Customers benefit by being able to use several services all in one convenient location.
Cindy Patel, owner of Mountain Wash Laundry in Shelby, North Carolina, at time of interviewing, said that she planned opening a snack bar and a minimart in her laundry.
"I have a big space, 6,000 square feet," she said, "and this will help pay for it."Paul Partyka, who edited American Coin-Op, a magazine devoted to self-service laundries, said Patel's approach is the norm.
"Trying to generate additional revenue per square foot has always been an issue," he said.
Some are even picking up laundry from customers' homes and delivering it back to them clean and folded.
In addition, owners have realized that they can maximize their profits by providing customers with access to multiple services.
The industry is what experts describe as a "mature market." Save for areas that are seeing high population growth, pretty much every neighborhood that needs a laundry has one -- or two or three -- that are competing vigorously.
In some areas of the country, there are too many laundromats already. Many get into the business by purchasing an existing laundry and renovating it.
And as more people wear casual clothing (which doesn't require dry cleaning) to work and leave the nicer duds for special occasions, you may find that consumers will be making more trips to the laundromat.
The Bad News While the trends we've mentioned are favorable for entrepreneurs entering the laundry business, they don't suggest that business is booming.