Episode 17: Gas/C-Stores Growing Presence in the Car Wash Space

About the Episode:

The prompt on the gas pump to buy a car wash isn’t new. In-bay automatic car washes have been a regular add-on to many gas station chains for years, though usually as an intended customer convenience and not a core focus. But things are starting to change, and big-name gas/c-store companies are actively participating in more car wash M&A transactions. Earlier in 2023, we saw the parent company of Circle K acquire True Blue, and recently QuickTrip bought Bubble Bath, both with intentions to keep building their conveyor car wash footprint.

 

So, what’s driving this shift? In this episode, Lanese Barnett and Jeff Pavone dive into why gas/c-store companies are increasingly interested in the express car wash space – with plenty of dry powder to deploy – and what their presence ultimately means for existing car wash owners in terms of rising competition and current valuations. Lanese and Jeff discuss topics like EVs’ impact on gas stations, synergies in technology solutions throughout the automotive landscape, as well as cross-vertical marketing advantages to encourage brand loyalty.

 

Listen in as Lanese and Jeff navigate the twists and turns of the car wash industry, bringing you the latest insights and trends to keep you ahead of the curve.

 

Sign up for Car Wash M&A, The Newsletter. | Follow us on social media @AmplifyCarWashAdvisors on LinkedIn or Facebook. | Connect with Lanese on LinkedIn.

Check out the full transcript below:

Lanese

Today we are live from our studios in lovely Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s nice to be here in person with you, Jeff. I always love coming into the office, and I’m excited to chat today for episode 17 of Car Wash M&A, The Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about a different topic. We’re gonna dive into why there has been a reemergence of interest from gas into the car wash industry in particular, and just kind of what that means for owners, what that means for the industry, and what are some of your thoughts and some of what you’re seeing as we look across the board. So first of all, if you could share with our listeners a little bit about what you’ve seen as far as gas C-stores, what trends you’re seeing with what interactions we’re having today.

 

Jeff

Thank you, Lanese. First, gas C-stores are just coming off of record years. They’ve been minting money. Some of the most profitable companies in the country have been oil companies. From that standpoint, they’re sitting with a lot of cash, looking for opportunities to go deploy it. Really, I’d say one of the biggest drivers is now with EV coming. It’s just a foregone conclusion that it’s going to erode some of their volume from gas. Every year we’re seeing more and more electric cars on the road. So as it does that, these oil companies are looking ways to maximize their other profit centers. Car washing now, with memberships, becomes really an attractive add on. They’re also looking at the loyalty component that car washing brings. And so you’re seeing, even now, if you go to your local convenience store, you’re seeing a lot more loyalty. You’re seeing a lot more digital activity. They’re coming up with apps to build more stickiness with their customers, and the car washes play perfectly into that.

 

Lanese

So you talked about the stickiness, and I can look at the gas space as a consumer still. You know, I’m just a normal consumer, and I do have my preferences, but I also realize that I’m not as loyal to one particular brand as I would be on the car wash side. I think that there’s the code that’s been cracked with the memberships and how that really builds loyalty on car washes. Because historically, people kind of had that same perception of a car wash is a car wash. You know, they’re kind of ubiquitous, but now that’s changed. What are some of the ways that gas companies are looking to leverage that stickiness that the car wash industry has garnered?

 

Jeff

Well, I mean, one big way is just discounts, right? If you fill up, you’re going to get a discount or a free car wash. Now it’s almost the reverse. Let’s say you sign up for a membership. They can give you a $20 discount. There’s going to be a lot of play back and forth. And you’ll get a new card every time your membership is. They’re going to have a lot of advantages to really offering benefits to consumers to use both. It just makes perfect sense. At the end of the day, you’re right. A consumer is going to go where it’s convenient to get their car washed. Typically, gas stations are in really convenient locations, and they’ll stay if it’s a high quality product. And so as they begin to really figure out how to wash good cars, I think the customer is going to keep going.

 

Lanese

This isn’t the first time that there has been the gas C-store car wash combo, but it seems like what was being done over the last 10 to 15 years was such an afterthought on the car wash side that it didn’t work. You know, I couldn’t imagine going to the unmanaged car wash mini tunnel at a gas station now as a more educated car wash consumer, but there’s also a lot of real opportunity with rethinking that relationship and making it better with having it not be an afterthought of having intentionality put into the car wash side.

