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2 • FALL 2020

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FALL 2020 • 3


Freeze ........................................... 6

Make sure your security systems are

weatherproofed for the upcoming

winter season

Fill in the Blank ...................... 10

Comments & Polls ................ 12

Small Business New ............. 14

Association Calendar

& News ....................................... 20

Tricks of the Trade ............... 27

Tips .............................................. 34

Innovations ............................... 41

Industry Dirt ............................ 44

Extra! Extra! ............................. 48

Fun & Games .......................... 52

Cover Story ............................... 54

Around the Wash

Self Serve Panel ...................... 64

Darwin ........................................ 67

VOL. 48, NO. 3, FALL 2020

Publisher Jackson Vahaly

Editor Debra Gorgos

Design Katy Barret-Alley

Editor Emeritus Jarret J. Jakubowski

Editor Posthumous Joseph J. Campbell

Editor Posthumous Julia E. Campbell

Self Serve Carwash News is published 4 times

per year and is independently owned by Jackson

Vahaly. Web address is www.sscwn.com.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Self Serve Car Wash News

110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067


Note to Self


Something strange just happened, but before I get to that, I want to express my

excitement over it being the most wonderful time of year! This holiday season brings

such magic to the air, and I am just overjoyed with excitement. And, by holiday, I

mean Halloween, of course! Things will be different this year in that there will be no

school parade, no haunted houses and no parties here in Upstate New York, but we will

survive. Heck, as a kid growing up in the late 70s/early 80s, we didn’t do much for any

holiday—and it certainly wasn’t weeks celebrations and traditions. We watched It’s the

Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and then on Halloween we went trick or treating and

that was it. This year the festivities are a bit toned down, but I am impressed with how

people are coming up with creative ways to celebrate or make money as a business.

Now, let’s get to that aforementioned, “strange something that happened.” As I was

getting ready to sit down and write this column on a crisp and cozy Sunday morning,

as Autumn colors glowed outside and the house smelled of waffles and maple syrup,

I started thinking about what to write about. There’s so much I could fill this column

with, but I needed to narrow it down. And CBS Sunday Morning was playing on the

television as I was contemplating content. Then, as a stroke of bewitchment or sorcery

or just plain coincidence, Jane Pauley, host of CBS Sunday Morning said to stay tuned

for a story about a car wash. Whatwuzdat?! I squinted at the TV? The news segment

was covering a Halloween-themed car wash in Copiague, New York. It was sort of like

when you’re humming a song in your head and then it comes on the radio. Or you’re

talking to a friend about someone random and then bump into that very person. I had

been reading up on these scary-tunnel car washes and had even tried to think of how

a self serve could pull it off. It seemed pretty unlikely… I mean, how scary would it

be to be a customer getting out of their car and getting attacked by zombies hiding in

the corners of the bay? Many self serves have to deal with enough crime or customer

complaints as it is. The CBS Sunday Morning segment did a great job of showing

how car washes, as well as many other businesses, have adapted to this new-but-stilltemporary-normal

to provide Halloween fun with little to no contact. For instance,

an apple orchard here provided a scary drive through haunted field event, etc. And

its not just for Halloween. Many businesses in general across the country have had to

adjust in order to stay “open.” For instance, a mom-and-pop movie theater near our

house has stayed afloat by selling buckets of popcorn out on its curb. I recently read

about a car wash in Columbia, Ohio, which helped out local artists by allowing them to

perform outside the car wash. Described as, “Part art installation, part performance, part

Halloween fun,” for four nights this past October the Wash’n’Glow event charged $20

for a car wash and a glow-in-the-dark performance at the Carriage House Car Wash.

According to Fox 19, half of the fare went to ArtsWave, which supports hundreds of

local arts projects and organizations through grants. Customers were also given free ice

cream donated from UDF and a Halloween gift bag for kids.

Carriage House employee Nicole Christopher told Fox 19 that it’s important

to keep local artists afloat during these tough times. “Art just brings a community

together in ways that nothing else can,” Christopher said.

What a wonderful way to help others out and get some good press at the same time.

In other news, our cover story is all about mobile car wash apps. I am a selfproclaimed

app addict. I am constantly telling people: Did you download the app for

such and such business? I become very animated when a friend has not, yet repeatedly

frequents a business. How can they live with themselves?! All of those reward points

she’s missing out on!??? It’s a no-brainer, I sigh... Some people are just not aware of

the possibilities, or don’t understand how they make everything so much easier. It took

me years to be iPhone savvy — I fought it for a long time. Back when I went to school,

we didn’t have cellphones. Well, that’s not true. A few of the “rich” kids did and they

were the size of a dust buster. My parents bought me a cellphone in 1998, but it was

for emergencies only. It weighed about 15 pounds and looked like something out of a

World War II bunker.

Copyright 2020. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved

4 • FALL 2020

Note to Self


Then I had no phone for

a long time. And didn’t get a

smartphone until I became

a mother. One of the things

I like about it is that I am

one of those people who get

tongued-tied or frazzled when

it comes to ordering food whether at a counter or in a drive-thru. I also

have a food allergy and feel as if I have to make sure, then make sure

again that no dairy will be added. With the apps, I get to order ahead

and sail on thru and there is no miscommunication. Plus, you just cannot

beat the perks that come with frequent visits (every birthday, I go all

day picking up freebies – if you want my master list of chain birthday

freebies, email me at debrag@sscwn.com). Is this something you offer

your customers? If not, is it something you’re considering?

Along with the cover story, this is another jam-packed issue, and

I hope you all enjoy it. And, now that we are soon heading into the

holiday that is all about giving thanks, whether or not you’re able to

celebrate with family, or having a nice small dinner for yourself, please

know that I am grateful for all of you.

Until next time,


P.S. My kids are getting pretty bored. I am getting

bored. Heck, even my dog seems bored, but the state of

New York is still being extra careful. So, I went out and

did something completely spontaneous. That’s right,

I adopted a kitten. So, here she is, our 2-month old

kitten from the Humane Society. I know the world, and

especially our country is filled with tension, sad news,

sad people, and uncertain circumstances, so hopefully

this will put a smile on your face.


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SSCWN2019.indd 1

FALL 4/15/192020 9:05 • AM5


Make sure your

security systems

are weatherproofed

for the upcoming

winter season

The season of thanks and giving and joy and peace doesn’t

necessarily halt criminals. Nor does the colder weather. In

fact, some theorize that crime rates go up during the holidays

due to depressed or cash-strapped robbers. Whatever the case

may be, it’s important to know that the colder weather can impact

security systems if you’re not on top of the maintenance needed and also

equipped with systems that can withstand snow, sleet, wind… you get the idea.

Thankfully, Jennifer Spears is here to help. Spears is not only a sales manager for

CarWashCameras.com, but she is also a car wash owner. Read on to find out what you need to stay secure,

and what you need to do to weatherproof your set-up and security system for the upcoming colder months.


Are there elements

of the Fall and Winter

seasons that could

impact self serve car

wash security systems?

JENNIFER SPEARS: Tons of elements could impact

self-serve car wash security systems during the fall

and winter seasons. Let’s start with maintenance.

Everything at the wash, no matter what part of

the country it’s located in, needs general maintenance

all the time, especially during the colder

months. No different with cameras and your security

system is incredibly important to maintain.

Rain, sleet, ice and snow can completely obliterate

views from cameras. Check your cameras often to

make sure nothing is impeding their views. Piles of

snow sliding off a roof, icicles, sleet freezing a PTZ

camera in place are just a few of the many things

that can affect your cameras’ ability to do its job.

Using a product like Rain-X can help more than

you think. Having the moisture bead off the camera

plexi as fast as possible can mean the difference

between catching the two guys who just ripped

out your pay station or you’re viewing nothing but

the snow-pocalypse! You’ll also want to make sure

your cables aren’t being weighed down by weather

events either. Ice gets heavy quick! Installing cameras

that can handle extreme cold temps is a must

for almost every wash. Most of them don’t require

full heaters anymore and the right camera housing

for the right location can keep itself insulated from

the cold without pulling tons more power.

Fogging of cameras can also be an issue operators

face when the weather starts changing. Weatherproof

cameras with good gaskets and seals can save

a ton of hassle each year.

Choose cameras that are made for the car wash

environment in any weather!

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FALL 2020 • 7




Do you have a funny

story from the bay?

Maybe an inspiring

tale from the wash?

Try something

new that worked well?

“You won’t believe what this

Darwin did at my wash…”

“The best decision I ever made

for my business was…”

“On rainy days, I like to…”

Reach out to Editor Debra Gorgos

debgorgos@gmail.com to share

your story with our readers.



What do car wash owners

need to do to prepare

for the harsher weather?

JENNIFER SPEARS: If you get the right surveillance

system to start with the amount of things car

wash owners need to do to prepare for the harsher

weather goes down substantially. Get the right

cameras that can…

• Withstand extremes in temperature,;

• Handle the moisture car washes

throw at them, along with moisture

from mother nature;

• Keep working for years with no issues,;

• Be accessed remotely from anywhere,

from any device, with no monthly fees; and

• More importantly, come with a lifetime

of free tech support so that any

questions you have can be answered

by a friendly voice ready to walk

you through anything you need.


What kind of upkeep

is involved for these

types of security systems?

JENNIFER SPEARS: The kind of upkeep involved in

maintaining a camera system in the colder months

is actually pretty simple as long as you’ve been following

the needed steps on a regular basis throughout

the entire year. Simply, use the system and familiarize

yourself with it when it’s installed and use

it often. Make sure all the camera feeds are working

and your system is recording how you want it to.

Make sure there isn’t a huge amount of noise pulling

into the camera feeds because this can damage

your recorder. Make sure your cameras are securely

mounted and high enough and out of reach so

that you don’t have to deal with grabby hands along

with the blizzard that’s on the way. Make sure all

of your cabling is secure and protected. Check your

cameras to make sure they’re still pointing where

they need to be. A super quick checklist of items

to run through every week is so much faster than

everything having to come to a screeching halt if a

recorder stopped recording four months ago when

a hard drive failed and you never knew because you

never checked. The last thing you want to know is

you have no footage of someone having a slip and

fall on ice in front of the changers the night before.

Recorders and cameras are electronic equipment,

and just like all the rest they need to be looked after

routinely for optimal performance.


Unfortunately, reports have

been coming in that criminal

activity is up in areas due to

political tensions, civil rights

issues and, of course, Covid-19.

What advice do you have for car

wash owners in terms of being

extra vigilant about protecting

their properties?

JENNIFER SPEARS: Here are a few quick tips to car

wash owners in terms of protecting your properties

as well as your piece of mind.

• Be present. When you’re at the wash, talk

to your customers. Be engaging with them.

Criminals like anonymity just as much as the

next thief. They tend to stick with nameless,

faceless properties to burgle. Don’t be the

property they’re looking for.

• Go to the wash at different times. I know

this might not work for everyone but if at all

possible go on different days, at different

times, for different reasons so you can be all

over the property anytime or all the time. If

criminals are watching your property they’re

trying to figure out when the best day and

time is to break in. Don’t make it easy for

them. If you pull all the money out of your

washes every Saturday morning at 10 a.m.,

if someone else is watching, you’ll get hit

Saturday morning at 2 a.m. Switch things up

and then switch things up again.

• Last but certainly not least, choose to install

cameras that can stop an issue before it’s

an actual issue. Yes, cameras are there to

capture video of people doing nefarious

things, but the true purpose of a surveillance

system is to stop crimes before they happen.

Thieves like easy, unmanned, lucrative

businesses. You want to put cameras up that

look like cameras. You want the equipment

to be obvious so when a couple of guys roll

up ready to string your changer, steal your

pay station or break into your vacs, they

stop when they see the cameras. Hidden

cameras are great when you want to find

out who’s been eating your peanut butter

crackers out of the breakroom, but for the

car wash you want your cameras to have a

well-known presence. You want vandals to

drive up, see the cameras, and drive away.

Yes, camera systems are there to protect

you, your customers, your property and your

investment if things go badly. But they’re

even more valuable if they can stop an

incident before it even starts.

8 • FALL 2020

The article contributor is Jennifer Spears, carwash owner and sales manager with CarWashCameras.com. With more than 20 years

of experience working with car washes and more than 10000 camera systems under her belt she’s seen it all. Her favorite phrases

when it comes to cameras at any type of vehicle facility? “There are never enough cameras!” & “You need another hard drive with

that?” She welcomes comments and questions and can be reached at 866-301-2288 and jennifer@carwashcameras.com.

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FALL 2020 • 9



If you would like to contribute your own answer,

visit AutoCareForum.com and do a keyword search of “fill in the blank.”


DURING THE YEAR OF 2020 HAS BEEN ___________

...Excellent. - MEP001

What he said. - KleanRide

...a bit of a roller coaster. Depending upon the current

state of Covid-19 in Victoria, Australia, the customers

at the carwash have been up and down. Carwashes in

our major city (Melbourne) are not allowed to open at all

currently, and I REALLY feel for them. So overall, our year

will be ok, but it’s certainly had its challenges. - Greg_T

...a nightmare trying to repair, get parts, and help -


...This year has been absolutely phenomenal, revenue

way up, no problem getting parts or supplies. Labor was

a little touch and go but we found a new guy to do the

daily cleanup. We didn’t lose a day of business because

of the pandemic. So I’d have to say life is good. - Randy

...Amazing. - water guy

...Fantastic. Blessed. - Bert79

...Extraordinary. - soapy

... thankfully a year when the price of gas & diesel

has remained relatively low & the weather has been

reasonably self service car wash friendly!

We have also noticed as inflation creeps upward .... $5

bills & higher in our in bay bill validators are increasing

from the previous proportions in relation to $1 bills. If we

could just find a way ... to make it less likely paper bills

get wet or damp ... making them not functional in bill

acceptors... - mjwalsh

...Exhausting and mentally draining! - washnvac

...Very challenging to say the least, but hey, we still have

a couple of months left, let’s step on the gas and see

what happens! - DiamondWash

...better than owning a restaurant.

- Wash4Life

...My rural self serve has seen no drop in revenue,

supplies are delivered on time. Hunting season is

here so lots of out-of-staters dealing with

snow, ice and mud. Good year to

be in business. - swampdonkey

... better than owning a full service restaurant

or barber shop! - Dan-Ark

...Yes - I think this comment nailed it. Some of us may

have great numbers this year - maybe even better than

ever, some of us might be down from previous years.

Maybe it had to do with the pandemic, maybe it didn’t.

But if there is a restaurant forum out there and someone

posted this question - probably very few owners would

have seen their business holding steady let alone

increasing or being a banner year. I’ve seen some

national stats for the amount of restaurants that have

closed/will close and not be able to reopen. Don’t know

what the stats would be for car washes closing this

year, but doubt that we have the numbers the restaurant

owners are experiencing. - Washnshine

... Judging by how well most car washes here are

doing, I’m sure any car washes that have closed “due to

COVID-19” were going to anyway. - MEP001



...The customer turns the rotary switch to “SOAP”,

grabs the FOAM BRUSH and complains to me, “Hey

Lady, this thing is broken - NO SOAP!” when they see

NO foamy soap coming out of the brush. Meanwhile,

white HP Soap is spraying out of the HP gun! :O I’m

seeing this more often with the younger generation of

new customers. - Kimerly Berg

...I decided to do a deep cleaning of a Hamilton dual

changer. Had the entire guts removed to clean the

cabinet. My head was fully in the cabinet when a

customer lifted the metal flap to insert a bill. I looked up

and her face was inches from the bill insert window. She

inserted a bill and I dropped the coins into the cup. The

look on her face was priceless. She probably still thinks

there’s a man in there giving change. - mac

...I put a cone in front of one of my self service bays

so I could replace a couple fittings in the equipment

room. Just as I was going to remove a connection the

bay pump turned on. I walked out to see a young man

washing his pickup. I said, “Hey, you ran over my cone

that I had blocking this bay so I could do some repairs.”

He replied, “No, I moved it out of the way, this bay is a

coin op - it’s always open.” Turned power off every time

since then when working on a bay. - Kentadel

10 • FALL 2020

...The worst one was when I had just gotten to the

wash to shut it down because of a water emergency.

I had a cop on the phone threatening me to get it shut

down and was doing my best. I had a cone in front of

every bay and was about to shut off the breakers, and

heard a pump start. Went and looked, and the entitled

?!@#$%^& had just gone around the back and pulled

in. I told him we were closed because of the water

emergency, he just had a dark look and said, “I need to

wash my car.” I told him he can’t, and that was why the

bay was coned off. His genius reply: “Well you need to

put a cone at both ends!” - MEP001

...I now park in the bay with a vehicle. Last time I was

cleaning pits with the tractor I had it blocked off with

cones in the front and was exiting the back with the

tractor bucket full of mud. A guy in a Subaru waited until

I had backed out and headed over to dump the mud in

a trailer. He drove around the cone and almost ended

up in the pit since the grates were removed. Sorry to

generalize but around here Subaru owners are pretty

much like that. He had been watching me for a few

minutes and decided if he could get around the cone

then the bay should be his to use.

