‘Successful car wash offers more than a clean car’
Excellent Carwash in Amsterdam offers more than just clean cars. Excellent has two locations in the Dutch capital, one in Sloten and one in Osdorp. Sloten has just reopened after a renovation in which a lot of effort was put into creating an experience through a lighting spectacle.
A car wash should offer more than just a clean car, says Julian Wagenhuis. He and Wobbe Storms are the owners of Excellent Carwash, they run two locations in Amsterdam. In Osdorp there is a washing tunnel and a vacuum cleaner square in a residential area, in Sloten a short tunnel is being supplemented with vacuum cleaner places and four washing boxes.
Neighbours of this carwash are a Tango gas station and various garages. Wagenhuis believes that once customers know Excellent, the car wash will quickly become the preferred location.
The experience is created by stimulating the senses. At Excellent, washing is done with chemistry from Kenotek. It is important for the owners that environmentally friendly chemistry is used and that the smell is right. Smell is already one sense. The eyes are well taken care of at Excellent. The red house style has been well implemented at the location in Sloten. The equipment outside is red, as is the floor and also the camera arch at the entrance.
Thanks to the walls of Cleanbuild, the lighting installation in the tunnel looks extra good. The wash boxes are a very important element of this location. “They are always busy, and even at the strangest times. There is often a long queue on weekends,” says Wagenhuis.
Storms is the technical man of Excellent. He is always looking for refinements and improvements. “It is important to keep the car wash up-to-date. The tunnel has just been completely renovated, but we also ensure that the latest technology is used in the washing boxes. Of course, the washing result is leading, but customers also keep coming back because you have modern equipment and make changes every now and then. That too is experience. We did the entire renovation together with Maurice Piket, a real specialist in this field.”
Excellent is their first car wash for Wagenhuis and Storms. Both are newcomers to the industry. They are pleasantly surprised by the climate in which knowledge is shared and entrepreneurs feel free to exchange experiences. “Your clientele is very dependent on your location. As long as you are not in each other’s way in terms of location, there is little competition. It is even good for the sector that there is a lot of exchange between them. We all benefit from having as many people as possible have their cars cleaned by a professional company.”
Despite all the experience in the car wash, the washing result must simply be shiny. Excellent therefore prides itself on the manual prewash. Staff are not necessarily hard to find, the main concern is to keep good people in. Both Wagenhuis and Storms regularly stand in the prewash with the high pressure in hand. “It is important to be involved in all parts of the process. Also towards your people. And we make sure that we simply work here with a friendly team. Moreover, if you want quality, you have to pay for it.”
Excellent is not looking to expand with multiple locations, despite the fact that two locations are already running smoothly. “Perhaps if it comes our way,” says Wagenhuis. “We have no concrete expansion plans at the moment.”
Vacuum cleaner plaza
The two Excellent locations are a ten-minute drive from each other. In Osdorp, the car wash has a tunnel with a vacuum cleaner plaza with Ergox technology. Experience is also an important element here. The location has previously made headlines at CarwashPro thanks to the lighting installation there. The brushes from Brushcom and walls from Cleanbuild complete the picture.
Excellent Osdorp recently started a laundry campaign in which customers of the adjacent AH parking garage receive a discount ticket. Storms and Wagenhuis are convinced that if customers have visited the car wash at least three times, it will become the preferred location. With the discount card, the customer receives a discount for the first time, followed by a scratch card with which a discount is given again. Actions are especially important for a starting location. “First people have to get to know us, after that they don’t want anything else.”