 

Jeff

So with the calls we’re getting, and we’re dealing with quite a few now, they’re setting up business units, specifically for the car wash business. Like I said, before, it was kind of an add-on thing; it was going to be part of your gas station, and you’re going to go through an in-bay rollover or something like that. Well, they could only watch so many cars an hour. They’re now figuring out that having memberships, and again, if you can have a significant amount of amount of memberships, and tying to loyalty together, it’s a major part of their business. You know, a last thought could be that as gas station multiples are selling at x, right? They trade at one number. Car wash multiples, because of the reoccurring revenue side of it, trade significantly higher. So a part of the long term thinking could be that if they’re able to build up a large amount of membership to go with their gas stations, their value of their business just went up.

 

Lanese

Absolutely. And with that, the options for consumers of that added value. If they have the relationships with either one or the other, it makes a nice synergy to continue that with a high quality product. We talked a little bit about the diversification for gas companies to have, as EV becomes more popular, to have these other profit centers. What are some of the other reasons that the car wash industry particularly has been attracting them? Some of the things I think about that we talk about often are you know the durability of the carwash industry and the resilience through economic downturns, through COVID, that that membership model has really given that a whole new stability in the face of economic headwinds that we’ve experienced.

 

Jeff

Well, first off, it’s no longer a little piece of their business. So if they’re operating it properly, it could be a major part of the revenue, driving profitability to their gas stations, right? Separately, you know, with competition in every business, even in the gas C-store business, they differentiate. If they’re able to add a car wash component and execute in a good way, they’re going to differentiate from from the other chains that are growing, and it becomes a huge win for them. For gas C-store companies in general, they’ve already got really good real estate, they’ve already got good real estate teams, they understand how to get stuff entitled, they know how to operate, so for them, this is just such a natural opportunity to grow this whole piece of their business.

 

Lanese

And what do you see… We’ve kind of touched on this, but why now? Why are we now seeing these C-stores like Circle K, like QuikTrip, it seems that those both came at relatively the same time, so there’s got to be a reason.

 

Jeff

It’s not only those two, but it’s… I can only tell that you every  — not every, but I will tell you, a lot of major oil companies — even some independents with 100 locations, they’re all looking at ways to give them additional profit centers with EV coming in. That’s sort of that one piece. And again, they’re sitting there with more cash now than they’ve ever had in their history, and they’re looking at ways to really… the whole loyalty thing. And if you look at gas C-stores in general, you’re seeing a big emphasis on loyalty. Digital marketing! You didn’t see that before. This plays in imperfectly to help expand that whole business concept, right? They’re looking at the competition from Amazon, and all these other people out there for delivering foods. This is just another opportunity for them to become “Amazon proof” so to speak, right? Giving a consumer more reasons to come to their store, whether it’s for gas or one of the food products. They’re looking at this as really just a tremendous opportunity to build loyalty to the brand, and again, build stickiness. Before they just didn’t need to.

 

Lanese

Right. We talk a lot about the interest from private equity groups that have come into the car wash space. How is this group different than that in what they’re looking for, or their trajectory?

 

Jeff

Great question. Private equity groups typically have a timeframe, five to seven years, and they’re going to,  typically after a five year window, they’re going to take that investment and they want to go back and monetize it. Oil companies are long term investors, so they could be looking at this thing as they have no gun to their head to get in and out from an operator standpoint. They could learn the business, they can invest in the business, because at the end of the day, they’re not looking to flip it. It becomes a much more longer term business proposition for them, which makes it, from a competitive standpoint, way more viable than a lot of private equity back groups out there.

 

Lanese

And with that, because it’s a long term focus, there’s likely more focus on building out the infrastructure, so having a stronger team there on site, not cutting labor or being as mindful about keeping those costs down when you’re looking at a longer term plan for growth and continued strength of operation, so I see that as a good sign for the carwash industry as well.