...Last Friday night I got a call after 6 pm from a lady

who had put .25 cents short of the startup price and did

not have any more money. Left a message that I had

better come down right away and give her the $2.75

back since it was a lot of money to her ...... I never got

the message until the next morning but would not have

spent an hour of my night driving down to the wash

and back for this immediate refund. I did call the next

morning and said no problem giving her money back

and I would meet her at 9:30 am at the wash. She never

showed up. - Soapy

...Yesterday I saw a guy washing his car with the carpet

shampooer on my fragramatic combo vac. He had

carpet shampoo from front to back. - Jim64

...Talking about customers removing the cones: I put

two cones in front of my automatic and went to town

to get some spare parts. On the way back a customer

called and said he put money into the machine and it

didn’t work. I just arrived at the carwash and of course

the cones were put aside. I went to him and apologized

sincerely. “I am sooo sorry. I don’t know what to say...

we’ve closed that automatic but some idiot must have

removed the cones. I am so sorry. Please let me get you

your refund and I’ll have a quick look on the cameras

{to see] who that idiot was. I mean: who in their right

mind would remove safety cones in front of a carwash


Needless to say that when I came back with his

money the customer had already left. -


Perfect for:

• Convenience stores

• Car washes

• Municipalities

• Taxi fleets

• Rental fleets

• School districts

• Golf carts

• Shopping carts

• Police cars

• Car pools

• Shuttle buses

• Car dealers

The details:

• Profitable, $5 suggested vend price

• Fast, effective coverage. Dispenses 4 to 5 ft

plume at one ounce per minute.

• Treats largest SUV’s quickly. Recommended

vend time, three minutes.

• Kills viruses, including COVID-19, bacteria and

fungus with an EPA/FDA approved product.

• Stainless steel cabinet – 14” x 22” x 20” H, 85

lbs., 15 ft wire braid dispensing hose, 2 gallon

capacity,110V 15 amp


• Push button

• Coin/token/credit card

• Credit card only

• 42”, 64” or 84” Pedestal



Call Steve at 800-643-1574,

Mobile - 501-554-6129


3021 S. Midland Drive • Pine Bluff AR 71603 • 800-643-1574 • 870-535-5777

Email: sales@fragramatics.com • www.fragramatics.com

FALL 2020 • 11


“No, but it’s coming. My IBA income is almost 90% card”

“No, but installed coinless at both locations to help”

“I’m seriously considering going all all cashless. Picking up the

coins from the vaults and vacuums, counting the coins and the

cash and going to the bank is a [pain]! I think it might be a long

process to get the public used to not having coins or cash. It’s

just a matter of time before cash will be a thing of the past.”

“We operate 2 small SS car washes, one of which also has an

IBA. We sell tokens at both. The smaller one takes bills on all the

equipment. the larger one requires our customers with bills to use

the token machine. All machines also take quarters. Even though

we don’t sell quarters at either wash. still about 50% of our

incoming revenue is in quarters....people bring them from home

or I guess buy them at our competitors. I don’t think self serve

will ever be totally cashless.... Our IBAs are over 50% credit,

most of the rest is bills but the coin hopper for change seems to

be getting more quarters than it dispenses too.... hard to imagine

someone stuffing 5 or 6 dollars in quarters in,.. but they do.”

“Australians love credit cards, and generally cash use is on

the decline. But our wash still only has 30-40% credit cards

payments, growing slowly but steadily. I expect that over time the

credit card % will get higher and higher.”


We are


cashless at

our self serve

Do you have

a standalone

website for

your car wash

(not one via Facebook, etc.)?



Yes: 0%



*This unscientific poll was conducted via the carwashforum.com.



12 • FALL 2020


Shop online or call today for your free printed catalog!

We have what you need,

when you need it!



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Applies to Continental U.S. ground shipments only.

FALL 2020 • 13




Covering everything

from SBA loans to OSHA

regulations to disaster relief.

SBA and Treasury

Announce Simpler PPP

Forgiveness for Loans

of $50,000 or Less

On October 8, 2020, the following press release

was made public:

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation

with the Treasury Department, today

released a simpler loan forgiveness application

for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of

$50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness

process to provide financial and administrative

relief to America’s smallest businesses while

also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

“The PPP has provided 5.2 million loans worth

$525 billion to American small businesses, providing

critical economic relief and supporting

more than 51 million jobs,” said Secretary Steven

T. Mnuchin. “Today’s action streamlines the forgiveness

process for PPP borrowers with loans of

$50,000 or less and thousands of PPP lenders who

worked around the clock to process loans quickly,”

he continued. “We are committed to making the

PPP forgiveness process as simple as possible while

also protecting against fraud and misuse of funds.

We continue to favor additional legislation to further

simplify the forgiveness process.”

“Nothing will stop the Trump Administration

from supporting great American businesses and our

great American workers. The Paycheck Protection

Program has been an overwhelming success and

served as a historic lifeline to America’s hurting

small businesses and tens of millions of workers.

The new form introduced today demonstrates our

relentless commitment to using every tool in our

toolbelt to help small businesses and the banks that

have participated in this program,” said Administrator

Jovita Carranza. “We are continuing to ensure

that small businesses are supported as they recover.”

SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on

PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness

applications more swiftly.

SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications

and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP

lenders for PPP borrowers on October 2, 2020.

SBA will continue to process all PPP forgiveness

applications in an expeditious manner.

According a Forbes article written by Neil Hare,

who is an attorney with the law firm McCarthy

Wilson LLP, and the president of Global Vision

Communications, an agency specializing in strategic

communications, marketing, and advertising

for trade associations, nonprofits, coalitions, and

corporations, this press release is in the wake of

the failed effort to sign a new stimulus package

into law, the Small Business Administration (SBA)

along with the Treasury Department. “While this

latest Interim Final Rule addressing the PPP loans

created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic

Security Act (or CARES Act) will still require

borrowers to provide documentation, such as

a payroll provider report, it offers a new, simplified

form and a “check the box” process for forgiveness.

Borrowers can use new SBA Form 3508S for their

application or wait for their lender to update their

online application portals,” according to Forbes.

The new rules also remove the need to show

that the borrower did not reduce head count or

salaries and, therefore, suffer a reduction in loan

forgiveness, the article stated. “Previous regulations

outlined that if an employer reduced salaries

by over 25%, the amount over 25% would not

be forgivable. Borrowers would also have to document

that if they did furlough employees, they

tried in good faith to rehire them or couldn’t hire

similarly qualified individuals, or also be subject to

an unforgiven portion of their PPP funds.”

■ Why a $50,000 limit?

According to the same Forbes article, Hare

writes that the SBA rationale to remove these

requirements for loans of $50,000 or less is that

almost all borrowers in this loan amount category

are sole proprietors, independent contractors, or

employers with one employee.

The SBA stated as follows:

Within this population of potentially affected

loans, SBA believes that most borrowers

would not be affected by the loan forgiveness

reduction requirements because (1) the

borrowers did not reduce FTE employees or

reduce employee salaries or wages, or (2) the

borrowers would qualify for one of the existing

exemptions from loan forgiveness amount

reductions. Excluding such borrowers, the

aggregate dollar amount of PPP funds affected

by these exemptions relative to the aggregate

dollar amount of all PPP funds is de minimis.

The SBA issued some data points to further

justify its analysis that removing these borrowers

from the requirements regarding the need to

keep head count and salaries at close to pre-

COVID levels in order to receive full forgiveness

is de minimus, Forbes reported. According to

the SBA, there are 3.57 million outstanding PPP

loans of $50,000 or less out of the 5.2 million

issued, totaling approximately $62 billion of the

$525 billion in PPP loans. Approximately 1.7 million

PPP loans of $50,000 or less were made to

businesses reporting zero employees other than

the owner, or one employee.

Should businesses file now for forgiveness?

Since the PPP covered period is now 24 weeks,

most businesses should easily qualify for full forgiveness,

according to the article. While the rules

dictate that 60% of the PPP funds must be used

on payroll, and 40% on expenses such as rent, utilities,

mortgages, and loan interest, it is advisable

and easier to document if all the funds are used

on payroll if possible. If borrowers can do so, the

conservative approach would be to not take the

deductions and assume full forgiveness.

However, Hare writes that if borrowers want to

hold onto cash, or have concerns about forgiveness,

they can still take the deductions now. This is

a business decision borrowers should make in consultation

with their accountant, lawyer, and lender.

Either way, for most borrowers of smaller loans,

14 • FALL 2020

FALL 2020 • 15


especially those with loans of $50,000 or less, applications

for forgiveness should be filed sooner

rather than later.

■ U.S. Department of Labor Acts

has found over $1.2M

in coronavirus violations

In an October press release, the U.S. Department

of Labor’s OSHA announced $1,222,156

in coronavirus violations have taken place since

the start of the pandemic up until Oct. 8, 202.

OSHA has cited 85 establishments for violations

relating to coronavirus.

The press release also stated that OSHA inspections

have resulted in the agency citing employers

for violations, including failures to:

• Implement a written respiratory

protection program;

• Provide a medical evaluation, respirator

fit test, training on the proper use of

a respirator and personal protective


• Report an injury, illness or fatality;

• Record an injury or illness on

OSHA recordkeeping forms; and

• Comply with the General Duty Clause of the

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

What About Natural


From Hurricane Sally to the horrible wildfires

destroying areas throughout the country, there is

financial aid available if you have been affected.

■ Business Physical Disaster Loans

If you are in a declared disaster area and have

experienced damage to your business, you may

be eligible for financial assistance from the SBA.

Presidential & SBA Agency Declared Disasters

States Affected Incident Incident Period

Louisiana Hurricane Delta 10/6/2020 through 10/10/2020

Florida Hurricane Sally 9/14/2020 through 9/28/2020

Alabama Hurricane Sally 9/14/2020 through 9/16/2020

Oregon Wildfires and Straight-line Winds 9/7/2020 and continuing

California Wildfires 9/4/2020 and continuing

Colorado Grizzly Creek Fire 8/10/2020 and continuing

Businesses of any size and most private nonprofit

organizations may apply to the SBA for a loan to

recover after a disaster.

■ Loan Amounts and Use

SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2

million to qualified businesses or most private

nonprofit organizations. These loan proceeds may

be used for the repair or replacement of the following:

• Real property

• Machinery

• Equipment

• Fixtures

• Inventory

• Leasehold improvements

The SBA Business Physical Disaster Loan covers

disaster losses not fully covered by insurance.

If you are required to apply insurance proceeds to

an outstanding mortgage on the damaged property,

you can include that amount in your disaster

loan application.

If you make improvements that help reduce

the risk of future property damage caused by a

similar disaster, you may be eligible for up to a

20 percent loan amount increase above the real

estate damage, as verified by the SBA.

You may not use the disaster loan to upgrade or

expand a business, except as required by building


■ Eligibility and Terms

A business of any size or most private nonprofit

organizations that are located in a declared

disaster area and have incurred damage

during the disaster, may apply for a loan to help

replace damaged property or restore its pre-disaster


The interest rate will not exceed 4 percent if

you cannot obtain credit elsewhere. For businesses

and nonprofit organizations with credit available

elsewhere, the interest rate will not exceed 8

percent. SBA determines whether the applicant

has credit available elsewhere. Repayment terms

can be up to 30 years, depending on your ability

to repay the loan.

■ How to Apply

You can apply online for an SBA disaster assistance

loan. SBA will send an inspector to estimate

the cost of your damage once you have

completed and returned your loan application.

You must submit the completed loan application

and a signed and dated IRS Form 4506-

T giving permission for the IRS to provide SBA

your tax return information.

SBA Inspector General addresses investigations, oversight and regulations

On October 1, 2020, Hannibal “Mike” Ware, Inspector

General of the SBA spoke at the hearing

titled, “Preventing Fraud and Abuse of PPP and

EIDL: An Update with the SBA Office of Inspector

General (OIG) and Government Accountability


Here is part of his statement:

I am proud of the dedication and hard work of the

men and women of OIG to not only prevent fraud in

these programs, but also to detect, deter, and combat

fraud. OIG provides auditing, investigative, and other

services to support and assist SBA in achieving its mission.

As a result of its oversight efforts, OIG provides

dozens of recommendations each year to SBA leadership

aimed at improving the integrity, accountability,

and performance of SBA and its programs for the benefit

of the American people. Similarly, OIG’s investigative

efforts result in dozens of convictions and indictments

as we aggressively pursue evidence of fraud in

SBA’s programs. In doing so, OIG provides taxpayers

with a significant return on investment as it roots out

fraud, waste, and abuse in SBA programs. During fiscal

year (FY) 2019, OIG achieved $111.0 million in

monetary recoveries and savings—a fivefold return on

investment to the taxpayers. The monetary recoveries

and savings for all of FY 2020 are anticipated to be

exponential to OIG’s base operating costs.

SBA was given a tremendous role in the nation’s

response to mitigate the economic impact of social distancing

and other negative effects of the COVID-19


…SBA is exercising over a trillion dollars in lending

authority and entrepreneurial assistance as part of the

Government’s pandemic response. OIG currently is

charged with providing oversight of this unprecedented

amount of SBA lending authority. OIG also is providing

oversight of billions in subsidy loan payments

and hundreds of millions of dollars in entrepreneurial

development efforts by SBA

… OIG currently is charged with providing oversight

of an unprecedented amount of SBA lending

authority—over a trillion dollars. The oversight challenges

of SBA’s pandemic response efforts are continuing

to evolve with the hundreds of fraud cases, tens of

thousands of allegations of wrongdoing being received

by OIG’s Hotline, and concerns surrounding internal

controls mounting based on our review findings. We

will continue our efforts to keep the Administrator and

this Congress currently and fully informed of our findings.

Nothing short of the public trust is at stake, as

well as the vitality of the nation’s economy.

16 • FALL 2020

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FALL 2020 • 17


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18 • FALL 2020




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FALL 2020 • 19

Association News

International Carwash Association

The ICA announced new dates for The Car Wash

Show️ 2021.The event will remain in the North Hall

of the Las Vegas Convention Center but will move to

show dates of 15-17 November 2021. The Westgate

and Renaissance will remain the host hotels.

“The car wash business has proven to be incredibly

resilient in 2020 and remains in growth mode despite

the Covid-19 related challenges facing other industries,”

stated ICA CEO Eric Wulf. “Our expectations for the

business remain exceptionally positive as we look ahead

to 2021. Yet, as it pertains to industry gatherings, the

conditions unfortunately remain challenging.”

“We believe that this later show date will increase

our ability to again deliver a world-class event for our

attendees and exhibitors,” said ICA Chief Experience

Officer Kim Vinciguerra. “It is essential that we deliver

an opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect in

2021, particularly after the cancellation of this year’s

event and other car wash industry gatherings. We expect

tremendous energy for the return of The Car Wash

Show, and look forward to working closely with our exhibitors

and association partners to deliver an outstanding


The Car Wash Show is the world’s largest gathering

of car wash professionals and one of the largest

exhibitions in North America. The event features approximately

160,000 square feet of products and services

and nearly 100 hours of educational programming

and networking opportunities for more than 9,000 attendees

from around the world. The Car Wash Show

is produced by the International Carwash Association

in collaboration with the Automotive Oil Change Association,

Western Carwash Association and Midwest

Carwash Association. International editions include Car

Wash Show Australia️, Car Wash Show China️ and

Car Wash Show Europe️.

Southwest Car Wash Association

The Southwest Car Wash Association announced

that Steve Forbes, Chairman of the

Forbes media empire will be the 2021 keynote

speaker for EXPERIENCE SCWA 2021 Annual

Convention & Car Wash EXPO which

will take place February 17-19, 2021, in Texas

at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Forbes’s newest project is the podcast

“What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s

top newsmakers, politicians and pioneers in

business and economics in honest conversations meant

to challenge traditional conventions as well as featuring

Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society,

economics and policy, a press release reported.

Steve helped create the recently released and

highly acclaimed public television documentary, In

Money We Trust? The film was inspired by the book

he co-authored, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar

Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can

Do About It.

Steve’s latest book is Reviving America: How Repealing

Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming

The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity co-authored

by Elizabeth Ames (McGraw-Hill Professional).

Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under

the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected

economic prognosticator, he is the only writer

to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award

four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel

Corporation to the financial journalist

whose economic forecasts for the coming

year proved most accurate.

In 1985 he was appointed by President

Ronald Reagan to head the Board for

International Broadcasting, which oversaw

Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe,

and he was reappointed to the position by

President George H.W. Bush. In 1993,

with Jack Kemp, a former congressman

and fellow proponent of free-market economics, he

founded Empower America, a group advocating socalled

supply-side policies, including low taxes and

deregulation, as the best means of stimulating growth.

In both 1996 and 2000, Steve campaigned vigorously

for the Republican nomination for the Presidency.

Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts,

a new Social Security system for working Americans,

parental choice of schools for their children, term

limits and a strong national defense. Steve continues to

energetically promote this agenda.

