The Brothers of Prestige
The car wash industry is filled with stories of owners and operators that began washing cars at a young age either in a family business or as a part-time job. The story of the Drory brothers of Prestige Car Wash in Massachusetts is one such story.
Ronen began washing cars at a gas station car wash in Jerusalem when he was just 13 years old. After gaining some valuable experience in the industry as a youth, he immigrated to the United States and went to work for an uncle renting cars and shortly after opened a business selling rugs. During this time he still had car washing on his mind and dreamed of the day he could open up his own wash.
In 2003, after Ronen had gained enough business experience and built up his nest egg he decided it was time to follow his dream and open up a gas station/car wash in the United States. Ronen knew success in the car wash business would not come easy and decided to bring his two brothers into the start-up. Yossi and Nir, along with Ronen, began developing two wash sites simultaneously, one in Taunton and one in Brockton.
The trio invested a lot of money in the redesign of the Taunton site to bring the run-down location up to modern standards. Upon completion it featured brand new car wash equipment and plenty of amenities for the customers including a convenience store. In 2006 the brothers’ hard work and dedication paid off as the Taunton location opened its doors for the first time.
Taunton features both a tunnel wash and self-serve bays, free vacuums, a pet wash, gas station, full detail center, and a convenience store making it a one-stop shop for customers looking to get their car cleaned, their tank filled, and pick up a few essentials.
Two years after Taunton washed its first car, the Brockton location opened. The Brockton site had plenty in common with its sister location: express tunnel, self-serve bays, and pet wash. But Brockton differed in two key ways: it was much smaller in scale than the first wash the Drorys opened, and it need just one person onsite to man the operation versus the Taunton’s 15-man staff.
Many new investors in the car wash industry take their time when it comes to expansion either because of lack of start-up capital or the desire to dip their toes in the shallow end instead of jumping head first off of the diving board. The Drorys are definitely diving board people.
While they were still developing the Taunton and Brockton locations the brothers purchased undeveloped land in Canton with the idea to put up another wash once the surrounding area began to become developed. The Canton wash was made differently than the others; it was based off the concept of allowing people to wash their own car with self-serve and truck-wash bays. Canton has a concept for every wash customer: tunnel service, touch free in-bay automatic, and self-serve bays.
Despite having every car wash option under one roof, the Drorys weren’t taking any chances when it came to the success of the Canton location, buying out Stoughton Car Wash, the only local competition.
“We saw an opportunity to be aggressive and eliminate the completion and we did,” Ronen says. “When we bought Stoughton Car Wash we knew it would help boost sales at our Canton location and the sales that leave Canton would go to Stoughton.”
The Drory brothers have found the best way to operate a car wash is to pair it with a gas station, with the two businesses fueling each other. The gas station business is the epitome of a commodity enterprise — there are so many filling stations available that motorists rarely feel any loyalty to a particular site and shop strictly on price. This suits the Drorys just fine — their success in the car wash business allows them to offer low prices on gas, drawing in customers to the pumps. The increase in traffic to the gas station islands offers greater opportunity to draw in customers to the car wash tunnels and bays — the two businesses complement and feed each other.
“We believe that when we offer low prices on gas it will influence the customers to use the car wash more,” Ronen says. “The success from the car wash gives us the ability to offer the lowest price on gas without losing too much money.”
In addition to the gas and wash driving traffic for each other, the Drorys are strong believers in the power of marketing, especially forming a solid relationship with the local community through outreach. They are starting a new charitable donation program where they partner with charities, schools, and youth sports teams and hold fundraisers at the washes.
“Every time we open a car wash we have a big grand opening which we hope lets the community know we are here and that if you try out our service you will not be disappointed,” Ronen says. “We feel that building a good reputation is the best way to market your car wash. We have referral programs where members get new members for us and we reward them with a gift. We also like to hold events such as our annual dog wash for the MSPCA where we raise money for good causes, which draws customers in. Becoming an active member of the community is very important to us and we want our customers to know that we care about the community.”
Going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction is a huge part of the Prestige brand. While lots of washes around the country offer unlimited wash programs, few offer the kind of service Prestige provides at the same price point.
The car wash club costs $29.99 per month and allows the customer unlimited Platinum washes, a $21 value. The Platinum wash features pre-soak conditioner, undercarriage wash, triple polish, clear-coat protection, wheel well washing, tire blaster, rim and wheel blaster, rust inhibitor, sealer wax, RainX, spot-free rinse, air freshener, and tire shine.
“Our customers know that when they join our membership club they are not just getting a good deal on a car wash, but receiving excellent customer service,” Ronen says.
In addition to their car wash offerings, the Drorys own and operate quite a few stand-alone gas stations and a used car dealership. Although there are no plans in place at the moment to expand their car wash holdings, the brothers are always on the look out for good locations and will undoubted expand their car wash empire when the right situation arises — good news for the residents of whatever community they decide to place another Prestige.