Glenn Catlin took ownership of Las Lavanderia, a laundromat in South Houston, Texas, in June 2018 and almost immediately realized there were big changes that needed to be made – starting with the equipment.
The 7,000-square-foot facility was using outdated, broken machines that required an unbelievable amount of water and electricity, costing the original owner almost $6,000 a month in utilities and water. After working with Gulf States Laundry Machinery Company to replace the outdated machines with new Huebsch washers and dryers, Catlin received his first bills and thought there had been a mistake.
“We were shocked,” Catlin said. “I thought they miscalculated and we were going to get this giant bill after they realized their mistake. The new bill was cut by half, easily.”
Catlin found out there was no mistake. Rather, the new Huebsch machines were more efficient and used less water and electricity than the original units. That savings goes back to Las Lavanderia, where Catlin continues to reinvest in the customer experience with commitment to delivering a pleasant atmosphere, including free coffee, donuts, massage chairs and a kid’s room. These amenities keep his customers returning. Due to the laundromat’s success, Catlin is in the process of opening a second location using all Huebsch machines.
In addition to being more efficient, the Huebsch machines use technology that accepts mobile payment. Catlin no longer spends his time transferring quarters from the washers/dryers to the change machine, which ultimately leads to more time to grow his business and interact with customers.
The washer-extractors have a 23-minute run cycle making it easy for Catlin’s customers to be in and out within an hour.
“The equipment has made a night-and-day difference,” Catlin said. Las Lavanderia has 55 new Huebsch washers and 66 Huebsch dryers. His new store will be a similar size with 85 to 90 machines, Catlin said. By spending less on machine maintenance, upkeep and overall utilities, Catlin could create an environment at Las Lavanderia unlike any other in the community. A strong Huebsch finance program also helped to swiftly move the store’s transformation. Catlin’s program included an eight-year term loan, with a three-month deferral for first month’s payment.
“We are getting a lot of thank yous for investing in the community,” Catlin said. “This business is an integral part of my family’s life.”
In addition, working with Gulf States was like working with a full-service agency. The company helped Catlin not only get the best washers and dryers for his customers, but also helped with financing, real estate and more. Jeremy Hunt of Gulf States is working with Catlin to scout locations for a second laundromat. Hunt also collaborated with Catlin to paint a picture for the business’s landlord to show that by investing in new equipment, Las Lavanderia is here to stay.
“Laundry is something that people always have to do and these Huebsch machines help accomplish the task, while setting businesses like Glenn’s apart from the competition,” Hunt said.
One of the predictors of a business’s success is the community in which it is located. An ideal community for a laundromat has a lot of apartments or rental properties. Las Lavanderia is already located in a great community, but Catlin has been able to work with Hunt to create an upscale experience centering on the visually-appealing stainless steel Huebsch machines and comfortable atmosphere. This attention to detail helps the business generate loyal customers.
“We had so much support from Gulf States and Huebsch that we never even had to close to install the new machines,” Catlin said. “The process has been so much quicker than I ever imagined. The bar has been raised, that’s for sure. We couldn’t be happier.”