SIGNAL HILL, Calif. — A number of vended laundry projects are completed around the country each year, resulting in brand-new or rejuvenated stores primed and ready to serve customers.
As a way to celebrate the hard work that goes into designing, building and equipping a modern self-service laundry, American Coin-Op created a Spotlights on Success series to recognize memorable projects of recent vintage.
And so equipment manufacturers were invited to tout their brand’s latest and greatest vended laundry projects. This is one of the stories they shared:
“I’m in the business of making people’s lives easier and more convenient,” says Bill Mylonas, an investor/developer of large, multi-family apartment complexes in Southern California.
Recently, he opened his first vended laundry, Laundry Guys, in Signal Hill. Equipped with high-speed Continental laundry equipment and offering free Wi-Fi, big-screen TVs, ample parking, an automatic sliding door, snack machines and a comfortable lounge area, Laundry Guys is committed to a superior customer experience.
“We have white quartz countertops, USB charging stations, unbelievable bathrooms with full tile wainscoting, and leather modern sofas with acacia wood tables and benches around the store,” says Mylonas. Outfitted for efficiency and a comfortable environment, Laundry Guys touts four rooftop coolers, two 7-foot-diameter Haiku fans, LED lighting and on-demand, tankless water heaters.
“Laundry Guys was thoughtfully created by a person who learned first-hand how to ‘do laundry better’ while working within the multi-housing sector,” says Tod Sorensen, vice president of Continental Girbau West, in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. “Bill applied the knowledge he gained from rehabbing apartment laundries to his new store.”
“I wanted to offer apartment residents a more convenient laundry experience,” says Mylonas, who upgraded several apartment laundries with high-speed Continental washers and dryers. “My hope – to better serve and retain tenants – resulted in six-fold increase in laundry revenue.”
That’s when Mylonas pledged to “do laundry better” within the public sector, as well. He hunted locations; purchased an old, run-down building with a non-salvageable, dilapidated laundry; orchestrated a major renovation; and two years later, Laundry Guys was born.
Together with help from Detlef Steinke of Detlef Steinke & Associates, Kevin Friedman of Engineering Design Analysis, and Sorensen, Mylonas purpose-built the building to create the best possible laundry experience and functionality.
Since its soft opening in May, Laundry Guys’ revenue has jumped 15-20% month-over-month with little advertising, the owner says. Nonetheless, its customer service and a 60-minute wash completion promise is quickly growing market share.
Ultimately, following a phased business plan, Laundry Guys will offer multiple services, including wash/dry/fold, commercial laundry services, and pickup and delivery. For now, the focus is on building a quality customer service team.
“We look for employees who come from a customer service background, not a laundry attendant background,” says Mylonas. “This requires an investment in tools of the trade, uniforms, training and positive reinforcement to help our team hit their goals and make the laundry the best it can be.”
The 4,000-square-foot store showcases a mix of 20-, 40-, 60- and 80-pound ExpressWash® Washers and 30-, 45- and 75-pound ExpressDry® Dryers. The high-speed washers offer a soft-mount design for simple installation and deliver extract speeds up to 400 G-force for maximum moisture removal.
“Our average dry time is 16 minutes,” says Mylonas, “which frees up the dryers quickly so we can keep customers moving in and out of the store. This makes it possible to complete 12-plus turns in a 16-hour day.”
Adding to customer convenience is the Continental ProfitPlus® Control, which is standard on all Continental vended washers, brings more washing options and cycle features to the customer.
Moreover, the Card Concepts Inc. (CCI) LaundryCard system brings customers simple equipment operation and payment, while providing Mylonas with multiple store management capabilities.
“Our community wants and deserves the type of experience we are providing,” he says. “If we take care of the fundamentals first, the money will come and we’ll enjoy a solid following of loyal customers.”