The Royals

In 1992, when the garbage company that Bill Malone, Mauro DeSilva, Michael Streaman, Alexandra Townsend and Debbie Russo worked for decided to separate from the portable restroom business, the five co-workers decided to go into business together. They bought what is now A Royal Flush expanding from a small portable restroom business in Connecticut to a large portable restroom and trailer business in three states.

“We expanded into New York in 1995 and into Philadelphia in 2008,” says Debbie Russo one of the partners at A Royal Flush. “Now we have a very large special event portion of our business that was not originally part of the business plan when we purchased the company. It makes up about 40 percent of what we do.”

The other 40 percent of their business is construction with the remaining in municipal government contracts. “We have the City of Philadelphia, three counties in New Jersey and a couple
of contracts in Connecticut,” says Russo.

Russo is seeing a trend toward trailer rentals over portables. “We have about 30 trailers from a variety of manufacturers such as Black Tie, Ameri-Can, ACSI and JAG,” says Russo. “We only buy from companies whose trailers hold up over the years and these have worked well for us. ACSI was an early producer of high-end trailers. We buy the Presidential line through Black Tie and the trailers are beautiful. JAG makes a great two-stall trailer that is very nice to pull around and widely used at big events with performing artists.

“As one of the bigger event companies in the area, we have had the privilege of seeing some beautiful locations that normal residents don’t get to go see such as bridge locations and waterfront locations that are typically closed off to the public.”

The Royal Treatment

“All of our competitors provide the same services we do, so we have to provide the best service,” says Russo. “We are available 24/7 which most of our competitors are not.”
For larger events, A Royal Flush provides attendants to help keep them clean and to help the crowds move along more efficiently. “When you have a long line of equipment, crowds tend to line up at the ends,” says Russo. “They don’t really look around so an attendant can help direct people to the shorter lines.”

A Royal Flush is a minority-owned company which does help in the bidding. But it’s their attention to detail and one-stop service that keeps customers coming back. “I’m self-sufficient,” says Russo. “When an event planner calls, they don’t want to have to worry about all of the details and chase paper around. We make it really easy for them to work with us. If you call today, you get a quote today. If you say we are going to have x number of people, I’ll tell you how many trailers or portables you should have and we make sure that they stay clean and stocked.”
That service seems to be working for them. They have provided approximately 2,200 toilets for the New York City marathon since 1996. They also provide toilets at MetLife Stadium for various events including New York Jets and New York Giants games as well as Philadelphia Eagles games at Lincoln Financial Field.

But their big contract win is this year’s Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium as well as the Super Bowl Broadway, which is a four-day event.

An Eye on the Environment

A Royal Flush is in the process of converting their fleet to natural gas. “We have multiple diesel trucks and four natural gas trucks,” says Russo. “It gives us a competitive edge because mileage is so much better and the engines burn cleaner. Our muni customers love it.

“The toilets are 35-40 percent recycled consumer plastic and we use recycled toilet paper. We also use wash water in our toilets instead of potable water in Conn. For our offices, we
have solar panels to help offset our electric usage and costs, and special devices to control the lights in the offices. It’s great because what is good for the environment, is also good for our bottom line.

“We also bought two monitors for everyone to increase efficiency. But we found that it also cut our paper consumption significantly because you can view multiple documents.”

Chin Up in Challenging Times

“The rising cost of trucking is our biggest challenge,” says Russo. “Mass Transit Authority bridges are going up by 15 percent per year. You can’t keep going back to customers with those price increases. In addition to that, the cost of fuel and delivery costs are higher because of transportation plus the additional fuel used because of increased congestion on the roads.

“We like to keep our employees and give them a pay increase each year which also increases our business costs.

“After 9/11, security at events went through the roof. We take pictures and make credentials of all of our employees. The security at these bigger events is just amazing. It’s a function of working in a major city. There are multiple check marks for security which means extra time and extra gas just sitting there.

“The New York marathon this year was the tightest it’s ever been. But they had to do that because of what happened at the Boston marathon. Thankfully, there were no issues. Security was so much extra work, but the event was so much better because of it.”

Story by Jennifer Taylor

For More Information, visit:
■ A Royal Flush
■ Ameri-Can,
■ Black Tie Products,
■ JAG,

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