Kenny Simons of The Dirty Hamper Laundry pickup service talks about his competitive advantage over the Gig Economy and ridesharing programs. When a laundry owner outsources driving to a gig worker, that owner is rolling the dice with their brand’s reputation.
Watch this video to see actual gig economy drivers do shocking things while on the ‘job’.
Speaker 1: 0:04
Welcome to the state of the laundry industry with laundry mat , episode eight, hiring gig drivers for laundry. Does it work today? We’re joined by Kenny Simons of the dirty hamper. He talks about the competitive advantage he has over laundry services using the gig economy.
Speaker 2: 0:23
All right , Kenny, let you , I’d like to ask you about there’s a, the, the competitive landscape is constantly changing. So originally I’d say it’s just , uh , you know , mom and pop laundromats doing pickup and delivery. Sometimes it gets to just call on the phone and you know, now there’s a bunch of different options for the customer, but you kind of guide that discussion in a sense, but have you come across any of these different services out there and just wondering how you compete against them? Yeah ,
Speaker 3: 0:51
I actually have , um, and it seems to me that they’re app based the , these people don’t own laundry mats , um, or they just created the service. Um, one instance I found , um, what they’re doing is they’re , they’re bringing it back to their house.
Speaker 2: 1:09
They’re still there . They’re picking up the laundry,
Speaker 3: 1:12
They’re picking up the laundry and they’re bringing it back to their house and their washing it. So the customer doesn’t know if they have 20 cats, 20 dogs, anybody’s sick. I know I wouldn’t want my laundry in someone else’s , uh, in , in their house. So that’s one, that’s one example. Then, you know, my, my name, the dirty hamper it’s everyone gets a kick out of it. You even have competitors trying to steal , you know, trying to steal your name and take your bags. So it’s crazy what people will do, but I’ve noticed a lot of it is them outsourcing the laundry, not even the laundry mats , but they’re saying, Hey, you’re, you’re a single mom or single dad, and you want to make a few extra bucks. Well, here, sign up with our app and we’ll, we’ll pay you a compensation for going to a laundromat or doing it at home. Um, but the problem I have with that is nothing’s going to be consistent. It’s a great, it’s a great model in hindsight, where you can contract a bunch of people all over California and have them do the laundry, but everybody’s laundry is going to be different. And the last example I’ll give you , um, this, this company had, for whatever reason, there was a link involved and my customer clicked on that link. She got back her launch , she thought it was us. She got back her laundry and I kid you not, everything was in a basket, a basket in a basket. Like you, you got it right out of the dryer and you put in a basket, nothing was folded. Wow. She , she called us crying state saying, what did you do? Like, right. And we, and this is, I was with a different , um, platform at the time when this happened. And I said, what , what are you talking about? I have no idea what, we didn’t even have an order from you. And she clicked on an old link that went to the other company. And so, no, I think what those apps, no product is going to be the same. And the way that I saw your podcast or , or a link you had on the drivers, the power of the driver, Uber driver doesn’t care. If the clothes you throw is on, on, on the porch, but your driver is going to interact and take a little extra time and talk. And there’s even been times I’ve had to do pickup and delivery is where I’m stuck with a customer for 30 minutes, just shooting the breeze, having a good time. And they, they want to put a face to a company to a brand, right .
Speaker 2: 3:45
They’re trusting you with their clothes. Yes . I mean, that’s a really good point. I mean, you know, I always say in the first first example, however you fold your clothes is the right way. And consistency shows it’s the right way. So if it’s different, every time, if McDonald’s was different, every time it wouldn’t be McDonald’s and people went, oh , there in the same thing, laundry, they like consistency. And especially with their clothes. Yeah .
Speaker 3: 4:10
Well, and , and I, and I’ve noticed even with some of our , uh , uh, our launders , our customers know who’s doing it, they’ll request, Hey, I want the person I did last time. Cause I like how they fold everything. So I think it’s really important that whoever’s in charge of the people that are doing the laundering and everything’s done the same way as absolutely. Like I said, the McDonald’s saying every burger needs to be saying, you know, pickle, onions, ketchup, and mustard on a bunk that’s basic, just , just don’t, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Right.
