How many of us can say that our high school summer job turned into a successful career? Chuck DeLullo can. He and his wife, Shelly, opened their first carwash in 1996 – a trade Chuck learned from his dad, who owned a mini tunnel when Chuck was growing up.
“My wife and I wanted to start a carwash from scratch, so we bought the land and started with one location.”
DeLullo says, recalling the first site in DuBois, Pa.
The business has grown to include four additional western Pennsylvania locations: Punxsutawney, opened in 1997; Brockway, opened in 2000; Indiana, opened in 2003; and Munhall, opened in 2007. The company’s quick growth, DeLullo says, is something the couple did not plan.
“We were only ever going to build one carwash.” he says with a chuckle, “That was the plan.”
“It projects a certain image to the public,” he says. “People know that if you keep up with the cleanliness that you will clean and maintain other aspects of your facility.
“There are some carwashes that are only five years old, but look like they’re 15 years old because there’s algae all over the walls and they’re not clean and maintained. We want to keep a nice place because people are coming to clean their cars. They don’t want to come to a dirty place to clean it.”
Hand in hand with that philosophy is the maintenance schedule. Similar to visible dirt, grime or algae, a closed bay can send a negative message to customers or potential customers driving past one of the facilities.
“If something breaks down, even if it’s raining, we want to fix it so that people don’t drive by and see a bay closed and think that it’s always closed” notes DeLullo, “We strive to keep everything looking new.”
Another key aspect to All Washed Up’s success is the carwash’s dedication to technology and staying current with trends that make the customer experience pleasant and convenient.
“Our sites have the latest technology,” DeLullo says. “There’s nothing on the floor to drive into, and we have a machine that gives change in dollar bills instead of quarters. We really stay up with technology.”
Minimizing waste and reusing resources also is important to the DeLullos. For example, excess water from the spot-free rinse is captured and used for under spray. All Washed Up also captures and reuses some of the excess high-pressure water.
“About 50 percent of the water you make for spot free you throw down the drain, but we capture it,” DeLullo says.