Organization & Culture

Cloister opened its first car wash in 1984 with just 3 employees to oversee and run the one exterior-only tunnel and three hand bay operation. With a vision of building more washes in the future and adding services that would enhance the basic wash and customer experience, building a dedicated, customer focused Cloister Team was a priority. At the time of sale in 2012, there were approximately 400 employees.

Cloister's four washes and three lube shops were each supervised by a manager and assistant managers under the direction of the executive team located in Ephrata. Unlike most organizational charts were the CEO is shown at the top of the hierarchy, "The Customer" was at the top of every Cloister organizational chart and shown as "The Boss." The Customer was who the team members were ultimately reporting to. Day-to-day management of the staff and facilities was broken into five areas: finance, marketing, technology, operations, and maintenance, with each area having an executive in charge.

To Cloister it wasn't just about hiring people for a job, it was about employing team members who would demonstrate the passion for quality service that Cloister was built on.

To ensure the best customer service and Cloister experience was provided to all customers; team members were given extensive on-the job training, employee shadowing, and provided off-site technical and customer service training that kept the team up-to-date in the latest service techniques.

Not only was technical and customer service training important, the appearance of each team member was a priority. Management was committed to having a well-groomed and dressed staff to greet and service its customers. Cloister was often complimented by visitors on how well their team's appearance complimented the environment and experience they received when visiting.

Management adopted a "No Tipping Policy," as that was the fairest option for everyone - customer and team member alike. Therefore, the collection of tips was strictly prohibited.

The Cloister Handbook was developed to provide new and tenured employees a reference document of how the organization was structured, how a member could advance, and the importance of the customer - "The Boss." It was always available for prospective employees to review prior to filling out an application and for customers to view in order have a better understanding of the commitment Cloister put behind its team members to provide a welcoming and unique car wash experience and environment.

It was the WOW customer service and facility experience the team members provided that made Cloister an icon in the car wash industry that is still talked about and referenced today!