Speaker 2: 4:43
And then w with, and then you’re segwaying into Uber and all of that. And they represent your company. I’m not sure if you saw take talk video. I saw somebody ordered, it went viral as , is a DoorDash driver, and they picked up somebody ordered a television from Walmart. So they pick up the TV from Walmart and the DoorDash drivers videotaping himself. Like, I can’t believe these guys ordered shame on them, but he used some fancy language shame on them today and shame on them tomorrow for having me pick this up. And I’m not sure every door dash driver expects to pick up laundry. I didn’t want you to know
Speaker 4: 5:24
Whoever ordered this show and do it as your whole hope, your whole, whole day and tomorrow,
Speaker 5: 5:44
So I can make it right. How much of this is an $8 tip? I gave an eight . Okay.
Speaker 2: 6:03
Are there different examples you have of like some of the laundry that they’ve, you know, imagine door dash driver receiving that type of order and how they respond to the customer?
Speaker 3: 6:13
Right. I think one he’d had, he’d kind of have an issue with , with the pickup or the delivery of the instructions, because the same guy that’s picking up is not going to be the same guy delivering. Um, he may pull up in his Prius and find 600 pounds of laundry, you know, full of cat hair and cat urine. And he’s looking at it going, well, I’m not going to pick up this order. Then your customer is going to call you and say, Hey, what happened to my pickup? Um, so I, I see things like that. I think that that Uber mentality for laundry is transaction-based , you know, when they do a food, a food runner or whatever, they’re getting a percentage of whatever that order is. Um, but with the laundry, I don’t know how they’re going to get a percentage of the pounds or anything like that. That that’s way above my head, but they , they’re not invested with your company. They’re invested in their transaction.
Speaker 2: 7:08
That’s a great way of putting it because you know, I come from a real estate background too. And my broker would always say, you want to be a relationship based . We’re not transactional brokers or realtors over here. And, and I think you’re right with Uber and door dash , it’s that transaction. And you never see that person again. There’s no accountability. Versus when you have your driver representing your company, that’s relationship based.
Speaker 3: 7:30
Well, it’s crazy because with, with your brand and with your drivers, it all represents you. I had, I had somebody call me on the freeway saying, Hey , um, your driver is smoking a cigarette. I would never pick up laundry from you. I would never have you pick up laundry. And I, and I said, okay, well, thank you for the update, right? And he’s the drivers , not with me anymore. I had to contact my driver. I said, Hey, where are you smoking in the car? And he said, how did you know, do you have a camera in the car? I said, no, you’re a billboard. And a potential customer looked over and saw you smoking a cigarette and thought, wow, all those people’s clothes are going to smell like smoke
Speaker 3: 8:14
With the Uber thing. You don’t know if they’re smoking marijuana, smoking cigarettes, you know what I mean? It’s you don’t know what you’re going to get.
Speaker 2: 8:22
And the customer is not going to care. The customer’s not going to care that, oh, well, why do you send door dash in the first place? Right . You can’t blame it on door dash. You know, it’s your business.
Speaker 3: 8:30
Exactly. You , you have to be accountable and kinda like you with the real estate thing. Back in the day, I went to a thing years ago called a by referral only. And that was the whole thing. You know, you want referrals, it’s, there’s nothing better than when you’re doing someone’s laundry. And their neighbor says, Hey, you know, give me their card. I want to use.
Speaker 2: 8:49
Oh , terrific. Yeah. I appreciate your time. And yeah, thanks again for joining us on the state of the laundry. This is pertinent stuff that’s happening. I mean, it’s real stuff. Real laundry owners. Yeah. Appreciate your time. Oh, you’re welcome.
Speaker 1: 9:04
Thank you for listening to the state of the laundry industry, please subscribe or click, like wherever you see this episode. And also if you’d like to learn more about the curbside laundries, pick up and deliver your software, go to www curb side laundries.com. Thanks again.