With a mission to reinvent the seedy, depressing feel of the typical laundromat, entrepreneurs Alex Smereczniak and Dan D’Aquisto created a kinder, more welcoming laundromat franchise concept called LaundroLab. D’Aquisto describes LaundroLab as “a 5-star, amenity-filled, technology-first business serving thousands of families and local businesses.”
The men set out to create a laundromat franchise concept with a safe, welcoming, and convenient experience for customers that offers an exciting, unique business opportunity for entrepreneurs. “LaundroLab is on a mission to establish the nation’s best, most reliable laundromat brand through a 5-star customer and franchisee experience,” says D’Aquisto.
D’Aquisto says the laundromat industry is a $5B market and growing with more than 35,000 mom-and-pop locations across the country. “There’s no dominant player in this fragmented industry. Laundromats have an average cash-on-cash ROI of upwards to 35% with a 94% success rate. We have created a semi-absentee business model that has been proven to be recession resistant—and now pandemic resistant—as it was deemed an essential business,” he says.
Founded in 2018 and franchising since 2020, LaundroLab was built as a way to support the growth from their on-demand, mobile laundry and dry-cleaning concept, 2ULaundry, but it also allowed them to test a completely new concept in the traditional laundromat market.
The partners founded 2ULaundry in 2016 to cater to busy professionals and families that needed more convenience and a better solution to traditional drop-off dry cleaning. In just two years, 2ULaundry expanded beyond Charlotte across the Southeast, serving thousands of customers and employing hundreds of clothing care professionals.
By 2018, 2ULaundry needed a new kind of facility to manage the thousands of pounds of laundry they were managing daily in Charlotte. They worked with appliance giant Electrolux to create a first-of-its-kind laundromat that brought the same level of innovation to laundromats that 2ULaundry did to its on-demand delivery business.
D’Aquisto says the $5B and growing laundromat industry stands out because it is essential. “LaundroLab franchisees know they are buying into a recession-resistant, semi-absentee stream of income that positively impacts the community,” he says.
According to D’Aquisto, LaundroLab franchisees receive a business playbook, technology assets, education, and support from a team with a long track record, and a well-regarded brand to build their business. New locations will be modeled from the first LaundroLab location in Charlotte, built before the pandemic. “The location became profitable in two months. Our corporate store in Charlotte grew 10% year-over-year through the COVID-19 pandemic, further proving that this is one of the most economically-stable industries for business owners,” he says.
D’Aquisto describes LaundroLab as “more than a place to clean clothes.” He says it’s a welcoming, safe, and satisfying experience that creates a loyal and recurring customer base. “Customers look forward to taking advantage of our innovative service model, eco-friendly machines, and industry-leading technology,” he says. Each location will also have free Wi-Fi, ample folding space, TVs, a kid’s area, games, vending machines and a loyalty reward program. “There will also always be an employee on duty to ensure top-notch customer service,” he adds.
Franchise culture and values
Although COVID-19 was an obstacle, D’Aquisto says the pandemic made his team even stronger and more connected. “The culture and transparency are better. The momentum and energy of the team has never been at the height it’s at now. We are aspiring to live by our values of accountability, community, and excellence every day and we hope to share those virtues with everyone in the LaundroLab family,” he says.