According to the SCWA, the focus of the 2021

Convention & EXPO is simple: Providing you with

proven, time tested strategies, techniques and products

to improve your business. The SCWA also stated

it takes the health and well-being of its attendees very

seriously, therefore the capacity of food and education

events may be limited to adhere to CDC or Convention

Center guidelines.

Australian Car Wash Association

The ACWA has started a social media campaign

in an effort to open car wash businesses in Melbourne

that have been closed since the outbreak of Covid-19.

The images below are part of the social media

campaign. “There are a series of messages like the ones

below, “ states the ACWA in a message to car wash operators.

“...and if you would like to join the fight, let us

know and we will send you the images.”

20 • FALL 2020





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FALL 2020 • 21

Association News

Southwest Car Wash Association

The Southwest Car Wash Association announced

that Steve Forbes, Chairman of the

Forbes media empire will be the 2021 keynote

speaker for EXPERIENCE SCWA 2021 Annual

Convention & Car Wash EXPO which will take

place February 17-19, 2021, in Texas at the Fort

Worth Convention Center.

Forbes’s newest project is the podcast “What’s

Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers,

politicians and pioneers in business and

economics in honest conversations meant to challenge

traditional conventions as well as featuring

Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society,

economics and policy, a press release reported.

Steve helped create the recently released and

highly acclaimed public television documentary,

In Money We Trust? The film was inspired by

the book he co-authored, Money: How the Destruction

of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy –

and What We Can Do About It.

Steve’s latest book is Reviving America: How

Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code

and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and

Prosperity co-authored by Elizabeth Ames (Mc-

Graw-Hill Professional).

Steve writes editorials for each issue

of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.”

A widely respected economic prognosticator,

he is the only writer to have won the highly

prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The

prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation

to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts

for the coming year proved most accurate.

In 1985 he was appointed by President Ronald

Reagan to head the Board for International Broadcasting,

which oversaw Radio Liberty and Radio

Free Europe, and he was reappointed to the position

by President George H.W. Bush. In 1993,

with Jack Kemp, a former congressman and fellow

proponent of free-market economics, he founded

Empower America, a group advocating so-called

supply-side policies, including low taxes and deregulation,

as the best means of stimulating growth.

In both 1996 and 2000, Steve campaigned vigorously

for the Republican nomination for the Presidency.

Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings

accounts, a new Social Security system for working

Americans, parental choice of schools for their children,

term limits and a strong national defense. Steve

continues to energetically promote this agenda.

According to the SCWA, the focus of the

2021 Convention & EXPO is simple: Providing

you with proven, time tested strategies, techniques

and products to improve your business. The SCWA

also stated it takes the health and well-being of its

attendees very seriously, therefore the capacity of

food and education events may be limited to adhere

to CDC or Convention Center guidelines.

Western Carwash Association

The State of California has mandated employees

and supervisors must be trained by December

31, 2020 through a qualifying harassment compliance

training program. The WCA is offering a

training program through its virtual Harassment

Training Program.

Due to new laws, this instruction must be aimed

at the prevention of sexual harassment, abusive

conduct, and harassment based on gender in the

workplace, and should educate staff on the remedies

available to victims. Under state law, the

training must be developed by qualified attorneys,

professors, or harassment prevention consultants,

with at least two years in FEHA or Title VII employment

law. The course needs to meet a twohour

and one-hour minimum for supervisors and

non-supervisors, respectively. WCA has partnered

with Impact Compliance Training to offer courses

that are developed and supported by subject matter

experts and attorneys with decades of experience

in FEHA and Title VII law.


• Proactive Compliance Monitoring: Realtime

legal updates

• Engaging Content: Edutainment

Instructional Design that drives knowledge

transfer with real professional actors and

scriptwriters co-developed with the worldrenowned

Workplace Training Network.

Edgy, impactful and designed to get the

point across of how important preventing

harassment and discrimination in the


• Customized Completed Answer

Report: Downloadable report for each

attendee that completes their training

showing how they answered all questions


• Mobile Device Responsive: Courses

are built in HTML-5 and can be used on any

smartphone, tablet, laptop, mac, or PC.

• Meets CA Interactive Training

Requirements: Ability to ask subject matter

experts (ours or yours) questions about the

course and get a response back and provide

feedback through our end of course survey to

meet the interactive training mandates.

In other WCA news, and in support of its

mission to make local and regional connections

and promote the car wash industry to the public,

the WCA Board of Directors has announced

the launch of the association’s charity arm, WCA

Shines: Washing Our Way to a Better Tomorrow,

a press release stated.

“The car wash community is much more than

just businesses washing vehicles. Car wash owners

are actively involved in their local communities

and many of them are supporters of a variety of

nonprofits and charities,” said Marla Mayer, President

of WCA.

A key component of WCA Shines is a partnership

with Wash Away Thirst, a community of

professional car washes, vendors, and clean car enthusiasts

joining together to raise money to bring

access to clean drinking water to communities

throughout the world.

WCA’s partnership will include financial support

of Wash Away Thirst’s mission through a variety

of fundraising efforts and will include opportunities

for WCA members to get involved.


Car Wash


Details for the SECWA American

Car Wash Expo have been released

and the 2021 Expo will take place on

September 27-29, 2021, in Atlanta,


The three-day event will take

place at the Georgia World Convention

Center and the host hotel is

the Omni Atlanta Hotel at the CNN

Convention Center. The Welcome

Reception will take place

at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Wash Away Thirst was founded in 2009 and has

since raised over $70,000. All administrative costs

are absorbed, allowing 100% of donations to go

directly to clean water projects. There are approximately

663 million people in the world who don’t

have access to clean water – that’s nearly one in 10

people worldwide, or twice the population of the

United States.

“Wash Away Thirst is excited and thankful to

partner with WCA. WCA has always been one of

the strongest and most respected car wash organizations

and we are very grateful they have decided

to partner with us to help bring clean water

to people who need it and help shape the future

vision of Wash Away Thirst,” stated Jim Dudley,

founder of both Wash Away Thirst and Georgia’s

Wash Me Fast car washes.

22 • FALL 2020

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FALL 2020 • 23

Association News

New England Carwash Association

According to a letter from NECA President

Mathew Paisner and Vice President Patrick

Mosesso the NECA Lobbying committee and

The Public Policy Law Group had a meeting with

the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Karen

Polito, on September 29, 2020. The discussion was

directly related to whether car washes were going

to be classified as “Essential” if Massachusetts were

to return to business closures statewide due to resurgence

of the COVID-19 virus.

We are pleased to share that our lobbyists together

with NECA demonstrated to Governor Baker’s administration

our position on why the car wash industry

should remain open during COVID-19. We

were successful in lobbying for car washes to open

under Phase 1 – Part 1 with only 3 other industries.

This was made possible through the generosity of

NECA members and many hours of phone calls,

letters, presentations, and documentation compiled

by our committee led by NECA President, Mathew


During our recent meeting, Lieutenant Governor

Polito discussed the Administration’s evolving policies

based on the scientific data as they continue to

open Massachusetts for business. The Governor’s

office has transitioned from an industry-focused

approach (i.e. Essential vs Non-essential) to a community

focused approach, using their color-coded

map data which shows weekly reporting of COVID

risk levels by city/town. The new approach requires

any Massachusetts community classified in the

“red” risk level for 3 consecutive weeks to take a

step back in the reopening phases. Right now, every

community is in either Phase 3 - Part 1 or Part

2 depending on risk level. This means a community

would need to show over 3 months of consecutive

weekly “red” reporting to step back to Phase 1-Part

1 where car washes first reopened. The Lieutenant

Governor assured NECA that a return to Phase 1 is

unlikely and there have been no discussions on that

scenario. As we continue conversations at the State

level, our lobbyists believe the new approach ensures

Massachusetts car washes will remain open.

NECA urges all operators to continue being vigilant

with the required safety measures of PPE (i.e.

masks) for all employees where applicable and

regular disinfecting activities until this pandemic

is over. The Lieutenant Governor is thankful for the

information NECA provided and recognizes both

the critical service our car washes provide to first

responders and the important role our industry has

played to reduce virus spread.

New York State Car

Wash Association

The NYSCWA recently announced a new law stating that all private employers

must provide at least 40 hours of sick leave each year to all their

workers, including part-timers. The NYSCWA included a link to a story by Rick

Moriarty of Syracuse.com that stated:

The sick leave requirement, modeled after one in place in New York City since

2014, guarantees for the first time that the vast majority of workers in the

state have the right to paid sick time when they or a family member is ill. It

also prohibits employers from firing workers for taking sick time.

Many employers in New York provide sick time for full-time employees, but

part-time workers are much less likely to receive the benefit.

The Community Service Society, a New York City organization that advocates

for low-income New Yorkers, estimates that the new law will benefit 1.3 million

workers — many of them low-wage, part-time employees — who are not

now provided sick time by their employers.

…Anyone working for a private employer in New York will be entitled to begin

accruing sick leave time starting Sept. 30, 2020, for use starting Jan. 1, 2021.

Private employers are required to provide up to 40 hours or 56 hours of sick

leave annually, depending on the employer’s size:

• Employers with four or fewer employees and a net income

of $1 million or less must provide 40 hours of unpaid sick time.

• Employers with four or fewer employees and a net income

greater than $1 million must provide 40 hours of paid sick time.

• Employers with five to 99 employees must provide 40 hours

of paid sick time, regardless of the company’s net income.

• Employers with 100 or more workers must provide up

to 56 hours of paid sick time.

UNITI Expo postponed

to May 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate economic

and social life, inevitably causing great difficulty to industry

events, a UNITI press release stated. “The organizers

of UNITI expo assume that the virus will continue to force

severe restrictions until next year. If the situation deteriorates,

it could even lead to a short-term ban on events.”

As the leading trade fair for the retail petroleum and car

wash industries in Europe with exhibitors and visitors from

over 120 countries, UNITI expo thrives on encounters, personal

discussions and meetings of industry representatives from

all over the world, the press release stated. Social distancing,

travel restrictions and the fear for the health and safety of the

participants would damage the quality of the event.

“As we give the health and safety of all participants and

the known high quality of the fair in all its components the

highest priority, we have decided with a heavy heart to postpone

the UNITI expo to May 2022. According to all serious

forecasts, the pandemic will be defeated by then and normal

economic and social life will be possible again,” says Elmar

Kühn, Managing Director of UNITI-Kraftstoff GmbH.

With this early decision and the choice of a safe alternative

date, the organizers want to offer all participants maximum

planning security and protect them from further risks,

stated the press release. A final event date is to be announced

before the end of September.

Northeast Regional Carwash Convention

A zoom conference is being offered featuring

NRCC representatives. The meeting is set for Tuesday,

November 17 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. (est) and is

open to all.

A panel of NRCC representatives will talk

openly about their experiences during COVID-19

and how they are preparing for a possible second

wave, and more, according to an official statement.

The panel will be hosted by Walk Hartl of

the New York State Car Wash Association and

will include a representative from each of the five

NRCC associations. The other five associations include

the Connecticut Carwash Association, Car

Wash Operators of New Jersey, the New England

Carwash Association (NECA), and the Mid-Atlantic

Carwash Association (MCA)

The NRCC Board of Directors canceled the

2020 show which was to take place October 5-7,

at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic

City, NJ. The 2021 show is scheduled for October

4-6, and will include a reimagined education track

and show floor, as well as an elite keynote speaker,

the NRCC stated. It will also be in a new location,

the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

24 • FALL 2020

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FALL 2020 • 25

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26 • FALL 2020


Presenting some of the best discussions from the Self Serve, IBA and General Discussions sections of CarwashForum.com. To view more

posts discussing some interesting and common problems, as well as some of the best and brightest solutions, visit CarwashForum.com

Changes for Change

(Note: Some posts feature minor edits for readability.)

Add bonus


Raise vac


The wash I bought was the proverbial basket case. Hardly anything

worked right, and the prices had not changed since it was built

18 years ago. Three of the bays had Cryptopay set up in countdown

mode. First, I had to get every function working in all bays. That turned out to be more challenging than

I thought. Then I put card readers in the other bays and Dixmor timers to go to count-up mode. Also raised the

startup cost to $2. I didn’t track the coin usage, but the credit card use has increased a little over 60%. Turned

up the pressure in all bays to 1400 psi … When you make mama happy, you know you’re doing something

right. It is so nice to have customers come up and say this is the best wash around, as you can actually see the

chemicals come out. And I am still cheaper than my competitors. - MAC

I have noticed that a higher start price even with

higher time...results in more income and less mess.

I’m $3 start/4 min in bay with credit, bills, quarters

and dollar coins. I have count up on credit

with an average of about $8. My changer dispenses

dollar coins. I do not accept or dispense tokens.

Vacs are cash only for $2 for first 6 min. - CHAZ

You might want to try Bonus time, a super bay or

2, a handheld dryer or 2, depending on vandalism

concerns, bill acceptors in bays. - EARL WEISS

I’m going to assume (hope) you are $1/4min on

vac. Simply raising this to $2 and increasing time

to 6 min...you will see a huge income increase

in $ with no cost to implement …the customers

will have plenty of vac time so no rushing

there. Do make sure and keep vac working well.

I did this 3 years ago.... very little complaints....

and most are thrilled with good working vacs and

plenty of time.... bonus: It keeps some slobs away.

You’d need to lose 1/2 your sales before it would

be a downside....and that’s not likely. I did have

my sign guy make some yellow starburst stickers

proclaiming: “Now more time.” - CHAZ

My bays are $2 for 4 min and vacs are $1.50 for

5 min. What is nice is that the other wash owners

in the area don’t have a clue and the EE just

down the road keeps damaging cars. - MAC

Mac, raise your prices, you’re too low. Go to $2.50

for 4 minutes in the bays and $1.75 for 4 minutes

on the vacs. I’m at $2.75 for 3.5 minutes in the bays

and $1.75 for 3.5 minutes on the vacs. The place is

clean, and everything works all the time so why not

make them pay for a clean facility. - RANDY

Why not round up your pricing to even dollars....

even if u increase time a bit? I’m $2 for 6 min

on vac and $3 for 4 min on s/s. Less time (in my

experience) leads to rushing and not necessarily

more $. - CHAZ

I tend to be very much in line with Chaz except

for one exception ... based on what tends to be my

observation applying my specific geographic area:

Once you add the CC along with even the “easier

to use & administer” Chaz’s higher denomination

coin approach ... as long as the CC is on equal

footing with coin... cost wise for the customers ...

they will almost 100% in my honest opinion tend

to use the CC. Why ... almost all CCs except for

possibly gift cards ... have the “rewards hook” for

the customer. Of course almost 100% of them

will not turn down the “easy cashback”!!!

The other observation is that sooner or later

the fact that a self service car wash can use the

savings from “cash only” on more “helpful to the

customer” needed hiring will come back to make

IMHO the operator the eventual winner among

local competition. - MJWALSH

Problem Solved

The wash I bought last year had many things simply wrong.

One was the placement of the gun and brush handle. The

[insert your word of choice here] put the wand holders in the

center of the bays with some slanted towards the meter box.

So, when a customer started the bay, he or she had to walk 10

feet to the gun, which was squirting their feet. They then put

the brush wands on the opposite wall at the rear of the bay. I

was always coming in and hanging things back up. Then decided

to move the gun holder within reach of the meter box with

the wand slanted away from their feet. Then moved the brush

holders up front on the opposite wall. Been a little over a week

and I have not had to hang anything up. The customers do it.

Simple change that the customers like. - MAC

History of Vending Machines

I’m a big fan of The History Guy

on YouTube. He has a video on

the history of vending machines

that I thought some of you

would enjoy. ERIC H


Thank you for sharing this,

Eric H! It is great and informative.

Remind me to never buy life

insurance from an airport vending

machine. If anyone wants the

direct link, you can find it at:


FALL 2020 • 27


Hardness made easy

I tested the water at my wash several times. First test the hardness came back

at about 3. next test about 5. All subsequent tests between 3 and 5. At what

point would one consider adding spot free rinse? Am I in that range? And is the

variation normal? Our water supply is from wells.... - SEQUOIA

Hardness is unrelated to total dissolved solids, but our

softener takes it to zero grains of hardness. Our TDS

is still in the mid-300s so we still need SFR. Do you

have a softener and what is your TDS? - OURTOWN

In addition to OurTown’s comment:

If your raw water is 3-5 grains per gallon, you

should consider installing a softener. You‘ll improve

the wash quality and reduce soap consumption.

If you have a softener, you need to fix it. A properly

operating softener should provide 0 grain hardness

water regardless of the raw water’s hardness.

You’ll also need to ensure 0 grain water supply to

an RO system to prevent premature fouling of the


Sample your raw water’s hardness and TDS. The

results will aid in your decision process.

BTW...TDS below 50 ppm should require no further

processing. - CANTBREAK80

I don’t have any softener. I use municipal water. How

do you test for TDS? The kit I bought only does water

hardness. - SEQUOIA

This is not the one we have

but get something like this:


You need a TDS tester. The

next best test is to thoroughly

wash a black vehicle

and immediately park it in

the sun. If it dries with no

visible spots, you probably

don’t need a softener or

spot free rinse. - MEP001


for TDS!

