Operating a car wash can't be easy in a recession. As people think about ways to cut back on expenses, going to the car wash one less time per year/ month/ week is likely to be on the list. Probably higher than cutting back on the morning visit to the coffee shop.
Some car wash businesses are getting creative. One of the ones near us has started offering rain guarantees. Makes sense. It could stop some people from procrastinating and, even if it does rain and, even if they do come back for a do-over, it doesn't cost too much to honor the guarantee. (However, I took this picture yesterday when it was already raining. Does that mean that I could have driven round and round, wash after wash?) It's a bit more surprising to see the same offer from CleanTown USA in Pittsburgh (rain forecast: 6 out of 7 days starting this weekend).
Meanwhile, the Metro Car Wash in Tucson, AZ (which also offers a rain guarantee but where there's no rain in the forecast) is offering a $5.99 Economy Car Wash, illustrating the deal with a depression-era photograph showing unemployed people standing in line for food. Not too subtle but, on the other hand, not much more than a Venti latte.
Monday, March 23, 2009