Dutch car wash closes wash bays in evenings due to nuisance

Different groups of young people loiter around the wash bays of De Wasbeer in Hoogeveen for hours on end. And that scares away paying customers, owner Dave Santing notices. He is fed up. That is why the wash bays are closed in the evenings.

There are usually about 15 to 20 cars and its drivers hanging around for a long time at the wash bays of the Dutch car wash. Sometimes a car is washed, but it is clear that the young people come there mainly for each other and not for the services of the car wash.

Talk to the group

Owner Dave Santing sees paying customers staying away. His solution is therefore to close the wash bays. I might as well as long as there are no paying customer. He regularly goes out in the evening to speak to the group. “And that works for a while, but the group that comes is just big and in different compositions. After a few evenings it is back to square one.”

Santing also reported to the police. “There we had a whole conversation. The community policeman would set up a plan to tackle this, but it does not get off the ground. The police come by sporadically, if there is a clear case of nuisance. Just recently when there was a football game. Santing understands that the youth cannot do much at the moment because the Netherlands is in lockdown. “It is just very annoying that this affects my company.”

Approach

The car wash announced the closure on social media. On Facebook you can see that there is a lot of reaction, also from the loiterers. The post was subsequently also picked up by local media. Santing started the conversation via the posts and also via DMs. Santing mentions the nuisance, posts pictures and explains the consequences, such as junk and lost sales. This approach seems to work. “If you start a conversation, there seems to be understanding. After a few days, the wash bays are open again in the evening. “And it’s going pretty well so far,” says Santing. But, he adds, “I’ll just close it off again if the nuisance doesn’t stop.”

Author: Rieneke Kok

Rieneke is editor for CarwashPro.com. She also writes for the Dutch version, CarwashPro.nl.

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