Install a




TDS stands for Total

Dissolved Solids. According

to the Water Treatment

Center, TDS comprise

inorganic salts (principally

calcium, magnesium,

potassium, sodium,

bicarbonates, chlorides,

and sulfates) and some small

amounts of organic matter

that are dissolved in water.

Elevated total dissolved solids

in a car wash’s water supply

can result in incrustations,

films, or precipitates on

fixtures, corrosion of fixtures,

and reduced efficiency of

water filter and equipment.

But are they

screaming, Clarice?

We’re in South Texas and are currently experiencing swarms of yellow butterflies that

plaster themselves to windshields and grills. Since Friday, our single IBA has been

averaging in the 90’s daily. Since 2:00p.m. today, we’ve already had 50 go through. As

soon as the cars get out of the wash and back on the road, they get hit with butterflies

again! I can’t even get my own car washed because the line at our wash is too long

and I don’t like to wait! Anybody in TX having this experience, or know anything

about these horrible creatures and when this plague might end? Our Profile and

ChemQuest D-Bug are doing a great job, and the Profile is working its butt off; and I

hope it can keep up. - CHEETAHEXPRESS

I was in San Antonio yesterday and once I was

south of Hwy 90, I saw swarms of them everywhere.

- MEP001

Those and Luv Bugs seems like a winning lotto

ticket, in S. Texas! - SOONERMAJIC

Bugs and pollen are great for the car wash industry.


This is the car wash season here in Texas! It’s

that time of year everyone wants to wash their

cars almost daily and everyone will upgrade to

your debug chemicals. See it as an opportunity to

wash more cars!!!!




Order a little extra chemicals so you don’t run

out, but this won’t last forever, so don’t go crazy.

Enjoy it while it lasts. - BENBRANAM

Thanx. I have to admit, the numbers have been

amazing and yes, we’re stocking up on chems.

Except my car’s a mess and I can’t get it into my

own wash because the lines are too long! The

Profile had some glitches after a week of high

numbers -- with belts loosening and skipping,

which affected the Front Prox Counter and

shutting us down; but it has now been remedied.

From what I’ve read, the butterflies have a life

span of 2 weeks, so at least we’ll have a great



NPR station of Austin, Texas, (KUT

90.5) noticed the yellow butterflies

as well. In an October 2 report, the

station reported that the wingedcreatures

or more than likely “snout

butterflies.” And this year has been a

good one for them in Central Texas,

the story said. “It all comes down to

weather. August was hot and dry, and

September was cool and wet.”

According to Mike Quinn, an Austinbased

invertebrate biologist, said

drought in August was “shown to

knock out all the predators and

parasitoid insects that keep the

snout butterfly population in check.”

A wet September gives the snout

caterpillars plenty of fresh hackberry

leaves to munch on.

“Because of the reduction in the

predators, a high percentage of the

snout butterfly caterpillars survive

to adulthood,” Quinn told the NPR

affiliate. “And so, you have what

we’re experiencing right now.”

What we’re seeing are “mass

movements,” not migrations, he

said in the story. Unlike monarch

butterflies, the snouts are not

traveling a fixed seasonal path

between two set points. They are

instead seeking out food and mates

wherever they may be. “They’re

moving out of an area of exhausted

resources,” Quinn said, “so the

movement can be multi-directional.”

28 • FALL 2020


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FALL 2020 • 29


Who, what, when,

where Wi-Fi?

Is anyone using cellular internet to run their car wash (SS/IBA)?

Our provider Comcast is terrible, but we have no options. Each time they

push out a firmware update at 1-2AM it knocks out the internet service until

someone physically power cycles the modem. It is hurting the business and

they have been useless in trying to solve the problem for the past year since

we installed their service. Now looking at cellular solutions like a MiFi;

however, it is hard to find good info on the service. - ROZ

Try an




the router!

Is there an option in the router to auto restart every

day? or you can have a computer hardwired

to the network with some remote software like

TeamViewer and you can login to the router and

restart it but you would have to be up late or

really early to do it. also make sure that you have

a static ip and not an ip that is provided by dhcp

from your isp. servers and the like hate it when

the public ip changes. - COOLL903

Unfortunately, a SW reboot is not possible. When

I call Comcast, they try to do such a reboot but

then tell me to power cycle the modem before

they will have a tech support person talk to me.

They are useless.

I am considering using a mechanical timer to

turn off the power to the modem at 6AM each

morning for 15 min (smallest amount of time

on the mechanism). Comcast is not consistent

on the morning firmware update which adds to

the puzzle. I cannot use a Wi-Fi controlled socket

as I lose internet so I would not be able to turn

back on the power - unless there is a Wi-Fi socket

that is in the ON mode if it loses internet service

(have not found such a socket).

Will keep looking at cellular data solutions so I

can dump Comcast. Crazy thing is that my comcast

modem at my other wash has not been rebooted

in 3 years. - ROZ

Do you need to use the Comcast modem? Usually

you can provide your own and reduce your

bill by not renting from them. I had a lot of issues

with their equipment but once I bought my own

it’s been bulletproof. - OVERACHIEVER

I have been through the same issues with our

DSL provider over the last couple years. There

are some devices that can help. One is an outlet

that automatically power cycles if the connection

to the internet is lost. The functionality is called

auto-ping. If you have a landline, there is a device

that you can call into through the landline and

power cycle whatever is plugged into it.

I know this only fixes a symptom but in areas

where there is only one ISP, we are stuck dealing

with these issues. - DAVIDM

We use a Verizon jet pack to run our Cryptopay

and our Unitec WSII. The cellular is much

more reliable than the service we had through

our phone/cable company. Seems like every time

someone ran into a pole within a 3-state area our

service would be down for 3 days. None of that

with the cellular. Every once in a while, I do have

to re-start it, don’t know why. The original jet

pack we had had a tendency to overheat but Verizon

replaced it free. We are happy with the set

up and it saved us a bunch of money and headaches.


Put a little digital timer on the power supply to

the modem. Have it power down for 1 minute at

5 a.m.; there- it is reset. (instead of 15 minutes

from mechanical timer) - WASHNVAC

Comcast tech visited us for the 10th time in a year.

Brought a new business class modem that his supervisor

had to approve. New modem is built by

a private label vendor specifically for Comcast’s

largest corporate customers according to the tech.

It has 8 POE ports which is better than the basic

modem (4 regular ports). Tech gave me some story

about how the switch router attached to my old

modem to have enough ports could interfere with

the modem (never heard such a story). New modem

allows us to eliminate the switch router. Will

see how things go now. - ROZ

Plug the modem into a Wi-Fi outlet, there are

dozens on the market, and you can reset it anytime

you want to remotely. - SPARKLECLEAN

Following advice from a previous thread, I’m currently

using a ZTE hotspot with service provided

by Consumer Cellular.

After finding the right location (attic) it has

worked well until it didn’t about 2 weeks ago.

Seems that the T-Mobile/AT&T merger created a

hiccup but tech support was excellent and after

a new AT&T SIM card was installed, it’s back to

its reliable self.

It’s providing internet where there was none, allowing

for the acceptance of plastic via the Coinless

Mobile App, viewing of a Wyze camera, monitoring

the entry door contact sensor and a newly

installed water alarm.

All of this easily gets done on less than 3Gigs

data/month and costs about $30.00.

Good luck! - MR. CLEAN

30 • FALL 2020






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32 • FALL 2020


What’s it worth?

Is there a strong rule of thumb for car wash appraisal /

valuation for sale? How to set a selling price? - WASHREGAL

Easiest thing I’ve used was 3 or 4x gross. But,

there’s obviously some flaws to that. But if u

go much higher, then profits become SLIM. -


Calculate net operating income (EBIDA for a

wash) and then divide by a cap rate for your area.

You can search LoopNet for listings of things like

dollar general, Walgreens and other commercial

rentals to get an idea. If most of those are in the

6-6.5 percent range, you might use 7-9 percent

as an initial guide to see if you think the number

is realistic. Spread might be higher depending on

how good or bad your wash is performing.

…EBIDA is your net income plus add back your

interest expense, depreciation, and amortization.

Divide that number by say 8% cap rate. For

example, if you net $80,000 and divide by 8%

you get $1,000,000 “value”. This will likely be

one component of an appraisal a potential buyer

would want/need. You can play around with that

number based on what other properties sell for to

substantiate a price. Obviously, other factors like

location, land values, age of equipment, etc. all

play a factor too, but this is an important component

because most buyers want to see that return

equate to value. - KRAMERWV

Are commercial real estate cap rates a good thing

to use for car wash valuation? They seem like

very different animals to me. Do you have some

real-life examples of how they are used well? I

think they would be all over the place even in the

same area. - OURTOWN

Cap rate (net operating Income divided by asking

price) is the best way to compare apples to apples

when you’re looking at a cash flow stream for any

investment: rent houses, car washes, apartments,

office buildings...

The gross income multiplier doesn’t take expenses

into account, so there’s no way to accurately

gauge the true profit potential of the car wash.

If I’m looking at two different car washes and

trying to find the one with the best profit potential,

I’ll ask the owners for their actual income

and expense numbers (if they don’t have it, I

keep walking)

WASH #1: Owner is asking $800,000 for his

wash with $100,000 NOI - or a 12.5% cap rate

WASH #2: Owner is asking $1,200,000 for his

wash with $100,000 NOI - or a 8.3% cap rate

Assuming the two locations are roughly equal

in location quality, age of components, etc., then

I’d take the higher 12.5% return on my money.

If wash #1 needs a ton of work, and wash #2 has

been newly renovated, then I’d base my decision on

how much money I have to spend on the front end

of the project, and how much work I’m willing to do.

With respect to cap rates, “safer investments”

like apartments and office buildings in my area

are usually priced at a 4 to 6% cap rate. That assumes

that the buyers of those properties aren’t

interested in getting their hands dirty or working

onsite, so they’ll accept a lower return on their

investment. Car washes often get priced at 10-

12% cap rates because the industry is known for

hands-on owners who want to get paid a good

return for all of the crap that they have to deal

with in running a car wash.

Disclaimer: this is just my .02 from many years

buying/selling commercial real estate. I’m a newbie

in the car wash realm, but using the cap rate

model, I feel like I got exactly what I paid for when

I bought the wash I currently own. - KLEANRIDE

KleanRide’s example is spot on as an example

of how to compare the value of different washes

from an income investor standpoint. Some places

this method may seem irrelevant if land values

skyrocket every year but for a tried and true evaluation

for an operator it’s essential. - KRAMERWV

This is super helpful. Evaluating a potential car

wash investment currently. Using the method

above, it looks like 5.85-8.85 is the range for

retail on LoopNet for my state. Using your formulae,

6.5-9.5 might be a fair CAP range for an

IBA+SS car wash. I’m curious from others is that

range meshes with what you actually purchased

an IBA car wash business (after negotiations) --

what was the CAP rate? Thanks! - CW01

Yeah, I would never pay less than a 12% cap

rate for a car wash. Even then it is a stretch.

Investment real estate selling at a 6% return on

capital is one thing because you have NNN’s set

up and all you do is collect rent.

With car washes you need to hire/fire, fix things,

keep customers happy, etc. it is not a passive real

estate investment.

With the SS/IBA model the expenses are

roughly the same everywhere, so a rough use of

3-4x gross REALLY speaks to a multiple of net

too...because there is economies of scaling the

expenses, a good performing wash should sell

closer to 4 and because the reverse is true a poor

performing wash is worth closer to 3.

With any business you are buying future cash

flows, you should never pay for POTENTIAL,

and you should never pay for 6 quarters to a dollar-

that’s on the seller. - BIGHEAD

3-4 x


Look at

cap rates!


the EBIDA?


EBIDA = Earnings Before Interest,

Depreciation, and Amortization.

EBIDA, according to InvestingAnswers.

com, is a post-tax measure of a

company’s operating performance

and can easily be derived using the

company’s income statement.

If you are seeing retail caps in your area over 8, I’d

start at 10% as a minimum for a wash for the reason

bighead mentions about the work involved.

Also, cap rate is just a starting point or one factor

to determine if the price is even reasonable. Age

and condition of equipment, likelihood of keeping

existing employees (if any), etc. will all factor

into the decision. If EBIDA is $100k and seller

wants $2mm you better run. If they want $1mm

might be worth the due diligence and negotiation.

This board has a lot of wisdom so keep searching

and researching. Good luck! - KRAMERWV

Every other business that I’ve built, or real estate

I’ve bought, I’ve read several books as a part

of researching the industry. No worries on understanding

financials, etc. But in structuring a

deal for a car wash feels like lots of moving parts

(maybe just my perception). I assume it is an LOI

agreement, then due diligence, then closing. Any

tips on the best book/resources to read on deal

structures for car washes? Thanks! - CW01

Bighead is probably closer to what you should focus

on, a multiple of Gross Revenue. Then determine

the risk from competition, from needing to replace

equipment, location. Two people can run the same

place with significantly different results on NOI.

CAP Rates relative to NOI are for rentals where

you sit on your @ss and collect rent checks - which

in non-COVID times can be a great job. - ROZ

Exactly what Roz said. My background is real estate

finance and yeah I would look at CAP rates but the

deal has to pencil out with or without debt.

And car washes are not NNN investments like

a retail strip center, ground lease on a bldg. etc.

there is A LOT of work involved in running a

wash… - RFREEMAN

FALL 2020 • 33


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34 • FALL 2020

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Per Hour!



Go behind-the-scenes with Marcus Kittrell as he shows us how he converted a

limited, pre-existing self-serve car wash into a 80-foot express exterior tunnel now

known as MARC-1 Car Wash Palisades. Marcus is the owner of seven Marc-1 car

wash locations in the state of Alabama.

Watch Marcus Kittrell, owner of marc-1 Car Wash

as he explains his successful conversion


Consulting College Equipment Services Vacuums Controls Marketing Signage Chemistry Parts

FALL 2020 • 35








According to Agility & Recover, a firm which

helps businesses prepare for the unexpected,

and overcome interruptions, and which is also

recommended by the Small Business Administration

as a viable resource, nearly 70% of businesses will

lose power sometime in the next 12 months.

It is important to know and understand your

risk as well as your building’s power requirements.

Therefore, refer the following checklist to see if

you’re prepared:

If you own a car wash owner in a storm

susceptible area, which seems to be

encompassing more and more of the

country lately, it is imperative that you

take the time to review your property

policy closely. If your policy contains an

endorsement for Wind/Hail deductibles

or a Roof – Cosmetic Damage Exclusion

take these three steps to properly manage

your coverage:

3 STEP 1: Read your policy

make certain that you fully

understand the deductible

placed on your policy.

3 STEP 2: Talk to your agent

make sure your agent fully

explains all the requirements

and nuances of your policy.

Ask if there are alternatives

available through your current

insurer or other carriers.

3 STEP 3: Be prepared

catastrophes happen. No matter

where you live in the United

States, you’re just a couple of

years away from some major

catastrophic event. If your policy

has implemented a Wind/Hail

deductible, make sure you have

the money saved up, so you’ll be

able to pay it when that inevitable

storm strikes.

This tip was writing by Dan Tharp who

is licensed in all states (except Alaska &

Hawaii) and has been assisting business

owners protect their operations, assets, customers

and employees for over 25 years.

■ Before a Power Outage

Ensure your emergency preparedness kit includes

the following items:

• Flashlights with Battery

• Battery or hand-crank powered Emergency

Weather Radio

• (Avoid Candles due to the inherent fire hazard)

3 If possible, have a landline non-cordless

telephone in your office that does not

operate on a VOIP network. Often a fax

line can serve this purpose.

3 Create a personnel policy that dictates

which staff members should report and

those that should remain home.

3 Make sure all employees are aware of the


3 If security at your location is a concern,

ensure that your alarm/security systems

have proper battery backup systems,

and that telephone connectivity to your

monitoring service isn’t reliant on power.

3 Ensure all sensitive electronic equipment

is protected by a power strip surge


3 Ensure all Uninterruptible Power Supply

(UPS) devices are functional and tested


3 Inspect all critical equipment such as

sewer ejector pumps, HVAC condensate

drain pumps, and any pumps that provide

protection from flooding in low-lying areas.

3 Ensure those pumps are part of the

emergency power plan.

3 Fuel up any critical equipment including

company vehicles, backup generators, etc.

■ Questions for Your Electrician:

In order to better facilitate emergency power requirements,

be sure to ask your electrician the following

questions and note the information for future


3 What phase is your electrical service?

Single or Three Phase?

3 What voltage is your service? 208v, 240v

or 480v?

3 Is your power requirement for a Wye or

Delta generator?

3 How many amps do you need to power?

3 What size generator is required?

3 How many feet of cabling are required to

power the generator?

3 Does your building have a power transfer


3 If no transfer switch has been installed,

you will need to consider options –

hardwire or spider box?

■ Steps to Take During

a Power Outage

1. Turn off and unplug all electrical

equipment to avoid damage from

power spikes when electrical service is


2. Leave one light turned on so you’ll

know when the power comes back on.

