BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s upcoming issue, regular contributor Chris McKenna discusses two popular wash models in November’s Consultant’s Corner, “A closer look at self-serves and in-bay automatics.”

Space is one of the main reasons new investors or current carwash owners consider launching or adding a self-serve or in-bay automatic (IBA), explains McKenna. “The great thing about these wash types is they are able to fit into areas like small gas stations or corner lots. If you have around 10,000 square feet, installing a self-serve/IBA may cost a fraction of what a tunnel carwash might cost.”

He continues in the article by discussing the potential for profit regarding these wash types. “Depending on time and ability to invest, self-serve and IBA models offer a great return on investment,” says McKenna. “However, the number of washes in your portfolio could limit earning potential. To have a high generator capability in this model, it is important to have several high-performing washes and, of course, the key (as always) is location, location, location.”

In the article, McKenna also offers some of the main features of self-serves and IBAs:

  • Self-serve models are typically set up as in-bay stalls with high-pressure water guns outfitted with the ability to switch from initial prep to soap and even a hot wax application.
  • Most IBAs are also outfitted with their own individual drainage systems at each stall, which feed into a central system.
  • Almost all self-serve carwashes have some type of vacuum setup, which utilizes its own pay system with the option of either tokens and/or quarters.
  • Self-serve carwashes are known for having vending machines on-site; and, with growing popularity, they are now even more prevalent.

Make sure to stay tuned for the November issue for more self-serve and IBA considerations.

Did you miss the October issue, or just want to read through the informative features again? Check it out here.