Good Carwash made Great
The towering sign off the highway for Sans Souci carwash in Hanover Township, PA pictures a blast of blue water right below its name, offering a hint of the clean and powerful touch-free wash that awaits you if you enter. Keith Sterowski, owner of Sans Souci for nine years running, has been in the facilities management field and around the retail environment for his entire career and built his carwash with specific customer needs in mind. So, when an upgrade became necessary, Sterowski did his research and partnered with the best manufacturer in the business—Ryko.
Upgrading the Right Way
When it was time for Sans Souci to undergo an upgrade, it was clear that efficiency, ease of use, and ease of maintenance were first on the list of priorities. These factors, along with the fact that a friction wash would not be a good fit for the existing space, made the decision to go with Ryko’s Radius car wash an obvious one. “Ryko, in designing the Radius, was the first company to prove that touch free washes can effectively get all the dirt off your car,” says Sterowski.
With an almost minimalist design, San Souci’s layout at first glance appears to be a tunnel before you realize that it’s actually a touch free automatic. Three separate rooms make up the facility with the pay station on the left followed by automatic doors when you enter the 14 feet by 36-foot bay. The third space, once a drying bay, is now the drive-out station. Upon exiting, the 5 vacuum self-service stations are available for any additional interior cleaning needs patrons may have.
Sterowski says the difference in San Souci’s is extraordinary after the equipment change. “The replacement of the equipment has been our success story. Before the Radius installation, customer feedback was not abundant. Now, we receive hundreds of positive reviews a month and have exceeded our sales expectations.” One enthusiastic customer claims on the business’s Facebook page, “The new wash works amazingly well. I am so glad they decided to upgrade!”
Local Economy Shaping the Business
Sterowski has a knack for making impressive forecasts about local economic trends and how they may affect his business. Case in point—knowing that the residents in the Hanover Township constitute a large population of pet owners, he installed a self-service dog wash in anticipation of the need. The decision turned out to be right on the money as San Souci grew its customer base with pet-owning patrons excited about the new offering. Big business quickly followed suit and in 2017, Chewy.com, a large pet food provider, made an 800,000 square-foot warehouse in Hanover Township one of their newest locations. This brought over 600 new jobs to the area. Chewy.com cited the number one reason for the new location being in Hanover was that the town is their largest customer base and this move would decrease deliver times. “The surge of employees to Hanover has added to my business as well,” explains Sterowski.
Best Practices Passed on
Now processing thousands of cars, a business quarter, Sterowski has learned a great deal about his carwash and how to make it successful throughout his journey. San Souci’s value proposition to customers is straight-forward but effective: Maintain a clean and bright environment with state of the art equipment, provide the highest level of customer service possible, and offer reasonably priced services.
When asked his advice for other aspiring carwash owners and operators, Sterowski offers this guidance: “The goal is to understand each customer’s unique situation to improve their experience. While there are many factors involved in creating a successful wash, you should always be judicious in your investment and keep the facility clean and functioning as if it were brand new.”
“Ryko has helped me stay competitive in this business by providing me with the best equipment, chemicals, and services available.” He adds, “I couldn’t go without mentioning my Ryko technician, Mike who comes every month to ensure the equipment runs perfect. His experience and knowledge are unmatched!”