On this episode of the Iron Fox podcast, host Tyler Kern was joined by Iron Fox Executive Sales Leader Karen Nalls, who highlighted one of the biggest changes set to sweep through the tunnel car wash industry – rising minimum wages.

Another key consideration is a rise in competition in the industry.

“The first thing that comes to mind would be the minimum wage increases for our area, and the other is just the major increase in competition in our area,” Nalls said. “Both of those have been hot topics through social media and just throughout all of our clients.”

The minimum wage increase could have lasting effects due to rising labor costs.

In particular, states like Maryland and Virginia have minimum wage increases already in the works and heading down the pipe, which could lead to necessary cost reductions in the car wash industry.

However, owners and operators still have cars to wash.

To help them balance this new wage frontier without sacrificing performance, Nalls said Iron Fox can provide helpful insights aimed at analyzing how much operators are currently paying per car and optimizing that number.

Iron Fox can also assist owners and operators with finding the correct equipment, chemicals and soaps for their specific needs and region and setting up water-quality-analysis and preventative maintenance plans that can help them be proactive and prepared for this shifting landscape.

“We have to ensure that the client is getting a clean, dry, shiny car to keep the staff from having to do unnecessary work that would increase their labor. You don’t want the labor to go up. You want the labor to go down,” Nalls said. “(Other strategies include) customizing their chemical lineup based on a variety of factors … and installing add-ons to up the average ticket costs to offset the cost of minimum wage increases.”

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