CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Since its official franchise launch last year, LaundroLab continues to roll into fresh markets, swirling up attention as an industry disruptor. Even in the midst of a post pandemic economy, the concept keeps expanding its footprint. So far in 2021 alone, it has signed on a number of franchisees, tallying up some 17 new units, with many more candidates in the wings.
According to LaundroLab's founders, much of this early success comes from the model's no-fluff approach to reinventing a high-demand, but outdated service scene.
"Let's face it, there's a general stain on people's perception of typical laundromats," said LaundroLab Co-Founder and President Dan D'Aquisto. "We've heard it all: 'They're dirty... they don't feel safe... they're boring...' Sad thing is, so many people still heavily depend on their offerings – they just dread going there."
D'Aquisto and his business partner, Alex Smereczniak, used this collective sentiment as motivation to redefine the "coin laundry" experience. Staring into the possibilities of a $5.3-billion industry, the two entrepreneurs set out to scrub every negative facet associated with a trip to the mat.
In 2016, they jumped onto the scene by opening 2ULaundry, a laundry and dry cleaning pickup and delivery service. In 2018, they went on to build their first laundromat to support their services growth. They used the venture to fine tune operational structure and put a creative marketing plan in place. In 2020, they pulled the curtain back on their LaundroLab vision.
"Over the last few years, we really took a long look at the whole industry picture," Smereczniak said. "At the end of the day, it came down to laundromats needing to place more emphasis on a few areas: There should be greater security, technology, cleanliness and entertainment to pass the time. Enter LaundroLab."
Today, the North Carolina-based franchise has dialed up inventiveness in an oft perceived antiquated industry. Each LaundroLab location offers a vibrant space, bubbling over with safety features, state-of-the-art Electrolux equipment, payment technology, and amenities to pass the time.
For new franchisee Clint Gulley – who plans to launch five LaundroLabs in south Florida – the semi-absentee model comes with loads of ROI potential.
"It truly distinguishes itself from other laundromats through its technology, cleanliness and overall customer experience – people are comfortable when they come in," said Gulley, who's owned and operated 11 McDonald franchises since 2005. "I'm always looking for new opportunities, asking 'What could I be doing in terms of making money work for me?'"
Gulley – who's married with three children – spent a decade in the hotel industry and restaurant management. He discovered LaundroLab through an Instagram ad. Being no stranger to customer service, he said he quickly knew the concept's people-first culture was a fit for him.
"I followed my gut," he recalls. "I reached out and spoke with Alex in Miami, and I started to develop a relationship with them. They understand this is an essential business, and they care about the customers. There's a great opportunity to scale and grow the brand. The sky's the limit."
Stephanie and John Fry – who are slated to open three LaundroLab locations in the Tampa,Florida area – learned about the concept on a franchising webinar. Raising three boys, the couple wanted to branch out from their careers in medical sales and business leadership. They had been researching the laundromat industry for some time, trying to nail down the best entrepreneurial option for them.
"I thought, 'Who is this LaundroLab,'" Stephanie said. "We had already looked at a bunch of different franchises and distributors... We even considered purchasing an existing laundromat, but when we met the team at LaundroLab, we knew it was exactly what we wanted. It's just a brilliant model, and we were so impressed with what they've done."
Specifically, the Frys appreciated the detail put into making each location safe. Features like big-screen security monitors, bright lighting, and onsite attendants resonated with them. At the same time, they felt the perks of a full entertainment section – complete with flat screen televisions, free WiFi, video games, vending machines and even a children's play area – helped keep laundry from being seen as a task.
"I think this is an industry that's ready to be updated," Stephanie said. "There's the typical 'Zombiemats,' if you will. All of their machines are run down, they're not necessarily clean, and they don't feel safe. I love the fact that LaundroLab is innovating, giving back and putting really nice places into communities."
As a result, LaundroLab's popularity continues to heat up in short order. So much so, its franchise family has drawn individuals from all walks of professional life.
Steve Ketterling, who recently signed on for three units in Denver, Colorado, comes aboard with a financial background as a chartered financial analyst (CFA). He said he's been itching to get into entrepreneurialism and be his own boss.
"Nobody thinks about going into the laundry business, unless maybe it's a family thing," Ketterling said. "The way Alex spoke about it, and the way they were thinking about the business, it was intriguing. It seemed like an opportunity to me immediately. I didn't want to go into some complicated, trendy business. At the end of the day, it's a pretty simple business. To me, it seemed right for the disruption."
Neel Patel and his business partner Gary Shah were also hoping to step out of their comfort zone in their careers. Looking into the laundromat industry specifically, they were ecstatic when they came across LaundroLab's business model.
"It's economic proof – people still need clean clothes," said Patel, who's slated to launch three locations in the Charlotte, NC region.
In Atlanta, Ga, Elias Mohammed and his wife Yasmin – along with their business partners Siva Tallapaneni and his wife Hima Bindu Gopalam – have always had the "entrepreneurial bug." They too plan to open three units. Together, the four friends are familiar with both franchising and the laundromat business from past endeavors. Still, nothing quite matches up to the energy surrounding LaundroLab, Mohammed said.
"It's Alex's and Dan's vision that all of us will carry over," he said. "That is huge for us, and it will continue to be huge to us."
Going forward, the plan is for aggressive, strategic expansion throughout the country, according to D'Aquisto.
"We're interested in talking with anyone who's serious about being part of a fast emerging, promising ROI opportunity," he said. "We're ready to meet them, teach them about being a LaundroLab owner, and guide them on what it takes to bring the concept to their market."
Stephen Bon, LaundroLab, +1 (910)540-5645, email@example.com