Petrogram - Fall 2014 - (Page 12)
By Al Hebert
mericans love their cars. Great highways and wide streets accommodate
every kind of vehicle from tiny twoseaters to monster trucks with giant tires.
At some point all vehicles get dirty. In the
past, one could drive through neighborhoods
and see people with buckets in driveways
washing their beloved automobiles. Not so
But clean cars are still a priority! And many
car wash owners are experiencing financial
gains due to this shift out of the driveway. If
you're a c-store owner and you don't have a
car wash yet, it is worth considering. They're
popping up everywhere - and for good
reason. There is an option for just about every
budget and there's lots of money to be made.
Howard Rawitz, owner of Howie's
Promenade Shell in Aventura, has been pumping gas since 1972. He remembers offering
hand washes. Today, it's a completely different environment, from the number and
types of customers to their expectations. And
they aren't visiting the pumps as frequently.
"You look at cars that get 40 miles per gallon.
Customers don't come to the pump as much,"
Rawitz explained. But, a car wash will bring
them in. "Electric car drivers do not buy fuel,
Bruce Remillard, president of Car Wash Equipment & Supplies in Coral Springs, Florida, came up with a more
affordable way to get started in the car wash business.
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but I have Tesla drivers buying car washes
and buying things in the store. The wash and
vacuums bring them in."
Even though a car wash is a big investment, it can pay off. "If you can have a car
wash and you don't, you're missing the big
picture," said Rawitz. "It's that simple. If you
want to drive volume and sales, you need a
car wash. It's such a marketing tool."
Rawitz added, "I had no idea how this
would impact my business. Without that car
wash - through the tough times with major oil
changing margins and changing rent - I'd be
out of business. You have to have extra revenue
coming in to survive," said Rawitz. "It's such a
win-win. I sat back and enjoyed the windfall."
But with new entry level machines averaging between $115,000-$120,000, it can be
cost-prohibitive. Rawitz is on his fourth car
wash from Car Wash Equipment & Supplies
in Coral Springs, Florida. "It's not cheap, but
we did a leasing method that worked out
well. They coached me and did a seminar for
employees," he said.
Bruce Remillard, president of Car Wash
Equipment & Supplies, came up with another
business model that also helps bring down
costs. "We take units in trade. They can be
restored, similar to restoring an older car...
Purchasers can choose from a variety of
options, colors and programs of operation.
Some even set an appointment to come and
see the restoration in progress!"
Plus, "the refurbished equipment we supply is less than half the cost of new," added
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Fall 2014
Update from the Executive Director
FPMA’s New Board of Directors
Association News • Scholarship Update • Young Executive Spotlight
Crazy About Car Washes
Committing to Improving — Cleanliness Isn’t Only Way to Make Transformation from Good to Great
15 Ways to Improve Your Driver Recruitment and Retention
Legal Brief: Overtime Misclassification and the Manager Misnomer
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Out and About the Industry: Invest or Divest? Steps to Proactively Address Declining Gasoline Demands
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Petrogram - Fall 2014