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The family-friendly trend in full-service carwashes seems to be spreading around the country. Cruz Thru Express, which operates seven different locations in California, is no exception. JoAnna Smith from Cruz Thru said that they base their business plan off of the motto, “Every customer, every time.” This motto does not just apply for adults, but for children as well. Cruz Thru has a combination of incredible employees and a clean, family-friendly atmosphere that keeps customers returning again and again. But, how do they do it?
Cruz Thru pays an incredible amount of attention to kids at all of their locations. Creative employees cover the windows of the facilities with murals of Disney characters and scenes using window chalk and paint. One location even has a garden of flowers arranged so that they look like Mickey Mouse. Before a car goes into the tunnel, employees hand out stickers and lollipops to the kids, and they may even decorate one of the car windows with a flower or some other Disney cartoon.
Cruz Thru has been such a success in the community that most of the employees know many of the customers on a first name basis. Referring back to their motto of “every customer, every time,” Smith said that Cruz Thru’s goal is to make people feel as comfortable as possible each time they come to Cruz Thru, and one of the ways that they can do that is to personally know their customers.
Like Mojo’s, Cruz Thru is located in an area filled with young families, so being able to appeal to that demographic is of the highest importance. Smith said the public’s reaction to the family-friendly style service has been terrific, and it forms long-lasting relationships with customers, which is important to the chain’s reputation in the community and an important factor in allowing Cruz Thru to grow.
On top of that, Cruz Thru wants to make the wash experience as memorable as possible for its customers. They do this by offering a high-quality wash, creating a kid-friendly atmosphere, maintaining very clean facilities and offering a few things that other washes do not. Cruz Thru’s Photo Shoot and the Hot Lava Bath are both good examples.
The Photo Shoot is one of Cruz Thru’s features that help the washes stand apart. A camera takes a photo of each car as it goes through the tunnel, and it is edited to include a colorful themed background. Themes are sometimes reflective of the season, so the October background featured scary ghouls, goblins, zombies and haunted houses. Other background themes have included The Mario Bros., Willy Wonka, Peter Pan, a tropical beach and the front of the White House with the president. Customers can then go to Cruz Thru’s website to find their photo, and the photos can be entered into a monthly contest where the winner will receive prizes.
Another outstanding feature at Cruz Thru is the Hot Lava Bath. By purchasing their premium wash package, customers get to experience Cruz Thru’s signature carwash effect. A river of thick, orange-colored soap lit up by orange lights falls from a mountain shaped dispenser like lava onto the car as it passes through the tunnel.
Cruz Thru Express is no doubt an exciting place for a carwash. Not only is it exciting for adults who get a good wash for a good price, but the kids get to enjoy all the family-friendly services they offer as well. From the Disney murals to the free lollipops to the Photo Shoot and the molten orange Hot Lava Bath, a wash at Cruz Thru seems just short of a day at an amusement park.