlessly from changers into washers and dryers featuring single inlet, dual value acceptance drops. The popular $10.50 big boy now starts with as few as 12 coins, not 42 like before.
Patrons obtain tokens from two dispensers — one paying out all brass dollars for every $1, $5, $10 and $20 bill inserted, and another delivering an intuitive 80% dollar token/20% quarter coin blend. A third changer kicks out quarters for ones and fives.
For Mickley, the math was easy. “By cutting the number of physical round discs of metal by four I’m able to go once a week very comfortably and have the store prepped and ready to go for the weekend.”
Relieving the pain point
Brian Mickley solved laundromat’s biggest pain point: Too many quarters.
He accomplished this feat leaving both the infrastructure and his customers’ preferred payment method in place. He did it without any kiosks, readers, orientation or registration.
He went beyond quarters and furnished patrons upsized coinage along with a familiar mechanism to use it.
Token-operated laundries aren’t new. They’ve only gotten better with time.
The hybrid pairing of cashless dollar-valued tokens with quarters does more than free up valuable vault space and extend collection intervals.
Here are more advantages:
* Facilitates vend price increases
* Retains incremental price flexibility
* Stops changer draining by quarter bandits
* Deters break-ins and employee theft
* Offers optional credit card-to-token payouts
* Works by changer-dispensing tokens & coins or only tokens
* Optimizes changer hopper capacity
* Reduces reliance on banks for coin supplies and deposits
* Eliminates confusion posed by silver-colored Susan B. Anthony coins
You might be surprised to learn dollar tokens automatically register their value on nearly all but the most dated washers and dryers out there.
Machines fitted with custom token- and coin-specific drops accept any combination of dollar tokens, as well as dollars and quarters to satisfy a vend price, with single inlet design the most customer-friendly.
Taking the high road
Coins aren’t the problem in laundromats. Trapped with only low-value ones is. Too many quarters chasing high vend prices and limited vault space frustrates store owners.
The solution is — and has always been — coinage.
Brian Mickley put dollar tokens to work while quarters took a backseat. They’re now his main driver and allow him much more time off the road. Ahh, the laundromat business.
Laurance Cohen is part of the Imonex team and welcomes inquiries on innovative payment solutions for your business.