A new opportunity to make an automotive franchise a top destination for members who are exiting the military and looking for a lucrative business opportunity is coming!
Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service Centers are finalizing negotiations for their partnership with the Army and Air Force Exchange Services to become an automotive concessionaire on select military bases.
“There are numerous sites and it is our intention to have all of these be veteran-owned,” revealed Ralph Yarusso (USAF Veteran) Chief Operating Officer of Franchising for both the SpeeDee and Grease Monkey brands.
The partnership is in line with SpeeDee’s and Grease Monkey’s targeting of military veterans. Yarusso said the military’s focus on discipline and constant training makes veterans ideal franchisee candidates.
“Veterans have instilled in them a great deal of discipline and they’re easy to train,” he said during a recent interview.
In particular, the leadership training military members receive helps them to be better franchisees because running a business means constantly being in a leadership role.
Recently recognized by the International Franchise Association as having received a five-star ranking from VetFran, SpeeDee and Grease Monkey both have powerful incentives for ex-military members.
Along with having veterans and certified franchise executives (CFE) on staff, the two franchises offer a $10,000 franchise fee discount to any veteran with an honorable discharge. In addition to that, they offer veterans a 50 percent royalty rebate for the first four full quarters a franchise is open, plus a 25 percent royalty rebate for the next four quarters after that. And once those eight quarters are up, the two automotive franchises have a compliance program that continues offering veterans an ongoing 10 percent royalty rebate.
“That is a lot of money going back to the veterans to help them become profitable and expand their system,” Yarusso noted.
Although veterans come out of the military with a lot of training under their belts, both SpeeDee and Grease Monkey provide comprehensive training for all franchisees so they are better able to succeed in the franchises’ systems.
“Training is ongoing,” Yarusso commented. “I like to think we provide it 24/7 .”
New franchisees are required to attend a full week of training at Grease Monkey University in the Grease Monkey headquarters in Denver, CO. After the university training, new franchisees spend another week with a mentor franchisee before they open their stores. The franchises also have pre-store-opening and post-opening training. That’s followed by quarterly visits onsite with the franchisees and their staffs to evaluate performance. Market training happens twice a year and both brands have an annual convention where franchisees can get even more training.
“We take training very seriously and the results pay off dramatically,” the Chief Operating Officer stated.
In addition to the Grease Monkey University at the headquarters, the two brands have an online university, so all technicians and store managers can be trained online in the Grease Monkey Certification Program.
The Certification Program is mandatory for all franchisees and staff members, so they are all qualified to work on any vehicle that comes in. Once the technicians complete the certification program, they become a Certified Pit Crew, complete with uniforms that emulate real NASCAR pit crew uniforms.
This certification is important for garnering customer trust in the brands, Yarusso pointed out.
“Customers want to know their $50,000 vehicle is being worked on by people who have training to work on that vehicle,” he said.
An Air Force veteran himself, Yarusso said he believes Grease Monkey’s and SpeeDee’s comprehensive training and experience is what sets them apart from other quick lube brands.
“The unique thing about Grease Monkey and SpeeDee is many of our senior management team are former automotive franchisees,” he explained. “Nobody else in the Automotive Franchise industry can make that claim.”
While both franchises are in the automotive space, SpeeDee has a larger building footprint at about 4,000 – 6,000 square feet and is set up to handle more services like tires and deeper diagnostic repairs. Grease Monkey is a smaller model with a building of about 2,000 – 3,000 square feet. Both brands provide maintenance services like brakes, lights, wiper blades, belts, hoses, air conditioning and fluid exchange.
Grease Monkey has been in business since 1978 and SpeeDee has been around since 1980. They both started franchising in the same years they were founded.
Between the two of them, they have 519 franchise locations with the bulk of them being in the United States. They also have a presence in Mexico, China, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.
Within the US, Grease Monkey is concentrated in Denver, Seattle and Salt Lake City and has a presence up and down the East Coast. SpeeDee, on the other hand, is concentrated in Boston, the San Francisco Bay area and Dallas. Between them, the brands are in 37 states.
Yarusso said there are franchise opportunities available all across the country.
“With vehicles becoming more technologically advanced all the time, the need for a service like Grease Monkey or SpeeDee is obvious as the do-it-yourself market continues to shrink and the do-it-for-me market continues to grow,” said Yarusso.
With their new veteran benefits program, both SpeeDee and Grease Monkey are excited to grow by attracting entrepreneurial veterans to help them transition to civilian life and begin a second career that their military experience will pay dividends for in the years to come.