Succes for newcomer Canadian laundromat based on app-based service economy

A few months ago Mike Freides opened his laundromat WashOut in Vancouver.

Until now he is satisfied with results so far, as he claims to be near break-even point  on his monthly costs already.

The WashOut laundromat is not a typical urban laundromat. The shop contains rows of stainless steel, high-efficiency washers and dryers designed to text users when their washing is done. He feels confident that customers will gladly pay for someone to pick up their laundry from their home, wash, dry and fold it, and deliver it back to them 24 hours later ― all of it ordered by using an app. Freides:  “Service is really the main focus of the business.”

Sunil Johal, policy director of the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre, says app-based businesses that outsource daily tasks are a trend across the entire service industry. Johal: “The notion of waiting in line or waiting to do your laundry when you could just push a button and have somebody come pick it up and drop it off for you really fits in the kind of the time-pressed, on-the-go world that we live in today. People like the convenience of it, even though it might cost more.”

New laundry operator Freides is convinced that this trend will work in his favour. He is planning to open new locations in Vancouver and Toronto soon.