Exterior elevation of Tommy's car wash office

Customer Story Tommy Car Wash Systems

Tommy Car Wash Systems and Tommy’s Express create opportunities for customers and franchise partners to be the best car wash operators they can be. The team at Tommy’s pursues this goal through continuous innovation. The products they provide include modular building designs, stainless steel car wash equipment, license plate reader systems, and high-performance wash detergents. In 2023, Tommy's Express was named the #1 fastest-growing brand by Franchise Times.


Holland, Michigan

Project Specs

Corporate Headquarters
Employees: 400
Office Size: 100,000 sq. ft.
Warehouse Size: 200,000 sq. ft.

Design Firm

InterActive Studio

Dealer Partner

Interphase Interiors

Haworth Very chairs, Maari stools in Tommy's car wash office

Bringing Employees Together under One Roof

In just over five decades the Esssenburg family has grown a single automated car wash into one of the fastest-growing franchises with an international presence. As the company expanded, employees were scattered throughout five buildings. Teams were separated from each other. In 2023, Tommy Car Wash Systems brought everyone together under one roof with the design and development of a new headquarters building to support both the corporate office and warehouse.

The office space serves as a home base for sales, marketing, innovation, and IT, as well as a place to host existing and prospective franchise partners.

Building on Brand Energy

The new office design is infused with pride inherent in the Tommy’s brand. From circular lobby lights that evoke bubbles to a tunnel that provides views of the warehouse, employees and visitors experience the company’s singular dedication to the car wash business.

The red, black, and white brand colors are repeated in furniture, flooring, and accent walls. The bold colors are warmed and softened by the use of camel-colored furniture and nature-infused elements such as plants and views of the outside.

The wow factor goes beyond the visual aesthetic. Built-in technology and collaborative spaces allow employees to stay connected wherever they are in the building. Many Tommy’s employees—like installers and sales representatives—spend a majority of their time on the road. When they’re at the office hoteling spaces allow them to connect wirelessly, plug in their devices, and remain in close communication with team members, franchise partners, and suppliers.

Haworth Zody chairs in Tommy's car wash office space

A Culture Where People Want to Come In

When Tommy’s leadership envisioned a new headquarters, they aspired to create a space and culture where people want to come in to work—together. Their new workplace provides employees with opportunities to work shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face. Being together in person—in a shared space—helps build and strengthen relationships, while helping people stay productive. Plus, the new office design adds value by fostering teamwork that drives innovation in all areas of the workplace—from robot technology to developing new processes, information systems, and products.

The open floorplan with benching is balanced by adjacent conference rooms for small and large groups, as well as private offices. Collaborative areas like the popular Pergola workspaces allow people to gather and connect; they’re places where people share ideas, develop plans, and troubleshoot problems.

Anyone, regardless of title, can grab an office. As a result of this non-hierarchal design, workers can more easily approach leaders and leaders can more easily approach workers. The space encourages engagement for everyone.

We really do encourage people to come to work. We have a beautiful office, its got high energy, leadership is visible, and it has every amenity we would want. Employees are really engaged.

Kristy Sherlund

Tommy’s Car Wash Systems, Vice President Marketing

Haworth Fern chairs in Tommy's car wash conference room view 1

Comfort and Well-Being

Knowing they wanted team members in the office as much as possible to build culture, Tommy’s leadership included workplace amenities that increase comfort and support well-being. A meditation room provides a place for respite and rejuvenation. The lactation room supports new moms and the health of their babies. Floor-to-ceiling glass provides visibility, access to views of nature, and sunlight that permeates the space. The patio draws people outdoors so they can connect with nature.

A large atrium houses the cafeteria and a community space. Within the cafeteria, employees have a choice of gathering at tables out in the open or in booths that offer more privacy. Self-serve vending machines offer healthy, fresh meal options.

Workstations are designed to support individual employee comfort and well-being with several ergonomic features. Fern chairs, dual monitors, and height adjustable tables promote movement by easily allowing people to change posture from sitting to standing throughout the day.

Tommy’s employees feel great pride in their new headquarters. They like the visibility they have to leaders and vice versa. Plus, working together in person provides opportunities to learn and grow that aren’t available when solely connecting through video meetings and texts. 

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