Sonny’s wrapped up our second Virtual Car Wash Expo on Sept. 23rd. If you had the chance to watch it, you probably learned a thing or two. If you didn’t, you missed a great show. Sessions will be posted in the next week on our website.
As I tell our Car Wash College students, I usually learn as much from them as they do from me. And to no surprise, the Expo was chock-full of things I didn’t know before.
As the host of the Expo’s panel discussions, I had the honor to speak with some of the brightest minds in carwashing and pick their brains on topics like where they see the industry going and what they are doing to keep their washes relevant in a hyper-competitive business climate.
The takeaway from spending time with these folks over the course of the last two days was priceless. Thankfully, the cost to attend the EXPO was free.
The main thing I learned is that no matter what the world throws at us, carwash folks adapt and overcome to make themselves, their teams and their companies stronger.
One of the panelists, Justin Alfred of Benny’s CarWash, has several express wash locations and owns a few flex-serves. When I asked what he’s doing different now than prior to the arrival of the pandemic, he told me that any car paying for interior service gets sanitized before the interior work begins. This free service helps keep his employees safe and offers the customers peace of mind that they are returning to a safe, clean environment. Benny’s is also sanitizing their breakrooms and any common areas frequently throughout the day. These are practices they intend to continue post-pandemic.
After having to close his newly opened wash for the pandemic, panelist Jim Deak worked with his controls company for a touchless payment system. When Jim’s wash reopened, he was able to provide his customers with a safe, no-contact payment option. Mission accomplished!
I learned that as sad as it is that some folks have lost their restaurant or retail businesses, there are new opportunities for carwashes on premium properties not available previously.
I was schooled on ceramics and the increase in average tickets nationwide. Adding ceramics to wash packages has averaged an additional $1.04. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you?
I learned that the smart digital queue is pretty smart. It keeps a random stack in proper order just as easily as in sequential order. That’s impressive!
I also learned that I like learning. An old dog can be taught new tricks. Just yesterday, for example, I taught one of my much younger colleagues how to change his background on a Zoom call. I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying that was for me and how humiliating it was for him.
Having knowledge is great, but sharing knowledge is empowering. Never stop learning, never stop sharing your knowledge, and watch your organization and your people grow.
Bob Fox has over 30 years of industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at [email protected]. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.
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