 

Jeff

Sure. And again, this is definitely another viable option in the car wash world, but we’re still going to see the really great owner operators and the brands in a market being able to offer memberships. This isn’t an easy business to learn, so there’s still a long learning curve to knowing really just how to get customers on your lot, how to process cars, and assuming you’re doing a great job, I still think those kind of operators will continue to flourish and win, but this is definitely something to make sure you’re taking in consideration as you build out your business.

 

Lanese

And it seems like, speaking to your point, that this is not the only path forward but this just adds another layer of people and groups that are interested in investing in the car wash industry, which for folks that are considering making an exit, this is a whole other group of interested buyers, potentially. There are more people coming in.

 

Jeff

When you look at a brand in your market, that is a very good option for a buyer in your market as well, if that’s what you’re looking to do. On the other hand, again, you got to take a look at coffee. The convenience stores sell coffee, so does Starbucks, and now you look at Dutch Brothers, and all these other successful chains. You’ve got all these successful chains going, so there’s room for everybody. And I still think, at the end of the day, it’s still a such a great value. The more experience consumers get with getting their car washed, the better it is for everybody. This is just going to be one more, and I take it they’re very serious about getting in this space.

 

Lanese

With some of the bigger names that have entered this space, it looks like they’re trying to do it thoughtfully with the intention of hey, we want to engage the car wash community and learn from them. But this is with much more intentionality.

 

Jeff

For sure they have a lot more to lose, right? So if you look at the C-store brands out there, like a QT, or Circle K, or somebody, they’re going to be very, very sensitive to diluting the brand with anything they do. So they’re not looking to come in here, and do this on the cheap. They’re going to be looking at building… Like their stores, they’re going to look at building a very consistent brand across their platform. So they’re definitely not going to go on the cheap. It’s going to be consistent. Whatever their brand is, they’ll be uber sensitive to making sure that this lives up to it.

 

Lanese

Right, absolutely, that this is mirroring the core principles and service offerings that they have. You know, I think of QT with their clean bathrooms, and they have friendly staff on site. And so making sure that if there is a partnership and that brand recognition, that that is a synergistic extension of what they’re already good at with that.

 

Jeff

And I wouldn’t forget… I mean, again, I think you’re going to see it a couple of national players for sure, that we’ve talked about. But there are definitely… I mean, we’re having conversations with large regional chains as well, because they’re realizing they’ve got to get in the game, too. Where the conversations are going, though, a lot of them have tempted to get in the game, and they’re realizing it is way more difficult to execute on this business than it is what they’re currently doing. And so they’re out seeking help to say, “Okay, how do we how do we do this?” You’re going to see a lot of these guys have interest in it, but we’ll see, at the end of the day, how well they can execute. Some of the groups out there are going to bring in really solid talent, some guys will continue to try to do it on their own, but they’re going to find out that this is not an easy business to run well, and the ones that do figure it out, are going to have great success.

 

Lanese

Absolutely. And that’s something that as we talk with fellow car wash seasoned professionals that it is that recognition that this is not an easy business to run. And that takes time and it takes effort and training and structure and all of those things that don’t happen overnight, and they don’t run themselves at all. With these new groups, what does that look like as we continue to go through the year, and as we look forward kind of on a little bit of a longer term basis, what are some of the possibilities of what what this might look like down the road?

 

Jeff

You know, I think they’re here to stay. I don’t think this is an experiment to see if it works and they’ll get in or out. I think it’s here to stay, and I do think you will see them continue to really expand aggressively in the markets they’re in. We’ve got a long way to figure out where consumer saturation is because everybody’s sort of… that word keeps popping up. I still think there’s a long way to go, but I do look at it that they’re here to stay. And I would look at the regional companies that start in it are going to look to expand in their own markets, and they’re long term. They may not come out of the gate building 50, but they’re going to be long and hard and steady developers of car washes.

 

Lanese

And let’s talk a little bit about what those potential growth strategies may be and that we’re seeing already — that it’s a mix of acquisitions and markets that have a strong car wash presence already, and maybe they have their gas stations there as well, so they going that way. But then also, I’m assuming, you know, being on new sites, new gas station sites, that they would look at potentially building there as well.

