The following is joint presentation by Ryan Essenburg, President of Tommy Car Wash Systems & Tommy’s Express Car Wash, and Ed Rensi, former CEO of McDonalds, entitled “Fundamentals of Express Car Wash Success: The Powerful Advantage of Franchises.”
Your customers aren’t a captive audience, they have plenty of options. Driveway washing, inbay washes, tunnels, or just putting it off. So, if you want people to choose your wash and to keep choosing it over and over again for years or decades to come, you have to understand what exactly they are really looking for, and you need to make sure you’re in the best position to give it to them.
In the United States the car wash industry, as a whole, has seen a long period of growth with steadily increasing demand – around 2% more cars washed each year over the past decade. However, despite this growth and the real need so many communities have for reliable car wash resources, some car washes have failed in recent years.
For the best operators, wash quality is an obsession to be checked and maintained every, single, day. But first new operators must understand each of the factors at work in the car wash tunnel and how they fit together to build good wash performance—particularly during busy, high volume periods.
Spring offers a particular challenge for many car washes. While winter is generally the busiest season by percent of sales, spring often brings record-breaking days as consumers react to the warmer temperatures and clear skies by heading out to have the car washed. One day a wash may be bumper to bumper with eager customers, and the next heavy rains and cold temperatures drive them away leaving wash employees with little to do but listen to the radio.