Always weigh the options and ROI

Like any business, laundromats must be driven by return on investment (ROI). And with equipment providing the muscle of a self-serve laundry business, owners must consider the models that deliver the highest ROI. 

So, inevitably the question asked is what considerations should I give in assessing not just what equipment fits my business but the ROI it can deliver to my bottom line? 

Workhorse player 

Hardmount washer-extractors have long been the go-to models for laundromats. Hardmount means they are bolted to foundations set in concrete, which absorb the G-Forces that are exerted during final spin. So, why have these units been popular? The short answer is great reliability and a long lifespan, which when you consider a generally lower up-front cost versus softmounts, presents an excellent return on investment. That reliability and fewer moving parts means fewer service calls. 

Special use option 

Now let’s talk softmount washer-extractors. Softmounts, so named because they use shock absorbers and springs to dissipate forces and don’t require bolting to foundations, can be installed on a variety of surfaces. That means second-floor installs that would not work for hardmounts can utilize softmounts. So, these units are a great fit when owners find an excellent location, but the building eliminates hardmounts as an option. 

Now, what about softmounts in place of hardmounts? The argument in favor puts emphasis on the high G-Force extraction versus washer-extractors with foundations. However, owners must perform the cost/benefit to get to the ROI. Can faster dry times and utility savings add up enough to counter a shorter lifespan, higher upfront price tag, and potential service costs. Owners also can’t minimize that roughly 30 percent of revenue comes on the dry side, and the recent introduction of cycle modifiers such as anti-wrinkle and reversing add to the revenue potential. 

Final thoughts 

Softmounts can be an excellent option for special-use applications, but not all. Let’s face it, ultra-high G-Force is not a new technology any more than softmounts are a new product. If the ROI was significantly compelling, they would have become standard in the laundromat industry decades ago.  

Being acquainted with the variety of equipment options to make sites work will help owners and new investors quickly determine which ones could work for their needs. The key is being firmly grounded in the cost-benefit and level of ROI the product will return for your unique application.