3. NEVER run a generator inside or

connect a generator to the electrical

system unless prior steps have been

taken to ensure it is safe to do so.

4. Ensure you know your generator’s fuel

consumption rate and set up regular

fuel deliveries ahead of time to ensure

you never run out.

5. Do not touch any downed electrical

power lines and keep your employees

away from them.

6. Report downed lines to the

appropriate officials in your area.

7. Leave doors closed on office

refrigerators and freezers as much

as possible during outages. Food will

keep much longer if the doors are left


8. Make sure the generator you receive

includes the following:

3 Transportation to your building site

3 The appropriate amount of Cam Lock

Cabling (standard is 250’ unless more is


3 Pigtails to connect the generator

3 Starter fuel for the first few days of


3 A set of operating instructions

3 A walk through of the basic operating

instructions with your vendor

This is an edited version of the document supplied

36 • FALL 2020

Your carwash insurance experience can be hassle free. You don't have to spend hours

comparing coverage options. You don't have to stumble through confusing paperwork.

You can get a specialized insurance policy custom fit for your carwash business with

Western Carwash Insurance Program (WCIP).

Coverage Options:

• Carwash Building & Equipment

• Commercial Liability

• Commercial Auto

• Umbrella

• Garagekeepers Legal Liability

• Persona I Property

• Employee Dishonesty

• Employment Practices Liability

• Business Income

• Equipment Breakdown

• Money & Securities

• Workers' Compensation

• Cyber Liability & Network Security

• Surety Bonds and much more!

Brandi Evans

Account Manager-Lead

email: Brandi.Evans@alliant.com


CA DOI Lie. #OC36861

FALL 2020 • 37




Of course, people are texting more and more, but

that doesn’t mean they aren’t still calling businesses

directly for information, or to talk to the owner,

etc. A real, working phone number and answering

message can make the difference between thinking

a new customer thinks you’re legit or a dead-end.

According to a CallRail’s study, businesses saw a

61% increase in calls coming directly from Google

My Business during the pandemic. According to

Google, “Google My Business is a free tool that lets

you manage how your local business appears across

Google products, like Maps and Search. If you run

a business that serves customers at a particular

location, or you serve customers within a designated

service area, Google My Business can

help people find you. Verified businesses on

Google are twice as likely to be considered

reputable by users.”

Google offers the following ways your business can

benefit from being listed:

1. Maintain accurate information

about your business online

3 Tell Google your hours, website, phone

number, and location (a street address,

service area, or place marker, depending

on your business)

3 Use the mobile app to stay up-to-date with

your online presence wherever you are

2. Interact with customers

3 Post photos of your business and its

products and services

3 Collect and respond to reviews from


3. Attract new customers

3 Improve how your business appears online

so new customers can find you

3 Point customers to your website

3 When you’re ready, consider using

location-based ads with Smart campaigns

in Google Ads to reach an even larger


■ How to Get on the List

The following are the steps to take according to


Important: When you register a new business, there

might be a Business Profile for an old business at the

same location. Do not try to claim it. Instead, suggest an

edit to have it marked as closed. Then, you can create

a new profile on Google My Business for your business.

1. On your computer, sign in to

Google My Business.

2. Sign in to your Google Account,

or create one. Then, click Next.

3 Sign up with your business email domain

since this account will be for your chain.

Enter the name of your business or chain. If

you have a chain, you can also select it from

the suggestions that display as you type.

3. Enter your business’ or chain’s address.

Then, click Next.

3 You may also be asked to position a marker

on the location of your business or chain’s

branch on a map. If your business doesn’t

have a physical location but operates

within a service area, you can list the area

instead. Then, click Next.

4. Choose how your business will display on

Google Maps.

3 If you serve customers at your business


1. Enter your business address.

2. Click Next. If you also serve customers

outside your business address, you’ll

have the option to list your service areas

as well.

3 If you don’t serve customers at your

business address:

3. Enter your business address.

4. At the bottom, click I deliver goods and

services to my customers Next.

5. List your service areas, then click Next.

5. Search for and select a business

category. Then, click Next.

6. Enter a phone number or website URL,

then click Finish.

3 You’ll also have the option to create

a free website based on your

information. It’s recommended that you

provide the individual phone number or

store page for each location, rather than

a single centralized call center.

7. Select a verification option. It’s

recommended that you review your

information before you request verification.

3 To verify now, at the top, find the red

banner and click Verify now.

3 To verify later, click Verify later Later.

3 If you’re not authorized to manage

the Business Profile for the chain, find

the person in your organization who’s

authorized and continue the process.

If you sign up for Google My Business

and continue directly to verification:

1. If your business information is correct, at

the top of the page, click Mail.

3 Do not click Verify later.

2. Enter the name of the person the

verification postcard should be mailed

to, or you can leave it blank. We’ll send

it to the address you provided for your


3. Click Send postcard.

If you signed up for Google My Business but

didn’t start the verification process:

1. Sign in to google.com/business.

2. In your Google My Business dashboard,

at the top right, click Verify now.

3. If your business information is correct, at

the top of the page, click Mail.

3 Do not click Verify later.

4. Enter the name of the person the

verification postcard should be mailed

to, or you can leave it blank. We’ll send

it to the address you provided for your


5. Click Send postcard.

■ Wait for your postcard

Important: Due to COVID-19, you may experience

delays in getting your postcard.

Most postcards arrive within 14 days. The postcard

includes a unique verification code that you

must enter in Google My Business to confirm that

your business is located at the listed address.

While you wait, you can prepare for online success:

3 Visit your business website as if you’re

a customer who found it through Google

Search or Maps. Take time to enhance

your site and update any incorrect


3 Take pictures of your business and the

products and services it provides. These

photos make great additions to your

Google My Business profile. You can

even take customers inside your space

with Street View.

■ Complete verification

After you get your verification postcard:

1. Sign in to google.com/business.

2. Verify your business in one of the

following ways:

3 Under “Verification needed,”

click Verify now.

3 Or, in the left menu, click Verify location.

3. Follow the instructions to enter the

verification code from your postcard.

38 • FALL 2020

FALL 2020 • 39

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40 • FALL 2020




Full tunnel


system from DRB

New line of Air Fresheners

from Buffalo Scents

Buffalo Scents is a Buffalo born and raised brand committed to creating safer,

healthier and better-smelling air fresheners for automobiles. We’re a small, tightknit

team based out of Buffalo, New York – a city known for brotherly love, the

epic debate of bleu cheese vs. ranch, wings (yep, we just call them wings here),

underdog sports teams, and snow. Lots of it.

We’ve always spent a lot of time in our cars, whether it’s stuck in traffic, navigating

a snowstorm, or waiting in line to tailgate. We know all too well that a clean,

fresh-smelling car can make all the difference in how you feel when you drive,

according to owner Stephen Szortyka. Our vehicles are our second homes – and

because we can’t burn incense or plug an essential oil diffuser into our cars, we

wanted a more natural, fresher, and cleaner way to create a moving oasis.

Buffalo Scents was created with the core belief that air fresheners shouldn’t have

to come with all the nasty chemicals. Even better, they can come in an affordable,

stylish, and natural-looking design that doesn’t feel tacky or flimsy.

The company’s mission is simple: keep cars across the country smelling as fresh and

clean as possible, without adding unnecessary chemicals. “We’re a new age air freshener

with simple, game-changing values: good scents made from good ingredients.”

DRB® Tunnel Solutions has announced that its full tunnel

optimization system NoPileups is now operational at 500 car

wash sites across the United States.

NoPileups uses computer vision and machine learning technology

backed by an industry-leading service team to monitor

car wash tunnels, automatically stopping the conveyor when

collision threats are detected. By reducing the risk of collision,

car wash attendants can load vehicles closer together in the tunnel,

resulting in higher tunnel throughput.

This has proved to be a game-changer, allowing car wash sites

employing NoPileups to wash up to 20 more cars per hour

during peak hours.

The first NoPileups installation was in 2016. Since then, No-

Pileups has monitored more than 150 million vehicles.

DRB acquired the assets and intellectual property of NoPileups

in 2018 to complement its line of point of-sale and tunnel

technology solutions for the conveyorized car wash market.

In addition to DRB’s technology, NPU can run with other

point-of-sale systems and tunnel controllers.

Outdoor lighting from LSI Industries

LSI Industries announced it has launched a new

commercial LED fixture for parking garage and

various canopy applications. Ideal for both new

and retrofit construction projects, the company’s

new CGC luminaires are edge-lit and feature sleek,

low-profile (less than 3.5 inches in height), circular

housing with no visible hardware or heat fins.

“Our new CGC commercial parking garage fixture

is among the most attractive and affordable

lighting products for its intended applications,” said

Mike Prachar, Chief Marketing Officer of LSI Industries.

“Its edge-lit optic design produces low glare,

non-pixelated illumination that will be appreciated

by parking garage employees and drivers alike.”

LSI’s new commercial parking garage fixture

delivers Type 5 uniform illumination

with output levels of 4,000,

6,000 and 8,000 lumens – each at a

4,000K color temperature. In addition,

the new luminaires can be configured with

a hidden microwave sensor for motion detection.

The sensor defaults to 100 percent light levels, but

drops to 30 percent when motion is not detected

for 15 minutes – helping to conserve energy without

sacrificing the safety and security that lighting

provides. In addition, the new product is compliant

with Design Lights Consortium (DLC) premium

standards, allowing customers to qualify for energy

rebates. It is also compliant with California’s Title

24 energy conservation requirements.

Edge-lit fixtures,

such as

LSI’s CGC and Excursion

parking garage

luminaires, differ from

other light sources in that they

produce illumination from the sides, not the back.

This makes them extremely thin and lightweight,

which allows them to be mounted in a variety of

applications. A single electrician can easily install

LSI’s new CGC fixtures directly to a junction box

or a stem accessory. The new luminaires are available

in bronze, gray and white finishes, and most

configurations can be shipped within 10 business

days after an order is placed.

FALL 2020 • 41

888 920 2646





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42 • FALL 2020

888 920 2646


Pump Stands

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Custom Made


How Does

Etowah Valley

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at such low prices?

We have invested heavily in state of the art

manufacturing equipment to insure the highest quality

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Join our Team!

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47 Etowah Center Dr

Etowah, NC 28729


888 920 2646

FALL 2020 • 43




ModWash announces appointment of new CEO

ModWash, a new express car wash operator

based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today announced

the appointment of John (JT) Thomson

as Chief Executive Officer. Thomson comes from

GO Car Wash and replaces the company’s interim

CEO Hans Weger.

According to a ModWash press release, Thomson

brings a wealth of car wash experience to

ModWash as the company sets out to have 16 car

washes operating by the end of 2020, 30 by the

end of 2021, and 100 by the end of 2023. Mod-

Wash’s current growth plan focuses primarily on

ground-up developments paired with redevelopments

and an occasional strategic acquisition. All

ModWash locations will feature state-of-the-art

car wash equipment and technology, resulting in

an environmentally conscious wash and an exceptional

guest experience.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to help

launch the ModWash brand and lead the Mod-

Wash team. It has been an incredible privilege to

work at GO with such a great team and group of

investors. Now I’m thankfully and enthusiastically

looking forward to big, bright opportunities

at ModWash with our strong team of motivated,

strategically minded people. I look forward to

helping make the ModWash vision a reality, creating

positive and lasting ripple effects in the local

communities we serve,” Thomson stated in the

press release.

Most recently, Thomson co-founded GO Car

Wash in January 2019, where he started as the Chief

Operating Officer and became the Chief Development

Officer and President. GO Car Wash currently

operates 31 stores with four additional stores in

development that are anticipated to open by the

end of 2020. During the first 12 months, Thomson

helped shape the management team, build the GO

Car Wash brand, oversee marketing strategy, and

work with the team to create strategic systems and

processes for operations. JT played a critical role in

the growth of GO Car Wash.

ModWash is backed by HUTTON, a well-capitalized

commercial real estate, development, and

investment company that has completed more

than 1,300 projects for hundreds of retailers across

32 states over the past 22 years, the press release

stated. Under President and CEO Karen Hutton’s

leadership, HUTTON is primarily focused on

developing, acquiring, managing and constructing

single-tenant, shopping center, multi-family,

self-storage and now CarWash properties. Hutton

has received numerous accolades for her business

acumen including 2019 Chattanooga Chamber of

Commerce Small Business of the Year and 2020

Globe St. Net Lease Individual Influencer.

“HUTTON and the ModWash team are thrilled

to have JT on board. We’re confident that he’ll

bring the expertise, strategy, creativity, and leadership

that we value at ModWash,” Hutton stated in

the press release.

ModWash has four locations open in Lexington,

North Carolina, Thomasville, North Carolina,

Gaffney, South Carolina., and Roanoke Rapids,

North Carolina. The next ModWash locations will

open in Florida and New Jersey, as well as additional

locations in North Carolina.

Quick Quack Car Wash partners

with Service Management Group

Service Management Group (SMG), a global customer, patient and employee experience

management partner to more than 500 brands, has announced a new customer

experience management partnership with Quick Quack Car Wash. The rapidly

growing car wash chain chose SMG for its scalable technology platform and ability to

uncover actionable insights, a press release stated.

Founded in 2004, Quick Quack owns and operates more than 100 locations across

Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Utah. Alongside a quick and entertaining carwash

experience, Quick Quack is best known for its unlimited car wash memberships,

free vacuums and exceptional customer service.

“As a service-based brand, one of the greatest barometers of our success is customer

satisfaction,” said Quick Quack Partner and Chief Marketing Officer Travis Kimball.

“Our partnership with SMG is allowing us to collect and analyze customer feedback

across multiple channels, uncover key loyalty drivers and continually improve the experience

as we grow.”

With SMG’s customer experience management program, Quick Quack is capturing

feedback at multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. Location-level feedback

is captured and delivered to the smg360® reporting platform in real-time, providing

Quick Quack with key customer experience metrics while features like role-based

reporting and real-time alerts help the field focus on driving satisfaction. Quick Quack

is also working with SMG to measure the contact center experience, giving the brand

insights that help turn those important interactions into opportunities to drive satisfaction

and loyalty.

In conjunction with solicited feedback, Quick Quack is measuring unsolicited feedback

with SMG’s online reputation management solution. Aggregating location-specific

ratings and reviews from the top review sites, this data is presented alongside Quick

Quack’s customer experience and contact center data to give the brand a more holistic

view of the customer experience.

D&S names new Vice

President of Large

Vehicle Wash


On July 6, 2020 D&S of High

Ridge, Missouri, announced the

addition of car and truck wash

industry veteran Brad Quay to

their senior management team

as Vice President of D&S’ new

Large Vehicle/Fleet Wash Division.

Quay will be tasked with

every aspect of launching and operating

this division, a press release

reported. His responsibilities include

Operations, Sales Channel and Distribution

Network, Branding and Marketing as well as Key

Vendor Management. Quay comes to D&S with over 25 years of

experience within the car wash industry serving in management

roles for established manufacturers of point of sale systems and

specialty chemicals. Quay is a past president of the Heartland Car

Wash Association and has served on several other industry boards

and associations. D&S President, Jon Jansky stated in the press

release, “I have known Brad professionally for many years, and am

very pleased to have him helm this exciting new venture for our

firm. We believe he will be instrumental in our capitalizing on

this large market segment.” Quay will divide his time between

his home office in Toledo, Ohio, and D&S’ headquarters in High

Ridge which is located outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

44 • FALL 2020


DRB Systems ® , Unitec ® , Suds Creative , NoPileups

and Sage Microsystems Launch DRB Masterbrand

DRB Systems, Unitec, Suds Creative, NoPileups

and Sage Microsystems are now united under a

masterbrand: DRB, a press released stated. Together,

the organization helps car wash operators and

quick lube shops chart new paths to growth with

data-driven technology solutions.

In 2016, DRB Systems, a provider of point-of-sale

and tunnel technology to the conveyorized car wash

market, joined forces with Unitec, which serves the

unattended and C-Store car wash market with reliable

point-of-sale software and hardware. This move

brought together two of the most powerful companies

in the automated car wash realm. Soon after,

the organization added:

3 NoPileups – A full-tunnel management system

that helps conveyorized car washes increase

tunnel capacity and prevent in-tunnel collisions.

3 Suds Creative – A data-driven, consumer

behavior company dedicated to optimizing

revenue for car washes.

3 Sage Microsystems – A leading

provider of point-of-sale and

business management solutions to

the quick lube industry.

Until now, all of the companies

maintained their separate brand

identities, but it became evident that

it was time to unite under a common

masterbrand with a common goal.

“Since we joined forces, we’ve found

that together, we are truly more than the sum

of our parts,” DRB CEO Dan Pittman stated in a

press release. “Now it’s time for our brand to reflect

that. Under the DRB masterbrand, we will

forge ahead with a singular goal: To help car wash

operators squeeze every ounce of profitability out

of their investments.”

The combined DRB is poised to do that with:

“We believe the car wash industry is poised for a

technological leap - a leap that will focus intensely

on the end car wash consumer and their experience,”

Pittman stated in the press release.

