When COVID-19 first hit, City Wide CEO Jeff Oddo and his team jumped into action. They formed a special task force which included three town-hall meetings a week. To support franchisees, they offered options to defer system standards like royalty and marketing payments. “The last thing we wanted our franchise partners to worry about was making minimum payments,” Oddo says. The company also developed two strategic initiatives with catchy names: Project Lemonade and Project Tidal Wave.
Project lemonade: Project Lemonade is not about citrus and sugar. It’s a mission to make the most of the pandemic. With lost contract work, that’s exactly what the company did. By marketing COVID-19-specific services including electrostatic disinfection and commercial detailing, they were able to pivot to handle an influx of cleanup business.
Project Tidal wave: “The ripple effect” has been the company’s mantra since it starting franchising. Project Tidal Wave takes that ripple to the next level. “City Wide changes lives. There has been a ripple effect of success from putting people in business. It spreads from our local franchise owners to the clients they serve, to the contractors and employees they hire,” says Oddo. “Now with COVID-19, we have the opportunity to make our business even better,” he says.
COVID-related innovations: The pandemic sparked an influx of innovations for City Wide.
Selling PPE products: Franchisees are generating additional revenue by adding PPE products to the list of items they sell.
Commercial truck cleaning: Recognizing a need to keep manufacturing moving, the company started offering commercial truck sanitizing services.
Conversions: City Wide just launched a conversion program to partner with local competitors. “The support that City Wide provides cannot be matched. From technology, to marketing to legal and training, no local brand can afford it all themselves. Mom-and-pops will see the value of converting to our brand,” says Oddo.