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Sheffield Africa Blog

Sheffield Africa employees and clientelle get to talk about Sheffield products and services.

QUICK GUIDE TO SETTING UP YOUR LAUNDERETTE 10th AUGUST

Are looking to launch your own laundry business? There is a lot to consider. With over 10 years’ experience Sheffield Africa, Kenya’s leading provider of commercial laundry equipment, knows how important it is that you consider every little detail to successfully set up your business. With this guide, we aim to make things clearer.

How a Launderette Works

Pre-determined rates are set. A customer purchases coins, finds an empty machine of the correct size for his or her load, adds detergent and soft rinse in the compartments on top which are marked. The customer then selects the type of wash i.e. hot, warm, etc.  and adds the coins.

Most launderettes are self-serve, requiring no attendant or owner’s presence. The customer can control the settings of the machines and adds his or her soap and clothes. Once the washing machine(s) finished their cycle, the customer loads the clean clothes into the dryer, chooses a setting, adds the appropriate amount of money and waits for the clothes to dry. You can add value to business by having a coffee machine and free WIFI, TV running a sports channel etc.

Things to Consider Before You Set Up Your Launderette 

Location

Choosing the right location is key to your laundry’s business success. You need to be able to rely on the local community for business, so ensuring that it is situated in a prime location will be favorable to customers wanting to use your facilities.
It is desirable to have a good mix of renting tenants and privately owned properties nearby .As well as ensuring you are located in a busy area, you should also check that your customers are provided with a convenient drop off and collection point .This can easily be done by checking that there is easy parking access as close to the proposed site.
Another popular option is to consider passing trade on an arterial road, something that is also handy when it comes to parking and bringing in service washes for example  near Hostels, paying guest accommodations, Apartments, CBD, High rise buildings , Industrial area, Bed and breakfast Hotels you  consider pick and drop service.

Your competition

When choosing your location, make sure to check, make sure you check out the competition in the nearby areas. It is vital that you know exactly what they offer and how much they charge for your services enabling you to bring your customers something unique and different.
Although having the basic concept and services might be similar to others, having a look at other laundry outlets will spark some unique ideas to put you ahead of the local competition

Water, Gas and Electrics

 If you are getting a location that was not previously a launderette such as a shop on a high street or a unit within an industrial estate, careful considerations need to be taken in regard to your site’s water supply, waste water, gas and electrics.
Making sure that your premises are capable of having a larger incoming water supply is essential, as is the necessity for ducting of the dryers which will need to go through an external wall .Please note that planning permission for change may be necessary.
Most washer and dryer units will have a minimum incoming water supply of 15mm .Although this is  adequate for running tap and toilets ,it would not be suitable for running a laundry operation which requires many washers to be filled simultaneously. Your options could include investing opportunities for water storage such as installing a tank or looking to upgrade your premise’s water supply
Likewise, the outgoing waste pipe may also need to be upgraded. Both of these potential issues should be looked at and resolved beforehand.
Majority of the commercial launderette equipment will mostly require 3 phase electricity supply.

Basic Launderette services

It is important to know exactly what you want to offer to ensure you get the correct equipment from the outset. For example, if you wish to provide service washes then you should have some ironing equipment such as ironing tables on your premises.

There are three main revenue streams for a launderette:
  • Customers doing their own laundry
  • Customers dropping their laundry into a launderette for a service wash
  • You ,as the business  providing a collection and delivery service

As a launderette ,your main aim is to maximize revenue generation .As well as everyday other popular items requiring washing at a launderette include ,duvets, house blankets and sport kits for whole teams sometimes. There will be many businesses in the area that do not have on site laundry facilities such as gyms, hotels ,spas and restaurants , outside caterers and these provide an ideal contract for your  launderette business especially in regards to laundering uniforms, towels and linen.
As well as having a respected status within the local community, local contracts are key component to increasing your business’ revenue. It secures steady flow of income and the reassurance of business all year round.

Additional services

Your launderette can also provide specialist dry cleaning services so you can opt to buy our dry-cleaning range of equipment as well.
Using specialist detergents and a standard commercial washer and dryer ,wet cleaning will provide you with the ability to safely   and effectively launder specialist dry clean only garments .Not only does this process use little water and energy , but the washer and dryer can also be used for standard washes, space saving on your premise
As well as offering standard laundry services such as ironing and dry cleaning, you may also want to consider providing internet access and coffee making facilities on site. Many customers would rather not leave their items unattended on your premises and this is perfect for ensuring they are occupied while they wait.

