Benny’s 35th Anniversary
BENNY’S HAS BEEN a household name in Baton Rouge since it opened locally as Florida Street Wash in 1953. It was the first automatic car wash in the Capital City and has been a pioneer in the business ever since. Now with seven locations in the area, Benny’s deploys the latest in automated car wash technology, from the use of computers and electronic sensor technology to the chemistry and engineering of cleaning agents.
What services do you provide?
Benny’s is known for its highly efficient express car wash services, which allow consumers to choose from a range of fairly priced car wash options. Over the years, the company has grown to include auto detailing, oil changes, state inspections, convenience stores and fueling stations. To what do you attribute your success? Without question, our staff, both cur- rent and past. We’re amazed by their ingenuity and the great ideas they consistently bring to the table.
What values or principles guide your business?
Always do the right thing and put people first. We see the right thing as not basing our decisions soley on money but considering people as well.
What’s the best management or marketing advice that someone has offered you?
Give people the grace to have a bad day. We’re here to make the lives of our employees and customers easier, and sometimes the best way to do that is to be patient with them. Also, we encourage our employees to try new things and learn from their mistakes. Mistakes sometimes happen, but we strive to learn from them and move forward.
What challenges has the business faced over the years and how did you handle/overcome them?
Finding and retaining staff. People are always the biggest challenge, but they also deliver the biggest rewards.
Do you have any advice for other business owners on how to build and maintain a successful business?
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in business?
Plan and think long-term, but execute and operate in the short-term.
How has your business or industry changed over the years?
More automation. We have taken the lead in inventing ways to adapt to rapidly changing car design, including electric cars, self-driving cars, large trucks and vans, and small smart cars. One size does not fit all anymore.