Brent McCurdy and his son, Blake, have created the winning recipe for a successful car wash business.
The owners of the six Red Rhino Car Wash locations in lower Bucks County – including three in Falls Township – have purchased and rehabilitated dilapidated car wash locations and invested in them by tidying up the spaces, adding new and bright LED lights to the parking lots and modernizing the exterior and car wash bays. Of course, the McCurdys also add their signature oversized inflatable red rhino at each location.
“The red rhino is kind of a fun thing,” Brent said. “We do that to make kids smile.”
Seeing the friendly mascot of sorts also sets an expectation for the company’s customers, whether they’re washing their vehicles in Falls Township, Bensalem, Bristol, or Croydon.
“We want you to feel that is the McDonald’s of car washes,” Brent said. “You know what to expect.”
The former owner of a chemical company, Brent transitioned into running car washes in 2019. Many of the locations he and Blake have purchased were owned by his customers, who had purchased car wash chemicals from him. The father and son owners launched Red Rhino Car Wash several years ago, using a fun alliteration of the name Red Rhino.
Red Rhino Car Wash employs 25 staff across all six locations. In addition to the more aesthetically pleasing exterior and better lighting, it’s the people behind the friendly inflatable rhinos that help to set Red Rhino Car Wash apart from competitors.
“We love our customers,” Brent said. “We welcome every customer.”
Brent makes a habit of walking around and personally thanking customers for choosing Red Rhino. Some are surprised to be thanked, while others use the opportunity to inquire about dating the younger McCurdy.
“Even if English is their second language, they understand ‘thank you,’” Brent said. “We’re just glad that everybody’s here.”
Beyond offering an abundance of high-quality chemicals to make vehicles sparkle, the McCurdys strive to connect with the community. The business provided free car washes to veterans and active military on Veterans Day. To commemorate Halloween, the Bensalem location offered a haunted car wash event over several evenings.
“It’s really just a community builder,” Brent said of the Halloween-themed wash. “We have fun with all our customers.”
Part of effectively serving customers involves staying ahead of the curve when it comes to what folks want and expect from their car wash facility. While car wash businesses often cut back on detergents and waxes to save money, the McCurdys invest in top-notch cleaning and waxing solutions. Red Rhino features ceramic wax, which Brent says is the “latest trend.”
Red Rhino offers self-serve wash bays and touchless automatic wash bays at each location. As customers drive into the automatic wash bays to have their vehicle soaped up, scrubbed clean, waxed, rinsed, and then blown dry, it’s Blake’s voice they hear on the speaker, instructing them what to do.
Another ingredient in the family’s recipe for success is the availability of popular monthly car wash memberships.
“You can wash every day for the same price,” Brent said of the monthly membership. “If you wash your car twice a month, you’re ahead.”
Around the holidays, Red Rhino offers gift cards for automatic and tunnel washes at Bensalem and Croydon.
The locations also offer a better deal on the cash-for-tokens pricing model. Instead of getting 24 tokens for $20, Red Rhino offers 30 tokens for $20.
“It makes the dollar go a little further,” said Dan Cook, Red Rhino’s general manager and Blake’s childhood friend.
Red Rhino is busiest on the weekends, mid-day and during times when cars are covered in pollen and salt. While the self-serve bays may not be the best option during frigid weather, the automatic bays clean and dry vehicles, ultimately preventing the water from freezing.
The bottom line for Brent is bringing a slice of happiness to his customers.
“It just feels good to have a clean car. It has a halo around that,” he said. “People are just happy.”
To learn more
Red Rhino Car Wash has Falls Township locations at 533 Lincoln Highway, and at 1001 and 48 Trenton Road. The car wash is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Self-serve and automatic bays are available at each location. Monthly memberships are available for less than the price of two car washes and customers can wash their car as often as they like. For more information, please visit https://www.redrhinocarwash.com/ or call 215-341-6522.