 

Jeff

So I think they’re… I mean, they’ve got to be within, I would say, three miles or less of an existing store. And again, one of the big drivers is this is technology, right? With technology, they now could have an app. And they could they could communicate with their customers, even if it’s not on site. You know, before you had a drive up on the lot. You saw car wash, and you got car washed. Today with technology, they’re going to be able to be more engaging with the customers. You’ve got to look at all these C-stores. They’re all getting into the app business, right? They’re going to create this loyalty program, and as long as it’s still relatively close to their store, they’ll learn how to tie the two together.

 

Lanese

We’ve seen the advancements in technology so much over the last several years in the car wash space. We have our Amp Ventures partners, AMP memberships, and some of the really cool stuff that they do with engaging customers off site and the gamification of it and just making that interaction more available and more exciting than I’m physically there, and this is a person that can make a sales pitch to me, but they’re building that brand loyalty, and then that extension of how how they want to engage with them.

 

Jeff

And then they can sell right at their pump. They’ve got a lot of traffic on a site, and they’ve got a lot of marketing billboards, just on their own sites and at their own pumps, so they’re going to have some advantages to really building out that membership base.

 

Lanese

Yeah, absolutely. And it seems like there’s a lot of really exciting things ahead that we kind of didn’t have on our radar maybe several years ago that this has shown up. And, you know, we talked about the first half of this year of 2023 with M&A deals in general slowing down. There was a lot of uncertainty on where the market was going to go, and then also where valuations are going to land and what that looks like. And after going through that first half, now we’re looking towards the second half, and it looks much more optimistic and stable as far as returning to kind of a normalization in the car wash industry that can be a good thing for us.

 

Jeff

Yeah. You know, we’re seeing really bullish signs in the second half. We’re expecting a very big second half of the year. Right now, the deal flow is coming at a heavy clip. We’re seeing a lot… we’ve got a lot of deal activity. We expect to close a large amount of business in the second half. And part of what’s driving it is just… There’s a few things, right? One is that the economy hasn’t crashed and burned. Consumers are proving to be more resilient than most. And I think that the weather impact of sort of that first part of the year was sort of confusing, right? Was it weather? Was it the economy? Was it the consumer pulling back? And we’re finding… we’ve got data and numbers from May and June, and the car wash… And the numbers are coming in strong.We’re seeing some really, really strong results around the country. So what I think a lot of these buyers are looking for… They’re seeing how do we underwrite these deals? They’re seeing numbers stabilize and grow again, and they’re also seeing interest rates stabilize, so they can underwrite it, and then we’ve seeing, from the seller side, the sellers now realize there’s still a healthy multiple out there. It may not be the deal that they would have gotten a year ago, but generally speaking, it’s a really healthy number. And it’s not going to go back to what it was. At the end of the day, we don’t have free money anymore, so we’re not going to see those numbers. So buyers are adjusted, sellers are adjusting. And I think you’re going to see a lot more transactions happening in the second half of the year, and it’s just still a very healthy business to be in.

 

Lanese

Right and, you know, looking at, okay, so it’s not the numbers that it once was, that were anomalies. But what we haven’t seen is this fall off the cliff. And so that’s really encouraging for that stabilization and normalization and the health of our industry.

 

Jeff

So one of the key drivers is it still comes down to operations in this business, and we’re in the membership business. If you’re not, you’re probably in the wrong business. And memberships have proven to be making this business very stabilized. And the margins are incredible, so it’s still a very, very exciting business to be in. We’re finding that a lot of the buyers that did enter the market before, are still anxious to get in and get deals done. Part of the problem is we haven’t had the quality of the platforms in the first half of the year that we were seeing in the last two years. Until now. We’re about ready to take out a couple of major platforms out to market, and they’re high quality deals. But they weren’t out there because I think everybody was sitting on the fence, waiting to see what happens. So, you know, look for a really exciting second half of the year. And you know, you’re right. I don’t think we’re going to see things fall off the cliff. In general, car washing has proved to be a very resilient business. And even under bad economic times, you know, you may have a drop of up to 10%, call it, not like other industries, because it’s so affordable.