Equipment

Now that you have considered the services you wish to offer, it is important to consider the time and amount of equipment you need to do so.
A basic launderette will generally consist of 2 to 8 washing machines and the same number of tumble dryers.
Additionally, with rising utility costs you should consider saving money wherever you can. Energy use will be far the largest expense and one that will tend to fluctuate alongside standard utility prices. With our rang of washers and dryers, you can create savings on both water and energy use while  still providing great wash results for your customers .Compared to other machines ,they can provide up to a third in savings hence increasing your profits.
As well as washers and dryers, you should ensure that your launderette has an adequate supply of ironers, and finishing equipment.

How to Lay Out a Launderette Floor Plan

  • Place all front-loading machines on the outside walls. This would include dryers and high-capacity washing machines.
  • Arrange all the top-loading washers in parallel rows in the center of the room. Each row must back up to a short wall approximately 18" wide, because this is what houses the water lines and electrical connections.
  • Put tables at the end of each row for the customers to use to sort and fold their laundry.
  • Leave enough space in the aisles for two roller baskets to stand side by side.
  • Place seating areas for the customers near the windows.
  • Install detergent vending machines, snack machines and money changers in a convenient location.

 

Maintaining Laundry Equipment

Proper maintaining of your laundry equipment is essential to keeping it running smoothly and preventing breakdowns.  To get the most use out of your washers and driers, keep them clean and replace worn-out parts when necessary.

Washer
  • Check the water filter inlet screen frequently.  It may become dirty due to the particles that inevitably build up in water as clothes and fabrics are washed.  Clean it regularly, and replace it when it wears out.
  • Clean the tub as needed.  Although it’s regularly filled with detergent and water, the drum requires cleaning every once in a while due to the dirt and particles that come off from clothing when it’s being washed.  Use a washing machine cleaner to remove any dirt and soap residue on the inside.  If you are a homeowner, you should do this once every three months.  If you run a Laundromat, you’ll need to clean your washers more frequently depending on the number of customers that use your machines.
  • Check connections, hoses and joints.  Look for leaks and other signs of wear and tear.  If a hose bursts, it can cause significant flooding.  It’s very important to make minor repairs such as replacing the hose from time to time in order to avoid major issues in the future.
Dryer
  • Clean the lint screen daily.  Accumulation of lint in the ducting and on the lint screen can be a serious fire hazard because dryers operate at very high temperatures.  A buildup of lint can cause a fire if the hot air becomes constricted.
  • Wipe down the machine frequently. Dust and lint can accumulate on the surface of the dryer as well as on the inside.  Wipe the entire machine with a damp cloth regularly to keep it clean.  You can also use a vacuum cleaner to collect lint inside and underneath the dryer.

 

The Sheffield Advantage as the Supplier of Choice for Your Laundry Equipment

Sheffield has a full range of coin laundry machines and commercial laundry equipment for hotels, motels, communal apartment laundry and self-service operations.  We have a wide range of top-rated and high performance commercial washers and dryers .We have a great selection of commercial dryers and washers .Our coin laundry machines have options for extra-large capacity, long-range venting, and industrial-grade construction. Our range includes front and top load coin operated washing machines as well as the latest in industrial electric and gas dryers.

The Sheffield Advantage

  • Design expertise
  • Customized solutions
  • Fixed value contracts
  • On time delivery
  • Guarantee after sales services

Why Sheffield Africa?

  1. Sheffield is “One Stop Shop” for all services in food solutions and equipment
  2. Sheffield is a family of World Renowned Companies offering the best and time tested cutting edge technologies
  3. High Client Satisfaction. Sheffield has a number of laundry equipment supply, installation and supply across Africa
  4. Sheffield offers the longest guarantee for its products: Structural 10 Years, Moving Parts 2 Years, Gas- 2years.
  5. Sheffield offers Annual Maintenance Contracts. We have a team of service engineers and technicians most of whom have been trained abroad by the best in the industry
  6. Sheffield is the only company in its industry that has its  Quality Management Systems audited by Bureau Veritas for 1SO 9001:2008
  7. Sheffield is the only company in the food beverage equipment that is a Superbrand and in the Top 100 SME having emerged number 19 in 2016
  8. Sheffield has A Fully Equipped Experience Center that offers training and demonstrations for most of its equipment.

Get in touch with us for expert advice and support!

Tips for Opening a Food Truck Business 7th AUGUST

To become a restaurant owner is to admit that you like a challenge. Perhaps, right now you are not quite sure of investing in a brick and mortar restaurant. Or maybe you want to dip your toe into restaurant ownership business before taking the full plunge or you just want to tackle a fun new venture to see if you have the muscle for it. Whatever your reasons, opening a food truck restaurant is something that picks the interest of plenty of people.
Before you become the proud owner of a food truck, here’s a quick guide to getting your dreams off the ground and on the road.

