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Meet Ryan Blanchard of H2Go Express Car Wash in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Blanchard.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My family has always been involved in various forms of real estate development. My dad has been a developer his entire career, and his passion for real estate has rubbed off on all 4 of his sons. Most recently we specialized in residential land development. But when things collapsed nearly 10 years ago, me and two of my brothers were forced to look for something else to keep us busy until the market recovered. At that time, we were hearing from several folks about this “new” car wash model that was coming to Southern California and set to explode. I was somewhat familiar with this model when visiting my in-laws in Atlanta. The express car wash model was mostly established in every market in the US except SoCal for various reasons. And we were very glad for that.

So the opportunity was there for the taking, and we knew that we could find good sites, get them entitled (no easy task in California) and find partners/lenders to back us. The only missing element was car wash experience. We took care of that by hiring a person well established in the car wash industry. And with that, we are off and running with our first site in Norwalk in 2012!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes, surprisingly it has been a smooth road. We’ve been lucky that labor has not been a problem. Our turnover is very low. We keep things fun and loose with our staff with company parties and other events. The labor scared us most, but has actually turned out to be the most rewarding. Our staff loves working at H2Go and we are very fortunate to have such awesome employees.

The timing has been great as well. The Southern California market is not saturated with express washes yet, like most other markets (Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta and Chicago, to name a few). Our numbers have been excellent as there is much demand for affordable, fast, safe and eco-friendly car washes in SoCal.

We’ve also picked very good locations which always helps.

The equipment would normally be a bit intimidating, but we’ve been lucky enough to hire some great maintenance guys that are really passionate about working with their hands and fixing things.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
What sets H2Go apart? That’s easy….

1) Top-notch customer service
2) Happy, enthusiastic employees
3) Eco-friendly focus (Save Water!)
4) Superior car wash equipment and maintenance staff
5) Value-driven club plans

But the most important are clearly the first two. Our emphasis at H2Go is two-fold…. the customer and the employee.

We stress excellent customer service and want to deliver a great experience each and every time a customer (guest) visits our wash. We want them to feel like they are a guest in our home and be as hospitable as possible. We also guarantee satisfaction –
we will go to any lengths to ensure a great wash, and empower all of our employees to make that call.

We also place equal focus on our employees. Because after all, the best customer service companies out there, like Costco, In-N-Out, and Trader Joe’s, have found a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer service. In other words, happy employees are more likely to deliver great service than unhappy employees.

We want H2Go to be a great place to work. Our industry unfortunately in notorious for operators who like to nickel and dime their employees. Well we’d like to change that perception. We are proud of the fact that we pay better than minimum wage and offer other benefits like free car washes, uniform service, referral bonuses, and annual bonuses. We look at these things as an investment in our employees that always pays dividends.

We sleep well at night knowing that we are serving our “raving fans”, and at the same time serving our employees, as best we possibly can. Investing in these two objectives are all we need to do to ensure our continued success.

What were you like growing up?
I was mostly reserved. My interests were mainly sports (I played college football) and friends. My favorite subjects were always math and history. Growing up, I always dreamed of building homes and being a developer like my dad. And got the chance to do it for several years, which I am very glad for. We had fun despite the numerous challenges and risks associated with land development in California.

But I never imagined running a service business and managing a large group of employees. That part has been very gratifying and something I’d like to continue doing for a very long time.

Pricing:

  • $6 for a single Go Green wash (our most affordable)
  • $13 for a single Go Blue wash (our best wash)
  • $12.95 for a Go Green UNLIMITED Pass
  • $23.95 for a Go Blue UNLIMITED Pass

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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