 

Lanese

Right, and it has that feel good factor. So I think about a gym membership. A gym membership feels good only after you’ve been there, but it’s the getting there, and all of that part of it. There’s guilt involved sometimes. And the car wash relationship subscription doesn’t have that as much. It’s a quick in and out, and you get the immediate effects of that feel good lift. And there’s something to be said about that, that people continue to want to have that. So that’s the good news. Is there anything that you’re particularly surprised about with the conversations that you’re having with gas C-store, with these groups that we’ve been talking about, just in your kind of relationship history of your line of work? Are you surprised by any of it?

 

Jeff

You know, I’m not. I still think they’re trying to figure out the business. They bought into the thesis that car washes, and tunnels, in general, and memberships is a good business to be in. Now with that said, they are also realizing it’s easier said than done. And, you know, I can only tell you that it’s still coming down to this business is an operation business. And I would tell you that not all operators operate great. I think the C-store convenience guys are figuring out that this is a little bit more challenging, but they’re going to work hard at figuring it out. But it is going to come down to having the right people in their company and organization or getting that kind of expertise to help figure it out.

 

Lanese

That’s an interesting aspect for potential sellers, too, that maybe if you’re not ready to be completely out of this industry, that there are other opportunities to explore with these partnerships or with the need for car wash operations expertise from multiple people that are entering into this space; that that’s still a very sought after skill that doesn’t just grow on trees and, you know, find on  just any Indeed listing. That is a specialized skill to have and to be able to execute well.

 

Jeff

For sure. Yeah, absolutely. We’re still in… Again, I travel the country, and I’ve seen probably more car washes than just about anybody. And we’re still seeing lots of upside opportunity from an existing operation to greenfields, but this business is coming down to the guys that know what they’re doing. Because you’re going to find that the ones that don’t know how to operate or really build up their memberships… I think there’s going to be challenges from all directions. So you know, it is still it’s going to be a business, that’s going to be, I think, flourishing for years to come. But I do think we’re finding that, even the regional operators, to even the new players that are coming in the space, it’s all going to come down to execution, being able to deliver a quality product, because we’re certainly building enough carwashes to make it convenient for a consumer. And it will come down to who’s going to give me a clean, dry, shiny car, and those guys are going to win.

 

Lanese

Well, and it’s not like it’s cheap to build a car wash, so as that cost continues to rise, having the path forward and the confidence of being able to get a return on that investment is important. And I think that’s one of the interesting things that you touched on with this particular gas partnership with the car wash industry is that long haul mentality and that long term relationship to really hopefully, you know, strengthen those infrastructures and strengthen those operations, which serves consumers. That’s helpful, and it’s helpful for our industry. A fun fact, I want to ask, or a fun question. So you talked about seeing more car washes, then who knows… How many car washes have you seen this week?

 

Jeff

This week? Today’s Wednesday. I’ve seen at least… I’ve been to at least 20 car washes, through 20 car washes like literally getting a car wash from about 20 car washes in three days.

 

Lanese

That’s a lot of car washes! That is, but you know what? Like you’ve experienced, and like I’ve experienced, once you see one, it’s not like you’ve seen them all because they’re all different, and they all have something that’s either… you make a mental note of that was really neat or cool, or that you would do differently, or what the opportunities are. And it really gets to be, I wouldn’t say an addiction, but it is an ongoing motivation to continue to want more.

 

Jeff

One of the great joys that I have is when I do travel somewhere, and I see an exceptionally run chain, where everything runs great. And you see that.

 

Lanese

Oh, so when you go visit Bill at Metro?

 

Jeff

Well, Bill’s a pretty high bar. But lately I’ve seen a few really outstanding run chains. And when you see it, it gets you excited still. So I’m like a little kid, when I see somebody doing just an amazing job running their business, it made that travel worthwhile. On the flipside of it, I’ve seen some less than exciting operation, so we still know there’s a lot of work to be done on on that side of it.

 

Lanese

Absolutely. And just talking about the saturation aspect of it, you’re here in the greater Phoenix area, which has a ton of car washes. I don’t know if it’s the most per capita or what the actual statistics are. But there are a lot, but there’s still the consumer demand. I think that that’s another good reference point to look back on is, like you touched on with the coffee aspect, that the more convenient it is, the more adoption that consumers have, the more we can continue as an industry to meet that need. And for those that execute it exceptionally well, you know, that’s a great bar to set to attain.