“Therefore, we are developing

more advanced technologies and

mining the deep data insights operators

need to attract more consumers

and lock in loyalty regardless of

your car wash model.”

To differentiate between the two

major markets DRB serves, DRB Systems

will be referred to as DRB Tunnel

Solutions with NoPileups remaining as a product

under the Tunnel Solutions business unit. Unitec

will be identified as DRB In-Bay Solutions. The

Unitec name will still be associated with the in-bay

point-of-sale hardware and Sierra® and Director®

software. Suds Creative and Sage Microsystems will

not change their brand names but will fall under the

DRB Masterbrand.








“We’ve been advertising to car wash operators for

7 years now, and have tried and tracked many of the

different industry advertising options. As far as online

opportunities focused on the car wash industry go,

nothing has provided the consistent click-throughs

at the rate of the CarWashForum.com.”





FALL 2020 • 45

Astromatic Softgloss 3-375x4-875 ad PRINT 011818



Announces Live

Online Virtual

CarWash Expo,

Fall Edition

This past September 22nd and 23rd, the

car wash industry came together for The Virtual

CarWash Expo, Fall Edition. The event

took place online at VirtualCarWashExpo.

com for three hours and the registration was

free of cost.

“With months of disruption and fall regional

shows cancelled, there’s even more reason

for our industry to connect and get together,”

stated Paul Fazio, CEO at Sonny’s, in a press

release. “We set out to answer three questions.

How do we help the industry right now? How

do we help current operators right now? And

how do we help new investors learn more,

right now?”

The Virtual CarWash Expo experience

was similar to a physical tradeshow with one

difference, no travel days required, the press

release stated.

Similar to the well-attended April show,

there was a live Q & A with real-time inbound

messaging to panel members and options to

schedule one-on-one meetings for site proformas,

equipment, chemistry, signage, controls

and marketing.

“Nothing will ever replace face-to-face interaction

– especially in our industry. People

like to come together,” said Kati Pierce, SVP

at Sonny’s, in a press release. “That said, the

online Expo is the next best thing. Once we

heard all the fall shows were cancelled, we

wanted to create that experience in an online

format. All the education and information

without the travel!”

The September Virtual CarWash Expo

featured an agenda packed with present-day

topics and panel discussions.

The event included:

3 Panel discussions on how operators

managed the business impact from


3 Sessions on key trends, business

management and membership revenue


3 Presentations on how to get started

in car washing, how to boost sales and

potential pitfalls

3 Keynotes from Paul Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s

and Anthony Analetto, President of Sonny’s

3 Operator insights on converting a

full-serve to express

3 Free one-on-one meetings

with car wash experts

46 • FALL 2020

Sonny’s Enterprises

partners with

Genstar Capital

NCS partners

with Lustra

National Carwash Solutions (NCS), of Grimes,

Iowa, and a provider of car wash systems, cleaning

solutions and maintenance services, is partnering

with Cleaning Systems Inc. (CSI), which manufactures

Lustra Professional Car Care Products.

“We are constantly searching for strong strategic

partners willing to join the NCS family,” Michael

Gillen, CEO of NCS, stated in a press release. “CSI

and its family of brands, led by Lustra, is an absolutely

perfect fit with our brand portfolio. We’re

thrilled to partner with such an innovative company

that serves many vehicle care channels, including

car wash operators.”

CSI, based in De Pere, Wisconsin, works with a

variety of customers in commercial and industrial

operations that require detergents and cleaning

fluids, including car wash operators.

“National Carwash Solutions was the clear

choice as our strategic partner in terms of continuing

our vision of being the industry leader in satisfying

customer needs for clean and shiny vehicles.

Only NCS has the brands, the proactive strategy,

and the market leadership that will drive our business

to even higher levels. I am thrilled to watch

the company I began so many years ago join the

In other Sonny’s news the manufacturer announced

in August it has named Genstar Capital as

its new investing partner. Genstar Capital based in

San Francisco, California, is a leading private equity

firm focused on investments in targeted segments

of the financial services, healthcare, industrial, and

software industries, according to a press release. This

new round of funding will allow Sonny’s to accelerate

product development, manufacturing, marketing

and to invest more resources into its existing

suite of solutions, a press release stated.

“Our partnership with Genstar will help attract

and retain the best talent in the industry, and help

us to continue to develop innovative new products

that simplify the operations of our customers’ car

wash business,” Paul Fazio stated in the press release.

“When I look back over the years, Sonny’s has

worked with so many entrepreneurs to help them

get their start in the car wash business and then

grow from one site to multiple locations. My team

and I remain committed to being the single source

solution for car wash equipment, vacuums, chemicals,

software, education and local support.”

Rob Rutledge, Managing Director of Genstar

Capital, stated in the press release, “Sonny’s draws

on over 40 years of industry leadership to drive deep

relationships with over 6,000 active customers nationwide.

They operate as true partners with their

customers and invest in their growth, from expert

guidance during site planning through construction

and operations, forging a long-term relationship as

they grow together. We are very excited to work

with Paul Fazio and his team to grow the business

both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

“Our work is to make carwashing easy – and now

we’ll be able to do that better, faster and with more

resources,” Fazio also stated in the press release.

NCS family,” Dave Krause, CEO of Cleaning Systems,

stated in a press release.

National Car Wash Solutions brands include

MacNeil, Ryko, TSS, Vacutech, and CleanTouch.

NCS has also partnered with other car wash distributors

in North America, including Hi-Performance

Wash Systems, Auto-Clean, Arizona Car

Wash Systems, Complete Car Wash, NuLook,

Badger Land and Carwash Solutions.

CSI will continue to provide the same sales, service

and support to all customers, the company

stated in the press release. “We are excited to partner

with the entire team of NCS companies and

be able to drive even greater overall value to our

loyal customers,” said Doug Marquis, vice president

of CSI. “The future is extremely bright, and

our organization is well positioned to meet all the

needs of a rapidly developing car wash market.“



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FALL 2020 • 47



Presenting the news stories

featuring self serve car washes

Facebook launches

small business support initiative

Skogie’s continues its

expansion in Canada

An October 15 Small Business Trends story

reported that in a bid to help small businesses

capitalize on the upcoming holiday shopping

season, Facebook has launched its Season

of Support initiative. With the new offering

businesses conducting holiday promotions on

Facebook or Instagram will receive free training,

marketing support and insights.

“The Season of Support is a three-monthlong

initiative for small and medium-sized

businesses (SMBs) to help them make the

most of the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The support package provides businesses

with resources to strengthen connections

with customers as well as boost sales.

Facebook’s offering, according to the story,

includes 11 weeks of education, resources,

and training for small businesses. It is free of

charge for businesses with a Facebook Page

or Instagram business account. The Season of

Support also includes:

3 A free personalized marketing

plan for your business

3 Tips on boosting posts

3 Free video training

3 Promotional assistance

3 Toolkits to help drive up holiday sales

“The goal is to get your online presence

ready, keep your audience engaged, increase

sales, and manage your online presence,” the

Small Business Trends story said. And you will

be able to make this possible by learning with

a full collection of videos so you can gain new

skills. Additionally, you can come together in

virtual events with your community to share

insights and connect with entrepreneurs and

small business owners.

A fourth Skogie’s Car Wash

is slated for Kelowna, British

Columbia, according to an October

5 Casanet story.

No stranger to the industry, owner Dave Skolund built

his first car wash 49 years ago and will be celebrating its

50 anniversary next May.

Dave’s sons, Chris and Jason Skoglund, are now operating

the business, with its other three locations throughout

British Columbia.

The new location will offer a 160-foot tunnel car

wash, 10 self-service bays, 15 vacuums, and a free vacuum

token with every car wash purchase. It will also be

home to a Canco gas station and convenience store.

According to the story, Skogie’s is also offering memberships,

which start at $35.99 per month, that will work

at all Skogie’s tunnel car washes. Members will be able

to get their car washed every day that their membership

is active. Skogie’s is also planning a big celebration for its

50th anniversary in the spring that will feature plenty of

giveaways and specials for its clientele, the story said.

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48 • FALL 2020








FALL 2020 • 49



New car wash opens in Delaware

A fourth Greenhill Car Wash has opened in the

state of v and this time it is in Millsboro.

According to an October 19 Delaware Business

Now report, the new car wash features an in-bay

automatic made by Ryko, four self-serve bays, vacuums

and vending.

Greenhill Car Wash worked with several local

vendors on the renovation of the existing car wash,

the story said. The original Wilmington location is a

former “brownfields” site that was remediated and

earned the company a Wilmington Award. This year

the Middletown location installed SemaConnect

electric vehicle (“EV”) charging stations, becoming

the first car wash in Delaware to do so.

Barfly Podcast host uses self serve car

wash experience to denounce rude people

Jeff Burkhart, the author of “Twenty Years Behind

Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender,

Vol. I and II,” and the host of the Barfly Podcast on

iTunes, who is also a columnist for the Independent

Journal, recently wrote about a trip to a self serve

car wash. In his September 5 column, Being a jerk

to a jerk does not make you a good person, Burkhart

writes about his dismay over the rudeness of another

self serve car wash customer.

The stalls were all full and I was fourth in line.

A 20-something was in one of the stalls washing a

winged, tinted, hotted-up something or another. He

had actually finished washing it and was now going

through what looked like chamois cloths in his

trunk, one at a time, even stopping to pick little bits

of lint from each one. This went on for about five

minutes before the guy in the car at the front of the

line honked his horn and pointed at the sign that

read, “No bucket washing if other cars are waiting.”

The 20-something gave that guy the middle finger.

The car behind the first car then honked his

horn, too.

“You know, you could do that over there,” said the

guy in car No. 2, pointing at eight empty spots reserved

for doing exactly that sort of thing.

The 20-something gave him the finger, too.

Eventually, the cars in line were able to pull into

other bays, all while the 20-something-year-old slowly

detailed his car. Burkhart was then next in line.

I was the last car waiting and as I finally pulled

into another opening stall, the towel-drying and

finger-giving guy decided that now he was done. He

got into his car and pulled around, passing all three

guys he had given the finger to. For good measure,

Greenhill Car Wash opened

its first location in Wilmington

in 2009, the story said.

Plans call for further expansion

in the Mid-Atlantic region with two additional locations

planned for 2021. All Greenhill locations are

locally owned.

Being a jerk to a jerk

does not make you a

good person

he did it again.

The last guy took one look

at his meticulously dried car and then

sprayed it with his hose. Twice. That kid got

out of his car and walked toward him in a threatening


The kid stopped and then looked at all of us

watching and said, “Did you see what this asshole

just did?”

“We did,” I said. “And we all saw what you did,

too.” ... That kid gave me the middle finger, too. And

I returned it.

Burkhart offers a few final thoughts, including

this one: Stores, restaurants and, yes, even car washes,

have started having line monitors because apparently

adult Americans can’t seem to handle it

for ourselves.

GO Car Wash continues expansion in Las Vegas

GO Car Wash continues its Las Vegas market

expansion with the announcement of

its first new development site at 1650 E.

Tropicana Ave, according to an August

4 press release. GO Car Wash currently

operates four sites in the Las Vegas market,

with several more new development

sites to be announced in the near future.

In the next 24 months, GO Car Wash, which is

based out of Phoenix, Arizona, plans to build out an

additional 10-plus sites in the market.

“We are excited to announce our big growth plans

for the Las Vegas market and our first official new

development site in the market, which we expect

to break ground on in the fall,” Darren

Skarecky, CEO of GO Car Wash, stated

in a press release. “We look forward to

expanding our footprint throughout the

market. We continue to focus on providing

the highest level of service to our

current and future customers with the best

car wash offerings, including monthly memberships

utilizing license plate recognition technology

throughout all of our locations.”

GO Car Wash currently operates 19 sites in the

Kansas City, Kansas, market with an additional two

new development sites expected to open in the

next 60 days and plans to operate roughly that same

amount in the Las Vegas market. “When we enter

a market, we do so with the plan to go deep and

have a significant presence in that market. Typically,

we look for quality acquisitions to quickly create

regional density, but when necessary, we will build

locations in order to meet that goal,” JT Thomson,

Chief Development Officer and President of GO

Car Wash, stated in the press release. “We are actively

looking throughout the Las Vegas market for quality

sites in busy retail areas to fuel our planned growth.”

Neon Marketplace grows in Massachusetts

A second Neon Marketplace has opened in Portsmouth,

Massachusetts, and more are on the way, according

to a What’s Up NEWP story.

The September 30 story said the first store opened

earlier this year. According to a press release, Neon

Marketplace caters “to today’s modern traveler by

delivering a uniquely refreshing and stylish experience

designed to drive consumer loyalty. Neon Marketplace

locations are targeted for areas where the

convenience store customer is currently underserved

and in areas where growing populations and/or

business growth has resulted in increased vehicular

traffic and consumer demand. In addition to offering

a wide variety of high-quality food options, Neon

Marketplace also offers premium-quality fuels and,

in many locations, will have a self-service car wash

and vacuum stations.”

There are three other locations in development,

with locations slated for Providence, Rhode Island,

Seekonk, Massachusetts, and Freetown, Massachusetts.

These three locations have opening dates for

the first half of 2021.

“Our family has been in the convenience store

business for decades and it’s truly exciting to see our

vision become reality in terms of offering our guests

an experience that is unmatched in the marketplace

today,” said Joseph Giacobbi, Director of Operations

for Neon Marketplace in a statement. “After the successful

launch of our first store on 533 E. Main Road

in Middletown, we are excited to spread this brand

to another town on Aquidneck Island and continue

to innovate the convenience store experience for our


50 • FALL 2020

FALL 2020 • 51





Think these two pictures taken at a self serve car wash

are the same? Think again! There are six differences.

Can you spot them all?

1. Every Tuesday dropped from sign

2. Vacuum is flipped

3. Bay door is missing middle divider

4. Bay sign is repeated

5. 3rd light added

6. Shadow is larger



The following are some funny comments

seen on carwashforum.com

Complaint from a woman at the wash; “I’m not coming

back here! I paid $9, ran out of time, and got soap and

water all over my feet. Why

is there soap all over the

floor?!?!” She was in flip

flops. We sold her $5 more in

tokens, said thank you and

walked away. - Waxman

Get a message yesterday “fragrance did not

come out”. Several messages of me asking

actual details like what location and which

vacuum, finally they say vacuum #8. I check and

see they vacuumed at #8, but turned the fragrance

on at #7. Asked if they were at the same vac the whole

time, “yes”. Well, you turned on the fragrance on #7. “Well,

#8 only had the shampoo function, so I had to turn on #7.

Did I have to move my car over that one”? First time for

everything I guess. - slash007

The story of one car wash worker who was scared sudless!

Mike Hallowell, a columnist writing for the Jarrow and Hebburn

Gazette in England said he was asking for ghost stories submission.

One particular story stood out to Hallowell. It was from Jimmy

Swift, a former car wash worker who believed the room where the

containers of wax were stored was haunted.

“I walked into the room as normal, and went to get the first of

the containers,” Swift said. “Just as I was about to pick it up I

suddenly felt very strange, as if I was being watched. …I looked

around but there was definitely no one else in there, so I just left.

The next morning I went into the room again, and straight away I

got the same feeling, as if someone was staring at me. This time I

mentioned it to another lad who worked there, and he said, ‘Why do

you think the new person always gets that job? No one else will go

in there – it’s haunted.’

Swift said soon after that he told his boss he was quitting. Upon

quitting, his boss said he once found a dead dog in that same

storage room.

Hallowell said he tried to contact the carwash, but it has since been

closed down.

This story appeared in The Occult Section… Exploring

all things paranormal, supernatural and unexplained.

52 • FALL 2020

FALL 2020 • 53

Tap into the


How apps are used at

self serves and no longer

considered a far-out millennial marvel.

Apps are nothing new to today’s consumer.

And customers wanting more convenience, discounts

and efficiency is definitely nothing new. It

is probably no surprise that the amount of time

people spend on their smartphones is substantial.

And, with a few weeks left in 2020 the figures are

not yet in for how much time Americans spent on

their mobile devices, but the Covid-19 pandemic

certainly (and more than likely) greatly upped all

of the figures.

Last year, according to

Zenith, a global marketing

firm, “American adults spent

about 3 hours and 30 minutes

a day using the mobile internet

in 2019, an increase of about

20 minutes from a year earlier.”

However, since the world was

upended in March 2020, those

numbers have majorly increased.

Back in August, Forbes magazine, released the

following article: We’ve Spent 1.6 Trillion Hours

On Mobile So Far In 2020. It quoted Lexi Sydow,

App Annie’s Senior Market Insights Manager, who

stated, “Covid-19 propelled mobile usage forward

— achieving growth that would have otherwise taken

two to three years. As we head into the holiday

season and 2021, businesses who prioritize mobile

will outpace competitors, as mobile represents a

significant driver of revenue growth for businesses.”

The article also included the following App Annie


• In April, the average user spent

a quarter of their waking time

on their mobile device: 4.3 hours

• Consumers spent 25% more on

mobile apps than ever before:

$50 billion in the first half of the year

“App downloads from the iOS App Store and

Android’s Google Play topped 64 billion in the

first half of the year,” the report also stated. “That’s

up 10% from 2019 numbers. The 27% of waking

hours consumers spent on mobile in early 2020

was up 20% from 2019 levels.”

