Carwashes and coffee go well together, which is the reason that so many washes have at least some coffee component to their business. In Australia this is particularly true, with cafes being included with many carwashes. Ieva Grimm, senior director of industry education for the National Association of Convenience Stores, gave PC&D tips on how to improve coffee sales at the carwash.

Read also: PC&D Australia Summer issue 

Presentation at your cafe

  • “If you’re going to be in the coffee business, it’s got to be clean,” she said. If the cafe does not look clean enough to eat in, the customers are not going to be willing to buy into a quality experience when it comes to coffee, said Grimm.
  • Avoid clutter in the coffee area, which will detract from your product being seen, said Grimm, and may deter customers from choosing your washes additional profit center.

Finding the right price

  • People are willing to pay a premium price, as long as you’re willing to offer a premium service, according to Grimm.
  • The price you should charge depends on the market, she said. So be mindful of the area you’re in. Is it upscale, with people willing to pay a premium price? Or do your customers just want a decent cup at a fair price?
  • Be aware that offering your coffee for free can be a way to earn customer loyalty, but Grimm said it can also devalue the product you’re giving away, and leave people with the impression your coffee isn’t high quality.

“The biggest advantage is in the carwash environment you have a person there, and they’re waiting,” said Grimm. “You have an idle customer looking," and there's one question she said they're always asking: "How are you going to entertain me?” What's your answer?