 

Jeff

Yeah, I still think there’s… Even in this Phoenix market, you’re seeing car washes being built, and they’re building them because they make money. The guys in the space now are not newbies, they’re some of the best operators in the country. And they’re building them because there’s still gaps in their footprint. And I still think, you know, at the end of the day, when you’re selling car washes $20 to $30 a month, consumers will pay it if you make it convenient, so I still see a long runway of growth and opportunities. And in some cases, you know, when you have more car washes in a market, it’s better for everybody because your consumer understands what that product is. They’re familiar with a membership. You go to some markets that have very few car washes that are newer, and it’s almost the opposite, right? The consumer has no idea what they’re doing, and so those numbers are fairly low, so I still think we’re gonna see… That’s why when the gas C-store gets in the space, it’s not doom for everybody. It’s actually just another opportunity, I think, to continue to educate the consumer, but it will challenge operators to to really focus on their A game and delivering a quality product because there are options now.

 

Lanese

Yeah, absolutely. So for our listeners, what’s the takeaway from this? If you have to give them one or two things that are the most important things of our conversation that you want them to keep with them…

 

Jeff

Yeah, I’ve got to go back to, first off, if you’re operating at a really high level, and you’ve got, let’s say, 5 or 6,000 members, if you take care of your members, and it’s convenient, they’re going to stick with you, right? It’s really, if you start slipping on what you’re offering, I’d say, “Beware!” Because there’s going to be someone coming after that customer. So it really is, you’ve got to continuously be evolving. Your site has got to be looking good, you’ve got to keep adding to your customer experience at all times. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of that member, somebody else will.

 

Lanese

Absolutely! On that customer experience side, you know, some of these gas C-stores that have elevated what that means with their offerings that they have in there… So I’m in Texas, and we have several very large gas station convenience store chains that have totally changed what that looks like on this larger scale footprint, what the retail side looks like, and then adding in that car wash component. It’s exciting to see the new version of what can be out there.

 

Jeff

Yeah, and I would say maybe just parting words is as this business becomes more sophisticated, it’s not just somebody rubbing your car with a towel and a soap anymore, you better get to know your digital marketing, and figure out ways to stay in touch with your customers, I can tell you that there’s a lot of technology coming out, and you’re going to see a lot more coming out, but the emphasis on data and knowing who your customer is, and reaching them digitally, is going to be critical to long term success.

 

Lanese

That’s a whole other topic. But yes, not only capturing but being able to analyze and have actionable insights and strategy based on the data that you have captured, to make decisions on how to better reach your customers and how to market to them and then how to thoughtfully grow that will you know help that strategy for continued growth and scalability. So first, thank you, Jeff, for your time today. I always love the chance for you and I to talk about these conversations that we have just kind of over the phone or whatever but it’s really important for us to be able to share the insights that we’re seeing on a level across the car wash industry and especially across the nation of what’s coming in, and what does this mean for the car wash community? And most importantly, what does it mean for car wash owners and, and our drum that we’ve been beating is the same: focus on operations, and provide a good product and keep doing that side of it, but also that there are options out there for whatever phase that car wash owners are in whether it’s wanting to continue to grow, if it’s looking at making a change or making an exit, but having somebody to advocate on your behalf and help you understand what the options are that may not be just right there available. That’s our goal is to shed some light on those other things. Well, thank you again for our time, and for our listeners, thank you for listening to our show today. And if you want to leave us a review for Car Wash M&A, The Podcast, you can do so on your listening platform of choice, and sign up for Car Wash M&A, The Newsletter on our website amplifywash.com, and we will keep in touch with you. Thanks! Have a great rest of the day. We’ll see you next month.

 

@Lanese Barnett Any thoughts about a title? I made a suggestion, but feel free to put whatever you think would work!  [AD1]

Jet Brite Car Wash

With decades of hands-on experience as operators, when it came time to sell our car wash business who we sold to was important to Sam and me. Chris [Jenks] and the team at Amplify listened to us throughout the entire process. They found the right buyer in ZIPS who would be a good steward of the brand and helped find the best path forward for us where we can continue pursuing our passion for manufacturing high-quality car wash equipment.  