Those findings might not be surprising. Go to

any park, restaurant or sofa throughout American

and more than likely, someone is on their phone.

But what was an interesting figure is that people

are spending billions of dollars via an app. Apps allow

one-stop payment options, pre-loaded credit

card information and “swipe-right-to-pay” straightforwardness.

But let’s re-focus on the world of self

serve car washes — a market that has mostly survived

the pandemic, and also been able to weather

past economic storms, but are self serves able to

handle modern times, and generations of youngsters

who rarely carry cash? Is technology and bells

and whistles a marketing maneuver for the self

serve owner or its customer? Are customers, who

would rather wash their own cars, content with the

way it has always been? It’s hard to speak for the

average car wash customer, but studies have shown

that Millennials and Generation Z-ers are more into

modern mediums. But, what about Baby Boomers?

According to a Mobile Marketer report, in 2019,

Baby Boomers have the highest purchasing power,

but were the latest of all generations to adapt

to mobile technologies. However, their mobile

usage and acceptance is growing. “Mobile penetration

is growing for this age group, with 65.6%

of Baby Boomers in the United States owning a

smartphone in 2018 and 55% of them having a

tablet. They’re downloading apps that mainly help

them with healthy living, travel and shopping to

make life easier, the report stated. “In the United

States, 52% of Baby Boomers said they use retail

apps to collect more information about a product

or service, whereas 40% have used a retail app to

buy a product or a service.”

Perhaps a key factor in determining whether or

not a self serve car wash would benefit from having

an app would be to consider your demographics.

Are you in a college town? Are your customers

on their phones while at your wash? What about

your competitors’ offerings?

According to Jim Sturm, president of Yes Marketing,

he stated in a 2019 press release, “To survive

the retail apocalypse, retailers need to prioritize

the mobile experience. Consumers will not

hesitate to turn to another brand if it offers a more

user-friendly experience.”

If there is any confusion on how a mobile app

would work with your car wash, we interviewed

various companies to answer some of the most frequently

asked questions, including Amy Olson of

WashCard Systems, Jim Lanmen of Touch4Wash,

and Shane Larsen of Coinless.

54 • FALL 2020

Amy Olsen of




What kind of app or

apps do you offer

self serve car washes?

Amy: WashCard offers an app for self serves, automatics,

pet washes, vacuums, vending, and more.

The app allows for operators to create the experience

of their brand plus customize the rewards

programs they want to offer. We offer a variety of

rewards programs so operators are able to have

what fits their customer base best. The first is our

star rewards program where a user can buy 10

washes and get one free. Operators can also offer

a free wash upon registration within the app. This

gives operators the contact information of the user

to be able to use text messages and email marketing

to promote the app. Operators can also

activate the wash from anywhere to resolve

customer issues or test new services…


Self serves are a bit different

in that they don’t have set

wash packages, so how

would an app work for a self serve?

Amy: The UWashApp offers two ways to set up

your pricing packages for your self serve bays, or

your vacuums. Operators can choose to do count

up on their services, allowing customers to wash as

long as they need to with a max purchase amount

set by the operator. They can also choose to do wash

packages in increments they want. Such as a $4

package, $6 package, $8 package, or $10 package.


Some self serve owners are

worried that offering an app

will require a lot of work

(installing the technology, etc.)

what advice do you have for them?

Amy: With any app you will be installing some

level of hardware in order to be able to talk to

the car wash equipment. Depending on the equipment

you have and how many bays you have, installation

times may vary…


Do you have to offer wi-fi at

your car wash for it to work?

Amy: NO to Wi-Fi but there does need to

be a high-speed internet connection. UWashApp

by itself does not need Wi-Fi or a Static IP because

purchases are made in the cloud.


What trends are you seeing

with car washing clients in

terms of perks offered for

using the app, such as points

rewarded for frequent visits, etc?

Amy: One trend that has been in the industry for

quite a while when it comes to apps has been unlimited

programs. These programs are great for

large tunnel operations, and some IBAs. However,

we have seen some of the smaller operations really

struggle in getting the best return on their investment.

That’s where an app like UWashApp can be

beneficial to car wash owners who either want to

add an app or introduce touch-free payments and

loyalty programs without the cost of adding card

readers. Other rewards programs are becoming increasingly

popular, whether they are a points-based

system or star-based system. The history of having

physical punch cards is quickly being replaced by

apps and the loyalty programs built within them.

Jim Lanman of



How did Touch4Wash

come about?

Jim: It started because Jared Tomlin had

owned a self serve car wash and he noticed there

weren’t tools at his disposal to help boost his business.

He was also frustrated that if a customer was

having an issue inside one of his bays, he would

have to stop what he was doing and drive out to

the car wash to help them or mail them a check to

pay for any money they lost. I partnered with him

in 2012 to develop Touch4Wash with self serves

in mind, so that customers would have access to

loyalty programs, fleet programs, membership

programs and discounts and the car wash owner

would have access to marketing tools and ways to

automate the way the wash is run. The app is also

designed to work with in-bay automatics.


Do you have a lot of self

serve car wash owners

using your program?

Jim: Yes, we have always kept the self serve owner

in mind, as Jared was a self serve owner, but this

works great with an in-bay as well. We know they

are often economical, and we wanted to offer tools

that can help them. We offer a program that will

give them various ways to help their business and

also be affordable at the same time. Not only can

the app offer wash packages that you would see

with a conveyor wash, it also offers a service-based

package for the customer where they pay a certain

amount and they are then offered credits at a discounted

rate. Also, the owner doesn’t have to mail a

check to a car wash customer if they somehow lose

money in the bay, the owner can just credit their account

and instantly resolve problems. All that power

is now in the palm of the car wash owner’s hand.


How can a self serve car

wash customer use the app?

Jim: We offer several ways a car wash owner

can have customers pay with the app:

• Pay as you Go (push a button and it

goes on the customer’s credit card)

• Prepaid credit (put $100 into the

account, and that will go toward

purchases made in the bay at a discount).

• Loyalty Points (a customer earns

points as they spend which can

then be used in the bay).

• Fleet programs

• Membership programs

You can also market with the app. Such as offering

a discount on a Tuesday night that is automatically



I would think with Covid-19,

there are pluses to offering

an app to customers?

Jim: Absolutely. People aren’t wanting to handle

cash as much. They also want to get in and out of

places efficiently. Another benefit is that car wash

owners do not have to handle as much cash or

empty meter boxes and haul money to the bank.


Do you find there are self serve

owners who are apprehensive

about offering an app?

Jim: Yes, some are. And I don’t think an owner

should go completely cashless either. I think they

should view it as a whole new way for a customer

to pay. I think mobile technology will be like credit

cards and just as commonly used.

FALL 2020 • 55

Shane Larsen of



How did Coinless come


Shane: Jared, the founder of Coinless,

bought his first self serve wash back in 2017.

Although business was better than ever, he was

frustrated by the need to constantly drive across

town to help a customer or to issue a refund. Additionally,

he saw happy customers drive up, pay

for his services, and leave, without knowing anything

about them and their experience or their

loyalty to his wash. So, he started to work on an

app that would provide a seamless payment and

loyalty experience for the customer and benefit

the car wash owner with real-time customer analytics

and remote management features. We debuted

at the International Carwash Association’s

Car Wash Show in Nashville in 2019 and we are

now at 125 car washes.


Why should a self serve car

wash owner consider offering

an app to his or her


Shane: There is a ton of value and benefits for

offering an app at their washes that were never

possible before… With more and more people

carrying less cash it’s something that we should

look at and ask where the future of payments

is headed. The data says the future is all about

mobile payments. Some of the following features

and benefits are great reasons for the self serve car

wash owner to consider offering an app:

• Gives customers a reason to keep

coming back to your car wash

through loyalty programs

• Drives more revenue through wash

club memberships and marketing

• Contactless payments

• Knowing your customers name,

email and phone number

• Ability to send promotions

straight to customers’ phones

• Ability to remotely start equipment

and take care of customer issues

• Brings in a new younger

demographic of smartphone users


Does the app somehow

encourage loyalty to a

specific car wash?

Shane: Yes, we’ve taken a unique approach to

help car wash owners drive loyalty at their wash

and customize their customers’ rewards and experience.

By utilizing innovative location services

and “geofencing” technologies, the customer only

sees the car wash location they are at, or the nearest

wash to them when they launch the app. With

a combination of onsite marketing, free/discounted

first-washes, customizable monthly memberships,

and a customizable point-based loyalty program,

owners can easily cater to the needs of their

customers and provide value that the wash down

the street cannot.


Have you noticed an uptick in

demand since Covid-19?

Shane: Yes, more than ever. Customers appreciate

the convenience, benefits, and cleanliness

of going mobile. Money is dirty. Being as “contactless”

as possible is becoming more popular. Businesses

want to be virus-proof and not handling

cash or touching a bunch of buttons is helping





No matter your equipment,

we work with just about any

equipment on the market.


Payments are made easily

through credit or loyalty

cards, and mobile.


With one location or

hundreds, tie all your data

together to make managing

your wash a breeze.

651-439-5740 | washcard.com

56 • FALL 2020

with that. Plus, an owner doesn’t want to

have to drive to their wash if a customer

needs a refund or didn’t do something

correctly, This way, they can do all of that

from their home, or even on vacation.


You mentioned that

through the app you

can more easily interact

with each customer, what

about somehow giving them

a platform to offer feedback?

Shane: Yes, we offer a review component

(instead of stars, it’s drops of water)

where they can rate their experience and

it goes directly to the car wash owner.

The owner can then respond to both

positive and negative reviews instantly.






According to App Annie,

Facebook Messenger is the

top mobile app worldwide

by download. As for active

users, the WhatsApp app is

the most popular.


According to a MindSea.com statement,

“In 2020, eMarketer predicts that adult

smartphone users will spend about 4 hours

per day using mobile internet, and 88%

of that time will be spent in mobile apps,

rather than a browser. This speaks to

the importance of companies not

only optimizing their websites for

mobile, but creating custom,

responsive apps too.”


• 2.96 million apps are available in the

Google Play Store.*

• 4.37 million apps are available in the

Apple App Store.*

• More than 100,000 new apps being released

each month in the Google Play Store.

• More than 30,000 new apps being released

each month in the Apple App Store.**

• In 2019, consumers downloaded

204 billion apps.***

*Information according to Statista **Information according to 42Matters

***Information according to App Annie

• Membership Plans

• Loyalty Programs

• Fleet Programs

• Automated Marketing

• Text Marketing

More than an App,

It’s a tool to help

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FALL 2020 • 57




A new study from Paysafe carried

out between September 9 and 18, 2020,

with 350 businesses in the U.S. and Canada

participating, showed that their customers

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The study also offered up the following

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• 88% of the businesses surveyed made

at least one change to their checkouts

during the pandemic and 39% reported

the volume of business increased.

• 64% of the businesses attribute this

increase to online sales through either a

new or existing offering.

• 23% of the businesses surveyed

launched an online card-not-present

(CNP) checkout for the first time during

the pandemic.

• 17% of businesses without an online

presence plan on adding an online

checkout soon.

• 44% of the businesses surveyed are

adding the acceptance of contactless

payment on delivery and 44% are adding

card payment on delivery.

What was the first ever app?

It might come as no shock that Apple founder

and mega computer pioneer Steve Jobs predicted

the “app” in 1983. At a conference in Aspen,

Colorado, he described a record-store like medium

where you could pick and choose your own

computer applications according to your likes

and dislikes. In Marcel’s Brown’s column for

Life, Liberty and Technology, he analyzed Jobs’

speech and wrote, “[Jobs] believed that software

distribution through traditional brick-and-mortar

was archaic since software is digital and can

be transferred electronically through phone lines.

He foresees paying for software in an automated

fashion over the phone lines with credit cards. I

don’t know about you, but I think this sounds incredibly

similar to the concept of the Apple App

Store. Plus, his comparison to the music industry

just might be foreshadowing the iTunes store…”

As for the what was the actual first app, it is

hard to pin-down the exact one as the definition

of an what an app is can vary. In the mid-

1980s, London-based computer company Psion

released the Psion Organiser, largely considered

to be the first successful personal digital assistant

(PDA), Investopedia reported.

“The Organiser line couldn’t do much, but it

did have a handful of built-in software, such as a

text editor, calculator, diary, agenda, contact database

and a few other simple functions.” Even

though the Organisers weren’t able to handle

phone calls, they started the momentum for the

invention of the mobile app format.

Years later, and what is widely regarded as

the actual first-ever game app, the Nokia 6110

launched the game Snake in 1997.

Then, as mobile phones became more and

more common and sophisticated at the turn of

the century, various mobile operating systems

began to emerge. “The most notable of these

were Symbian OS (Nokia (NOK) Sony Ericsson

(SNE), Motorola (MSI), Samsung), iOS (iPhone/

iPad), and Android (Sony, LG, HTC). Note that

some manufacturers developed phones for both

Symbian and Android operating systems,” states

Investopedia. “Some of the first apps featured on

the Apple’s App Store included PhoneSaber, an

app that utilized the iPhone’s accelerometer to

produce that characteristic ‘wooommmm’ sound

whenever the user shook the phone, and Evernote,

a popular personal data/media organizer

still used widely today.”



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FALL 2020 • 59

Around the Wash:

Self Serve Panel





of Weiss Guys Express

Wash in Phoenix, Arizona. It

has been a family business

since the 1950s and started

in Cleveland, Ohio, with

her grandfather. Marla’s

family eventually moved

out West and Marla has

been working fulltime in the

industry for 35 years.


also of Weiss Guys, who has

worked with Marla’s father

for 40 years and now works

with Marla.


of The Good Spray Car

Wash in Davis County, Utah.

At one point she had three

self serve washes and she

is now down to one. She

is also building an express

tunnel at another location.

King has been in the car

washing business for 12.5



of Balboa Car Wash in Los

Angeles, California. The

Tolopilo family has been in

the car wash business since

1972 and in the past couple

of years he partnered with

his brother-in-law. Together,

the family runs six self serve

car washes as well as an

express tunnel.

60 • FALL 2020


BABB: What are you doing currently

to secure your washes? Are you utilizing

cameras? What other tips do you have?

What works best to keep your washes secure?

TOLOPILO: For quite some time, the locks have been

key, and we have had security cameras and DVR systems

in place for a while. Incidentally enough, this year has been

a weird year for everyone, but when the subject of defunding

the police came through in the last couple of months,

and right when that became mainstream media, we got

hit with break-ins four times within that month… so right

away we invested in security alarm systems. Now all of our

locations are on a platform with alarms and we get notified

if anything suspicious happens. We were good enough with

cameras for all of these years, but this exposed a weakness

and now, since adding these security alarms systems,

we stopped two additional break-ins because the alarms

scared the burglars off.

MCDONALD: What kind of cameras do you use?

TOLOPILO: …We are not at the 4K level yet, that’s the

area I am looking at next because of the high definition.

[Ours are] high resolution enough that we were able to

use them in the past with getting license plates and facial

recognition for cops, but when we were hit a few months

back, they just stole the DVR so it didn’t help. So now we

have extra layers [of security].

KING: I just bought Weiss Outdoor cameras but I have

not tried to install them yet. I am just now researching

where the best placement is for [the cameras when it

comes to self serves]. Do I put them high or low? I do

have camera systems, but they are on the exterior. This

The Western Carwash Association held a Virtual Summit

and Roadshow on October 16. Along with the WCA’s annual

membership meeting and awards, a live keynote address

from author Mary Kelly, and virtual vendor booths,

there were also educational offerings including a self serve

summit featuring four self serve operators, and experts.

The one-hour session was a chance to hear from operators

throughout the country and provide an opportunity

for idea sharing and best practices for successful self-serve

business operations. The panel was moderated by Kristy

Babb, the Executive Director of the Western Carwash

Association. The following is only a portion of the panel

discussion and some answers were edited for space limitations.

To listen to the entire discussion, visit wcwa.org.

will be the first time I have put them inside a bay. Do

you need to see faces? Or license plates? I feel like license

plates is the best place, but I don’t want them where people

are going to steal them.

TOLOPILO: We have them on the ceiling mounted with

a dome. The one thing you run into there is moisture and

the maintenance (having to de-fog) and clean them because

once spray and chemical and condensation gets in

there it will start to block the visual. We have benefited

from having them on the ceiling…The only time they get

messed with is if a large moving truck runs into one and

knocks it down.

MAYER: The cameras we are experiencing with, the snap

cameras, are a light that you put in the light fixture and

there is a motion sensor, like a floodlight, so you stick it into

the outlet where your floodlight is and it turns on and you

can also hear people and speak to people if you need to and

you can hold the videos as long as you want. It’s free if its 24

hours…We just started experimenting with these at two of

our sites and I think we are going to move forward putting

them in the others. It is really just to watch what is going on

there and we are happy with them.

