Fast food parking lot & drive thru bid

So I had an opportunity to quote a local Taco Bell / KFC parking lot & drive thru (all concrete) and when I presented the quote to the franchise owner he told me that he was expecting around $500 for a bi-monthly cleaning (he currently pays one of the hourly workers to use a small pressure washer and the results are what you’d expect). I included the measurements for all areas in case he wanted to add them at a later time but zeroed our the qty on the estimate. I’ve never done any flat work with grease, oil or gum and I would need to rent a hot water unit for this job. From everything I could find it seemed like $0.10/sf was pretty much a baseline for work like this but I don’t have any real life experience on a job like this to tell whether my pricing is reasonable or not. I’m tempted to agree to cleaning it once for the $500 to gain some insight and experience…education comes at a cost, right? Any thoughts?

I can’t really tell by pictures but for commercial flatwork around here bimonthly it’d be about about 450 and about 3 1/2 hours. Like I said though, I’m not good at estimating by pictures. Commercial flatwork is very competitive but the upside is regular work. The good thing about Taco Bell is they don’t open for breakfast so you could start about 5:00 am and be finished by 8:30am and still get a house wash in and be home by noon with a $700.00 day. I feel your pain on the rental. That’ll eat up your profit


I actually bought a used Alkota hot water unit that had been sitting for three years for a great price but I haven’t gotten the burner working yet…the Honda gx390 runs nice now that I cleaned out the carburetor and drained the old gas and the pump works perfectly. Just need to figure out the burner now. If that doesn’t work I’d be waiting until I have several contracts before buying a new unit.

350 is about the going rate here for fast food restaurants and most only want it done monthly and overnight. No thanks.

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Around me kfc toco bell McDonald basically all of the pay $150 checkers pays $175 because it has two drives

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Sounds to me like I should at least do it once for the $500 he was expecting just to see if it’s lucrative for me. Thanks for the insight guys!

Probably not a bad idea so you can see it’s a ton of work for little return. Flat work has to be done around here with super high gpm machines so they can do 4-5/night. I just bid a bank for $600 because I didn’t want to do it and never want them to call me again. Lol I bet the winning bid is <$300


One of the regular flatwork guys around here runs two machines with one of them being an 11 gpm Landa. The other guy is on a wand rinsing behind him. Both machines have 1/2” hoses so I’m assuming they’re both 10+ gpm.

Saw a guy cleaning an enmark gas station near me the other day. Attached a 60in surface cleaner to the front of a golf cart and the rear had the reclaim pickup. He said his machine was 17gpm. Dude was cleaning flatwork at 10mph. Felt relly bad for the guys having to keep up with his hoses.


I wouldn’t want to do 4-5 per night. I’m at the point in life where if I can do 5 or 6 per week and throw in a couple of residential jobs along with a day of store fronts I’m tickled to death. That’s my business model so I can have time for mission trips and fishing.


First of all, .10 is not the baseline. Offer to clean the drive thru from order speaker to where they make the left turn past pickup window, sidewalk on entry side, walk going to dumpster pad (they’re always dirty) and the dumpster pad for $600 bi-monthly. The rest suggest a quarterly deep clean - where you clean everything and price it at $.13/ft. Suggest he start with deep clean to get the place in decent shape if it looks as bad in person as it does it pics.

DO NOT clean that whole place for $500. You will lose money. If you’re even considering it, send me $100 and I’ll tell you how smart you are every day for a month, for not doing it and you’ll be a lot better off. That’s a $1700 job all day long with real equipment. Depending on grade, you could easily be looking a several hours in just rinsing. it’s going to take you a couple of cleanings just to get it in shape.
The other alternative is just offer to do a quarterly deep cleaning and tell him his current guy can keep doing weekly. That way he’ll save some money and place will look ok.


Absolutely not

@Racer and i were thinking along similar lines.

You are negotiating price, scope, schedule - not just price.

Schedule. As frequency decreases, price increases.

Bear in mind there are 2 different types of drive thrus - 1) a pad at kiosk, a pad at pickup or 2) a pad that wraps around the full length of the drive thru area
The latter is way more work.

Gum will usually be the most time consuming part. Be sure to check the degree of gum removal needed.

If they have a certain budget and they’ve given you the price and schedule, negotiate scope. Address dirtiest areas but not all concrete will be cleaned, no curbing, etc.

Wish you the best.


I just did this Culver’s restaurant about 2 months ago. Cleaned the building, drive-thru, entrances, patio and the concrete right outside the dumpster pad for about $1200. The parking lot is asphalt, so no need to do that. I have a hot water machine so I didn’t need to rent one but I wouldn’t have done it for any less. It was a deep clean which I will be doing for them in the future. Their people will continue to do the weekly cleans.

They might find someone cheaper than you to do it, let them do it. It’s worth every penny that you proposed.


Well put Jordie, much more eloquent than than mine.

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Not at all. :blush:

This whole Price Scope Schedule thing has taken me a long time to understand and implement. Even now, i get tripped up sometimes.

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It’s the little things that a lot of people don’t get on commercial cleaning. The job above has 300 ft of curbs in just the drive thru area. You go clean the drive thru and do a great job but don’t clean the curb facing that’s what owner going to see. So on my commercial that’s always included. You can kill a good 30 min doing that much even when you get good at it and as you know you can easily spend as much time rinsing as you do cleaning, maybe more depending on property.


Well… I officially don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I won the thing despite being $200 more expensive than the next guy apparently. So now I have to embrace the suck that is flatwork in the dark…



I cleaned this one week ago. Shows why you want to stick to your pricing. @Trav1111 is right