Jet Brite Car Wash  
Dave Delesandro  | Founder

Quick N’ Clean

My relationship with Commercial Plus over the past 20 years has been a very professional and trustworthy relationship. The feel of trust is very important in this business, and Jeff Pavone and his staff have exhibited a level of trust that makes me continue to feel that they have my best interest front of mind. I deal with many brokers across the nation, and my best experiences and results have been achieved with Commercial Plus representation.

Quick N’ Clean
Richard Karle | Owner

Zips

It’s been a great experience working with Amplify Car Wash Advisors to bring these sites into the ZIPS portfolio. We look forward to serving Dallas area customers with an enhanced car wash experience unique to ZIPS, with the added benefit of our extensive network of stores. This year we have continued our aggressive growth track with the goal to truly shine in our efforts to be the best express car wash provider in the industry and it’s acquisitions like this that help us reach our goals.

Zips
Gene Dinkens | CEO

ModWash

It was truly a pleasure to work with the Amplify team on our most recent acquisition of three additional operating locations in our home state of Tennessee. Their team provided great support and ensured a timely and seamless closing process, and we are excited for the additional growth opportunities this relationship will produce in our near future. We know this is the first of many transactions we will successfully complete with the Amplify team as we grow from our current operating store count of 23 to well over 200 locations across 14 states in the next two years.

ModWash
Brian Thornton | COO

Busy Bee Car Wash

For years I’ve talked to a lot of brokers with the same goal; sell your car wash chain as quickly as possible. But I chose to work with Amplify because they were interested and invested in the emotional side of selling my business and truly value long-term relationships. They weren’t forcing me to take a deal just to take a deal. They listened to my concerns and goals then educated me on all my options. And that’s how I decided on the right partner for my chain specifically. I went to bed at night after I signed the papers knowing I got the best deal possible versus just having any deal put in front of me that is only about money.

Busy Bee Car Wash
Jim Mulholland | Owner

Q Car Wash

We really appreciate Jeff and his entire team at Amplify. Their expertise and deep industry knowledge helped us navigate our options and best showcase our strengths to maximize our value. Caliber is a good fit for Q Car Wash as they look to expand in North Texas.

Q Car Wash
Viran Nana | COO

Cobblestone Auto Spa

I have known both Jeff and Bill for over thirty years combined, and respect them both as experts in our professional car washing industry. Their unique and individual strengths bring very strong talent and advice to operators, sellers, and buyers with sharp knowledge, client’s best interest in mind, and an actual personal touch. They hold the expertise and performance track record to hold a very high level of respect within this rapidly-changing car wash industry.

Cobblestone Auto Spa
Tuck Bettin | CEO

Oasis Car Wash

Turning over a business you started from one shovel of dirt 25 years ago and grew to several locations is a difficult and even uncomfortable process. So, when it came time for Larry and me to sell, we chose Amplify Car Wash Advisors to guide us through the process because of their strong reputation and thought leadership in the industry. Their team was professional and did a great job walking us through each step.

Oasis Car Wash
Dallas Hawkins | Partner

Busy Bee Car Wash

Selling our business after 52 years is big deal and certainly not a decision I took lightly, turning over our family legacy was an emotional process and I appreciated that the team at Amplify respected that. They helped me understand my options and found the best deal for me.

Busy Bee Car Wash
Jim Mulholland | Owner

Ducky’s Express

I have been a multi-site developer and operator in the car wash industry for over 30 years. Four years ago, a partner’s health concern forced me to sell a portion of my portfolio, and during that process, I was introduced to Jeff Pavone of Commercial Plus. I was immediately impressed with Jeff’s knowledge of my industry and his volume of successful deal closings. In a very short period of time, Jeff found the right buyer at a very fair price, and the transaction closed shortly thereafter. I was looking for a team with honesty, integrity, and a proven track record of success, and I found all of that in Jeff.

Ducky’s Express
Richard Miller

Trademark Car Wash

These are some of the most exciting times for car wash owners. As we grew 350% in revenue in just one year, we recognized the time to partner up with a top-tier team that has mastered growth in retail and specifically the automotive industry. Amplify Car Wash Advisors had helped us acquire, raise capital, and was the perfect partner to help us reach this next chapter of the Trademark story.

Trademark Car Wash
Andrew Goldberger