The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown have hit the South African service industry hard. A group of bartenders from Cape Town took the concept of “pivot” to heart and have started a new hustle – a car wash.

The impressive group of women all worked at Cape Town’s successful bars and restaurants, which have not been allowed to open and serve alcohol. Instead, they decided to apply their hospitality know-how to a different service sector, providing top-of-the-line car washing services in Woodstock. Thus, The Cartenders were born.

Founder and Brand Developer Cassandra Eichhoff (Director and Head Instructor at the European Bartender School), Shop Manager and Social Media Charne van Heerden (Head bartender at The House of Machines), Sales and IT  Katlego Manyathi (bartender at The House of Machines) and Casual Cartender Rigo Eichhoff (chef at The Pot Luck Club) make up this incredible team and aim to provide incredible service to their customers.


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The business operates from a ‘workshop’ in Walmer Estate and has already become more than just a car wash. As Eichhoff explains: “Our car wash is run by individuals who understand hospitality and live for making people happy. We serve an experience, just like when you walk into a bar or restaurant.

“The ambience is cool, welcoming and comfortable, the space is geared with the necessities for our customers to do whatever they want – may it be getting some work done, have a Zoom meeting, chill out and read a book, or even catch a quick snooze on our couch (yes that has happened twice before already!) – we make the car wash experience as convenient as possible for our customers. We are also kid and pet friendly!”

Customers have access to WiFi, popcorn, coffee and tea, and fun activity sheets to make the wait part of the experience a breeze.

In addition to these extras, the car-cleaning service is available at really reasonable rates. Customers can choose from different packages and book through the businesses Facebook page for their appointment.

“Each car is cleaned with as much attention to detail as possible, by using effective detailing tools and eco-friendly products, so that when the car is returned, that “wow” factor lasts all the way after customers have left our shop,” said Eichhoff.

The business’s “shake off the dirt” attitude and turning a negative situation around is reflected in the team’s enthusiasm for what they’re doing.

“It might seem like it’s just a car wash, but for me personally it has grown into a phenomenal tool that gives the opportunity to teach entrepreneurship and help grow the people on our team and those who will join in the future,” said Eichhoff. “I personally believe that education is such an important factor on how we mold our future generation, so why not use the opportunity now to do so.”

Find out how to book your car in for a clean here. 

Picture: The Cartenders/Facebook

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