Campus laundry is an important part of student life. One university reported that college students do an average of 3-4 loads of laundry per week on campus, spending limited funds – and limited time – on a chore that has the potential to be a positive or negative experience.
The machines are old, the payment systems are faulty, and the process quickly becomes a bottleneck. Especially once students figure out which machines leave their clothes soaking wet.Todd Belveal
Student complaints about laundry include malfunctioning or outdated equipment, machine availability during peak times, and the conditions of facilities – in badly-lit, unsafe, or dirty or decrepit locations.
Upgrading commercial laundry equipment and operating it independently allows a college or university to maximize the benefit to students and schools, improving the student experience and providing the opportunity for cost control and additional revenues.
As an independent operator, a school can select the right laundry equipment: energy efficient, commercial-grade washers and dryers that are built for high-volume use and will last for many years. This saves utility costs, as well as maintenance and upkeep.
In a 2019 Princeton Review survey, 64% of respondents said that a school’s commitment to environmental initiatives would affect their college decision.² Operating campus laundry systems independently offers a school control over the environmental impact, and improving the environmental impact of laundry systems may offer a school or university a competitive advantage.
An independently-operated campus laundry provides a school with the ability to gain revenues from laundry machines. These revenues can be augmented by additional laundry-related revenue streams, from vending machines selling detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets; or by additional services provided in facilities on the hybrid laundry model – food and drink, or entertainment, etc.
The main benefit of operating campus laundry systems independently is the chance to improve the student experience. According to a recent report, schools are competing for students, providing perks and amenities including improved dining, upgraded dorms, gyms, and more.³
Laundry facilities are often overlooked. Independently operated laundry facilities can improve the student experience by allowing control over:
The campus can select, maintain and repair equipment to ensure that students have access to high-quality equipment that is in good working condition.
An independently-operated campus laundry can be centrally-located, accessible, safe, and clean – all of which will improve the experience for students.
Today’s college students are accustomed to technology – and old-fashioned, coin-operated machines simply do not meet their needs. Technology can improve the convenience of laundry, by allowing students to pay by app, credit card, or even student ID. It can also be used to send text alerts on machine availability, so that time isn’t wasted waiting on machines in use.
Campuses must balance many competing priorities – providing an outstanding educational experience, controlling costs and budgets, and using every opportunity to provide a positive experience for their students; including campus laundry. Schools that are interested in better managing their campus laundry facilities should consider partnering with a laundry systems expert.
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