1- Learn from Others

In this way, opening a food truck is like most things—you can learn a lot from simply asking for advice from those who came before you.
No two paths to food truck business success will be exactly the same (everything varies based on where you are and what you’re serving, among other factors), but there are a few overarching similarities. Permitting issues and parking debacles, to name a few.
,Even just knowing what challenges to expect before diving in can be invaluable in keeping your sanity.

2- Gather the Necessities (and Start Early)

Not only will you of course need a truck, but there are licenses, permits, and insurance to think about as well.  Learn more about the restaurant licenses and permits you need.  Insurance is a big factor here—you’ll need insurance that covers not only your business and employees (if you have them), but your vehicle and the equipment as well.

3-Cement Your Brand

If you already own a restaurant, will your food truck simply be a mobile iteration of the food you already serve? Will it be a similar but slightly different culinary venture? Or will it be something new altogether? For those just starting out, what’s your niche going to be?
Since most places already have a food truck scene, you’ll have to stand out and offer something different and make that known to your (potential) customers. A few tips to keep in mind are:

  • think like a big business (i.e., take branding seriously),
  • get clear and definitive on what your brand is,
  •  
  • keep your restaurant mission statement consistent across everything from the exterior of your truck to your business cards.

4-Devise a Location Strategy

You won’t be drawing a big crowd on your own right away.
Start where there’s going to be foot traffic in places like office parks and tourist hot spots.
Consider partnering with breweries to complement their beer selection with your delicious eats or get involved in local events and festivals.
Take advantage of the fact that your business rests on wheels and that you can try out several spots before landing on one (or a few) that are the most lucrative. Once you’ve got a following built up you won’t have to worry about this as much and can have more success staking out a less conspicuous spot.

5-Don’t Stop There!

Even if you’ve done what you set out to do—created a successful food truck business — it doesn’t mean you have to quit reaching for the stars.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, consider expanding, maybe once you’ve dominated the food truck scene, you’ll want to venture into a pop-up restaurant or a full-blown traditional restaurant.
The point is that if you’ve got a good thing going, you don’t have to stop at a food truck (unless you want to).

Choosing A Commercial Washing Machine 3rd AUGUST

In the hospitality industry commercial washing machines are essential if hotels, hospitals and spas are to keep up with the high volumes of washing. However, their use isn’t limited to such big companies; it’s extremely common for large families and small businesses to make use of such equipment too. A lot of people think that the only difference between a standard household washing machine and an industrial one is the size however, when choosing a commercial machine there’s a lot more to take into account .Sheffield offers commercial grade machines in three broader categories:

  • Coin operated
  • commercial
  • Industrial.

Coin Machines/ self Service

Coin operated machines are great for places where costs need to be recuperated, or where machines are being operated for profit. Examples might include, do it yourself laundries, apartment complexes, university hostels. There are a variety of coin operated machines to meet you demand. Careful thought must be put into deciding between a Coin Slide, Coin Drop or Credit Card Operated washing machine, with each having a unique benefit. Coin Slide machines are the cheapest option, Coin Drop Washers provide a more hassle free mechanism that are less likely to be vandalized while Credit Card operated washers are the way of the future

Commercial Machines

This style is ideal for business use where the workload is not too heavy. Businesses such as hair salons that require towels or linens for a caterer. They are built similarly to coin operated models, with the convenience of a standard start, without coins. Both commercial and coin operated machines come in three basic styles, to suit the application. Consider your space and usage when selecting.

Traditional top load machines
Work well for lower capacity usage, such as dormitories or apartments, where they receive similar usage as might be expected in a single family dwelling and wash quality is not the most important factor.
Front load machines
offer larger capacity and don’t require top access. Commercial Front Load washers are the most power- and water-efficient style of washers on the market to ensure running costs are kept to a minimum, saving your cash!
With Front Load Washers
cleaning much better than top load washers and in similar cycle times, these washers are ideal for situations that require a high standard of finish in quick turnaround times such as boutique motels, hairdressers and beauty salons.
Stackable units
Are great for Coin Laundry stores, or applications where floor space is at a premium. They allow for a full sized washer and matching dryer in the footprint of one washing machine, perfectly suited to vet premises and remote mine camps.

Industrial Machines

These are the workhorses, with large capacity and long wearing construction, industrial machines are the heaviest and typically most expensive. Industrial machines are designed to be front loading, for ease of use, and are designed for high volume, repetitive use. These machines are ideal for applications in commercial laundries and dry cleaners, or for institutional use in locations such as hotels, where large amounts of laundry are regularly done.

By determining your needs, and your installation, narrowing down your choices becomes a fairly simple matter. Choose a machine that is capable of handling the load you require for best results. At Sheffield Africa we will offer consultation, supply, installation and service of commercial laundry equipment. Get in touch with our experts and we will offer you the commercial laundry equipment suitable for your needs backed up with reliable after sales services.

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