TOLOPILO: We have found that when you have a broader

view of your property, it’s come in handy when things

have happened right outside your property, whether it

is a car accident or any other incident. When the police,

who have come to us multiple times, ask for footage of a

non-carwash-related incident we have been able to assist

them with their investigations.

KING: It is always helpful to have the cops on your side. I

get them parking in my lot at night, so it is always helpful

to have a good relationship that way.


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FALL 2020 • 61

Around the Wash Self Serve Panel



BABB: What about the change

shortage that we have seen nationally?

Has that affected anyone’s business?

MCDONALD: It hasn’t affected us at all because

we use tokens. We’re fortunate. We dispense tokens

out of our change machines. We give a free

vacuum token if you use our express washes.

TOLOPILO: There has been a noticeable impact;

we dispense dollar coins and quarters and people

are learning that they cannot just come and get

quarters at our location. It has increased quite a bit

on our exchange with our bank because we order

coins on a weekly basis and [the demand] spiked

up for the last month and a half as people have

been adjusting because [to the shortage]. Everywhere

in our area, [such as restaurants] are not

offering change back, and exact change is required

so people are coming to our location for all sorts

of reasons to get change, and then driving off, so it

impacts the amount of currency exchange we do

on a weekly basis.

KING: I’m totally quarter run. I have the dollar

changer. I don’t use tokens in the bays. All it’s done

for me is that I have less bags of quarters to drag

to the bank, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion,

I’m just doing more business by credit card, then

by cash, which hopefully means they’re running

a little more than the $3 minimum on the credit

card. But I have not noticed it has slowed down

the business…


BABB: What is everyone doing

in regard to vacuums? Are

you charging customers? Are

you offering the free vacuums?

How are you competing with the free vacuums

that are being offered at a lot of the tunnels?

MCDONALD: We only give a free vacuum token

if you use our express drive-thru wash and we give

a little bronze token. If you are strictly a self serve

customer, you have to pay $1 for 4 minutes. We

get a few complaints, but it’s very few, and we do a

very nice vacuum business. We collect quite a few

quarters and tokens.

TOLOPILO: We do not offer free vacuums, but a

lot of that is driven by the fact that space is limited

at our locations. We have an express tunnel at

one location, but we do not have the real estate to

facilitate free vacuum customers. We charge $1.25

for 4 minutes and in the same sentiment, we have

a heathy revenue stream.

KING: I am the same. I have been thinking that

to separate from the free vacuum people, I could

maybe put in the shampooers or a mat wash that

[competitors] don’t have and still be able to charge

$1 for the 4 minutes. I don’t have anyone complaining

either. My vacuums are consistently busy.

But as more and more express tunnels show up it

might become more of an issue down the road.

MAYER: Something we’ve also attached to our

vacuums to make them a little more friendly for

the customer is a little air blower that they can use

to blow out any excess water in their mirrors or

along the front, so that is a bonus for them.


BABB: What is everyone using?

I know there’s new stuff

coming out what seems like

every week, ceramic gloss for


KING: What I’ve used for the last 12 years has

worked so well, but I would like to try and expand

our product line. So, I have a question: If I put in

something like a ceramic gloss, does the average

customer coming into the wash know what it is

and what is going to do for their vehicle and be

willing to spend a few extra dollars? And, if I put

in a tire shine or a tire scrub, that means they are

spending more time in the bay, and that means

there are people waiting in line behind them. To

me, it’s a conundrum: Do I want them spending

more time in the bay, or do I want more throughput

to get them in and out?

MCDONALD: As long as the equipment is running

while they are in the bay it doesn’t matter.

Whether you wash one car for 24 hours non-stop

or 24 people came in and washed for an hour, it’s

the same. …we’re all selling time in the bays. So, as

long as we can keep them in there, keep the equipment

turned on and they’re not in there bucket

washing, God bless them.



BABB: What are self serves

doing, if anything, to reward

their customers? Do you have a

frequent customer program?

MAYER: We do not, but it is something that hopefully

we will be looking at down the road.

TOLOPILO: We do not either, and we do have the

infrastructure to handle that.

MCDONALD: Our rewards program is basically

me or a general manager walking by a bay and

handing out a free vacuum token or quarter and

giving them more time in the bay on us.

KING: We did use a “Thanks” program a few years

ago. But we discontinued the service. I did talk to

our chemical rep and asked if he had any experience

with any of his other clients and he said one

of his clients installed an RFID program in their inbay

automatic and they were able to give monthly

or unlimited passes through that and that was very

effective. I sell discount coupons and tokens for

the automatic and that keeps [customers] coming

back, but I am wondering if the RFID would be a

worthy investment.



BABB: What is the craziest

thing that has happened, or you

have seen happen in one of your bays?

MAYER: We have dog washes, and I am not sure

if it’s the craziest thing that has happened, but

this was fun for me. Someone brought over their

miniature pony into one of the dog washes. It was

exciting. I took video and pictures. It was a fun and

happy experience.

MCDONALD: I have a few. We had a guy with a

crane truck — it wasn’t very long ago — who tried

to drive into one of our bays. Now mind you this is

a truck with a 30-foot crane attached and the bay

is labeled 9’10” tall and the truck is roughly 13’

tall, so he didn’t fit very well... I did watch a man

wash a full-size horse in a bay. The horse loved it.

I did watch a man wash a dog in a bay, before we

had pet washes. I turned the bay off as the dog was

not happy with what was happening.

TOLOPILO: We have had a lot of random stuff…

people taking our metal plates from the ground to

people putting chains on their bumpers and trying

to rip of our door (this was recent). This is more

lighthearted: So, a YouTuber, this is a “dad hack”

type of YouTuber, used our car wash to show how

you can wash a baby highchair in a bay. We found

the YouTube video online and I’ve been meaning

to contact him and offer him some free coupons.

KING: We have a Clydesdale as a frequent visitor

at our wash. He is absolutely gorgeous. Loves getting

washes. I see baseball uniforms being washed

— lined up in the mat holders and washed. Not

a funny thing, but you know those Ford vehicles

with the keylock pads on the doors? A mom pulled

in with a toddler and a brand-new baby. She got

out and washed her car and then locked her babies

in the car. She was completely panicked, and it

was in the middle of winter. So, I gave her my coat

and gloves. We called the Ford dealership and the

dealer had happened to write down the security

code to every car that [leaves the lot]. So, she was

able to get back in.

62 • FALL 2020





The investment in security cameras pays off for carwash operators (and the readers of SSCWN)

with these mostly frustrating, sometimes funny -- and always cautionary -- stories of Darwins Caught on

Camera. Images of these criminals and/or their vehicles were given to police and the press. Many have been

caught thanks to the prowess of security cameras.

Crikey! What have we here in the land of Oz!?

Why, it’s a naked bloke inside a bay.

A naked man was caught getting hosed-down at

the Parkland’s Car and Dog Wash in Queensland,

Australia, back in August, the New York Post reported.

The story said security footage shows the naked

man covering certain unmentionables and grabbing

the car wash wand. The man then hands the

hose to another man who sprays him down while

filming the incident on his phone.

The naked man is then seen jumping up and

down as he gets splashed. He is then seen getting

chased down by another man, who was brandishing

a knife and a hat lined with animal teeth and a vest

made from crocodile skin. I made that last part up.

Things are getting downright nutty

in Romania.

The metal pole I get, but a wooden stump? According

to the Swindon Adviser, two brothers are

now in custody after showing up a car wash and

threatening one of its employees. The brothers had

allegedly gone to the Texaco garage around 8:15

a.m. on August 4, 2020, to try and threaten the


CCTV showed the brothers pull up in a van, get

out while brandishing weaponry towards the car

wash worker. The man’s colleague tried to intervene,

the story said.

Other car wash workers joined in and were able

to scare the brothers away, or so they thought! Instead

one of the brothers got into their van and

drove it towards the victim.

Police were called and the brothers were arrested

at the scene and the weapons, which they had

managed to retrieve, were found in the van.

As for the weapons, it appears they were a

stump of wood and a metal pole. In the CCTV

footage it shows both brothers wearing masks, so

at least they were showing their concern for the

international pandemic.

When they appeared in court, Judge Crabtree

said: “If you’re tooled up and you drive a van at

someone and you’ve got a stump of wood and a

metal pole your intention is to cause serious harm.”

The judge bailed the men who agreed to cooperate.

No mention of the Olympic

medal? Clear clue in my

book (read further for the

“red pants” story).

Police in Bradford, Ontario, released

a description of a man who tried to

break into an ATM machine at the Palm

Springs Car Wash last June. Now,

when you look at his picture, what is

the first thing you see?

Why, it’s what looks like an Olympic

medal. Yet, the crime stoppers report

does not mention it.

An investigation indicated he

attempted to gain access to the ATM

machine however, an alarm sounded

and he hastily departed empty-handed.

The ATM was damaged in an attempt

to gain access.

The suspect is described as:

• Male

• White, tanned

• Shaved head and

long hair at the back

• Goatee

• Medium build

• Wearing a blue jean jacket,

black pants, white shoes,

yellow gloves and a red backpack

FALL 2020 • 63

We got a couple of dumb

ones here, folks!

Two men were caught after robbing a car wash

in McDowell, North Carolina, according to The

McDowell News.

The story said that around 3 p.m. on Sunday,

August 9, someone broke into coin machines at

the Zip Car Wash and took money and tools and

caused damage to locks.

The crimes were caught on car wash surveillance

cameras and police were able to get a good

image of the vehicle used. That very night, a police

officer spotted a truck matching that description

on the same roadway as the car wash.

The officer pulled the truck over and found

two men inside along with items in the truck that

were involved with the car wash break-in.

Kyle Jordan Jenkins, 25, was charged with possession

of a stolen vehicle, larceny, injury to personal

property and breaking into a coin-operated


And John Paul McCall, 37, was charged with

larceny, injury to personal property, breaking into

a coin-operated machine and possession of methamphetamine.

Here is a new feature in

Self Serve Car Wash News:

Where did this “sharp-witted”

car wash criminal try to hide?

According to a story out of Nevada County,

California, a suspect tried to thwart police by


• Inside a trash can

• Up a flagpole

• In a blackberry bush

• Behind a police car

And, while all four answers could be the right

answer considering the name of this section of

the magazine, the correct answer in this scenario

is: C -- in a blackberry bush!

Back in August, police were on the hunt for a

vandalism suspect who covered more than a mile

and a half on foot during an extensive tagging

spree over a weekend, damaging between 20 to

25 businesses, according to The Union. Surveillance

video revealed a younger white man spray

painting the walls of one business, the story said.

During a foot chase, in which they were pretty

sure they spotted the vandal, a police officer

happened upon a man who was crouched near a

dumpster located near one of the vandalized businesses.

The man then fled into some blackberry bushes

and headed toward the highway, but was later

apprehended. “As it turned out,” the story said,

“although he was not the vandal, he admitted to

having been trying to break into coin machines

at the car wash.”

When you’re trying to make a swift

getaway on a bicycle, your best bet is

to put down the cases of beer, I always say.

Back in August In Richmond, Virginia, a man is

accused of stealing and crashing cars, according to

6 News.

The man was seen on surveillance video grabbing

a few cases of beer from an Exxon in Richmond

without paying. An employee then confronted

him near the Exxon’s car wash, but backed away

when the thief said he had a gun on him.

The man then tries to get away on a bicycle, but

It was a distinctive pair of red pants that did him

in proving once and for all that fashion can in fact, be a crime.

According to St. Louis Call Newspaper, a man

has been charged with stealing a credit card at

gunpoint at the Classic Car Wash in South County,

Missouri, and police say he was caught for two

reasons: A car wash surveillance video and a particular

pair of red pants.

Back in August, prosecutors charged Ahmon

Smith, 19, for one count of first-degree robbery

and one count of armed criminal action.

Smith was apparently at a car wash and approached

a young man who was trying to use his credit card in

one of the car wash machines. The victim said he

assumed Smith worked at the car wash.

Smith then pointed a gun and demanded the

credit card. He allegedly then took the victim’s

card and drove away from the car wash.

Police detectives used surveillance video to find

still images of the suspect’s car and took notice of

the criminal’s distinctive red pants. Unfortunately

for us, there is no image of the red pants available.

A man who backed into a

gas pump at a ScrubaDub

car wash in Portland, Maine,

has been caught thanks to

the public. According to WJBQ

news, a driver crashed into a gas

pump, Saturday September 19th,

setting it on fire.

The car wash posted footage of the

driver on its Facebook page, people

were able to identify the culprit.

One funny person wrote on the car

wash’s Facebook pages, ‘Looks like he

stole that Ford from Jurassic Park after

they shut it down.’

had a hard time trying to balance the four cases

of beer.

The same man then apparently appeared a week

later at the same business where he stole a vehicle

when the car’s owner left the pump running and

had gone inside.

Police said he later crashed that car in nearby

Henrico, Virginia. Police were able to eventually

apprehend the suspect.

Detectives were able to track down Smith at his

residence where they also found the red pants.

This isn’t the first time Classic Car Wash surveillance

footage has helped police. The owner was

also able to catch suspects in 2016 who trashed his

business, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

As for the red pants, I took the liberty of doing

a Google search of what they might have looked

like. Here are some of my findings:

64 • FALL 2020

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FALL 2020 • 65

This Ben Affleck wannabe was

caught thanks to good ol DNA,

in Barry, Illinois.

Back on October 16, 2019, at 1:54 a.m., security

footage captured a masked gunman walking into the

Jiffi Stop convenience store and taking off with money,

cigarettes and lottery tickets, according to The Telegraph.

According to the story, a year later, the suspect

was caught a few states over in Colorado after a chance

DNA scan put law enforcement authorities on an 800-

mile path of the man they believe was responsible for

the 2019 armed robbery.

KHQA reported that the Pike County Sheriff’s Department

received notification this past October from

the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Science,

which identified the suspect as Stephen Edward Mullins

due to a DNA hit.

Law enforcement was able to track Mullins to the

Elbert County Jail in Colorado.

In a news release, Sheriff Greenwood stated that

during an investigation, Sergeant Frazier located a very

small item that contained the suspect’s DNA, which

ultimately was used to identify the suspect. “Sheriff

Greenwood said his department was able to track

Mullins throughout the State of Illinois as he attempted

to scan stolen lottery tickets,” according to the story.

From Facebook:

Update: Sometimes, it takes a while

to catch the bad guy and, in this

case, it took a year, but now a 35-year-old car

wash criminal is behind bars. Last year, John Edward

Dyson Jr. was arrested in January 2019 after a theft

was reported at the Super Wash in Ocala, Florida.

According to a Village-News report, he had recently

been released from the Marion County Jail after

serving time following a string of similar thefts. His

criminal resume included the theft of $500 in quarters

from Quality Car Wash in Summerfield, Florida,

$3,000 in damages at the Splash and Dash car

wash in Ocala and inflicting damage to equipment at

Baseline Car Wash in Ocala. He was caught on video

surveillance in each of the incidents.

This past September, a sheriff’s deputy spotted

Dyson at a Circle K minimart and arrested him on

five outstanding warrants.

He has been charged with violating his probation

on previous charges of burglary of a structure,

possession of burglary tools and three counts of

breaking into coin-operated vending machines, according

to the report.

Carlos Jones of Memphis man has

pled guilty to an armed carjacking

that took place in July 2018 at a car wash, according

to WMC5 news.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District

of Tennessee, said the victim was washing his

car around 9 p.m. when two armed suspects approached

him and demanded he move away from

the car and leave.

Surveillance video showed the suspects entering

the car wash in a white vehicle and leaving the

scene with the victim’s vehicle, the story stated.

Investigators tracked down the victim’s vehicle

using GPS. Fingerprints found on the vehicle were

connected to the second suspect, 22-year-old Angelo

Bunting. The victim was also able to identify both

men. Jones recently pled guilty to the charges of carjacking

and brandishing a firearm during a crime of

violence. Jones will be sentenced on January 7, 2021,

and faces up to 15 years for the carjacking and a minimum

of seven years for the weapons charge.

66 • FALL 2020

And, finally, sometimes a little

jab and guilt trip doesn’t hurt.

A car wash in Randolph, Vermont, is closed until

further notice after a criminal stole quarters from

one of its change machines back in October. The

South End Auto car wash decided to use honesty as

its best policy with some poignant signage:




Sanitizing Stations

Increase your profits while helping

your customers stay safe with a

disinfecting mist. Available in pay,

free, stand and wall mount options.

Power Vac Combos

Give your customers vacuum

fragrance and vacuum shampoo

features with these easy to

maintain, low cost combo units

Get more information on these

new and exciting products online

at www.ivs-vacuum.com, or call

us at 800.968.8227

Arch Vacs

Durable, long lasting stainless

steel construction with fully

customizable signage to match

your location.

FALL 2020 • 67





CALL TODAY and Let Us Show

You How Self Serves Can

Compete with Express !



Flexible • Profitable • Dependable

(800) 421-5119

225 Crown Blvd., Timberlake, NC 27583

PO Box 488 | Roxboro, NC 27573

www.cpcarwash.com | sales@cpcarwash.com

68 • FALL 2020

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