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The 2014 customer
Along with the introduction of more Generation Z drivers (think SmartPhones, digital media) and budget-conscience families, next year’s customer will be looking for convenience and a deal. Reynolds said they have noticed, in terms of the 2014 customer, a growing impatience and reluctance to waiting in line. “They are not willing to wait in line as long for a wash. Five years ago it was not uncommon to see seven or eight cars in line at an automatic wash. Now it is not uncommon to see a driver turn around and leave if there three or four cars in line. …People today seem to always be in a hurry and want everything now. We are in a convenience business and we need to our customers to make getting a wash as quick and simple as possible.
Also, McCurdy said he has noticed that more and more operators are looking to implement new marketing approaches, like Groupon and LivingSocial, and such for ways to drive more business their way.