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What's in your wash?

October 11, 2010
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After three years of careful planning, Sahara Car Wash ( opened Father’s Day weekend. Working side-by-side with carwash consultant and developer Michael Aldana, owner Suresh Patel invested roughly $1.6 million to cover the cost of construction and leased land property roughly 35,000 sq-ft. in size.

Sahara Car Wash features twin tunnels offering express or full-service carwashing and detailing service. The wash features a DRB auto-pay terminal and gated entry, allowing speedy service for all customers.

A business partnership was forged with Liquid Bean, a coffee shop franchise, offering twin coffee drive thru windows and the chance to increase profit.

The express lane is dedicated to auto-pay terminal and fast pass customers with the other two additional lanes for full-service and one express lane.

The layout also includes a free lane, allowing express customers to exit the wash using the encrypted code on their receipt and re-enter the wash to receive detailing services.

Business advantage
The closest full-service carwash is five miles away, allowing Sahara to take advantage of the 30,000 volume car-count passing by the business daily.

To cater to the business community and keep volume high, carwash hours mimic the coffee drive thru, opening at 5 a.m. and staying open as late as 7 p.m. To cross promote the two businesses, specials include a coffee with the purchase of a carwash and vice versa.

Sahara’s detailing packages are offered in a 80’x 20’ tunnel. Vehicles enter and process through the carwash akin to a stage line process and finish with quality control measures. For each individual stage of the process, there will be one dedicated employee, cutting the average detail time of 3-4 hours to two hours.

Empower employees
The carwash employs a total of 31 employees, including Matt James, the location manager, who oversees the entire operation and assists customers.

Employees are rewarded with revenue tiers, giving them assorted corresponding payout levels. Payout levels are based on the revenue generated by teams or the individual performer, allowing the payout to be a percentage of each dollar value.

All employees at the carwash work in teams of two per department, which promotes the buddy system.

Future plans
Present and future plans include the carwash’s involvement in the community. Sahara Car Wash has plans to participate in various charity programs, silent auctions, and corporate contributions. Charity fundraising will be financially funded by the carwash, requiring no payment for chemicals or services, allowing the charity to reap all rewards.