Description: A trusted name in car repair that’s recognized by over 92% of Americans, Meineke has been an industry leader for over 40 years and supplies a proven business system to nearly 1,000 franchisees. Opportunities: Franchises available throughout the United States and Canada. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $110,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes.
Meineke Car Care Center: Automotive Repair Franchise Video
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Interview with Danny Rivera: President of Meineke Car Care Centers
Once upon a time, Meineke Car Care Centers was an auto shop focused primarily on muffler repairs. As vehicles advanced, Meineke evolved to meet a dynamic industry. Today Meineke is the world class destination for total car care, meeting the demand for more cars staying on the road for more miles. Meineke is a highly visible brand with over 40 years of trusted experience in the auto care industry that has stayed true to always putting people first.
In this Success Story Interview, we get to hear from Meineke President Danny Rivera. Danny’s background in technology gives him a forward thinking perspective that he utilizes to keep Meineke the leader in providing top notch customer experience and franchisee profitability. Read on to find out what partnering with an iconic American brand with a proven playbook and a world-class marketing engine means for long term franchisee success.
Tell us about your role at Meineke.
I started at Meineke as CIO in 2012 and transitioned to president in late 2014. In my role, I oversee all aspects of the business, keeping in mind customer satisfaction and franchisee profitability are paramount to our continued success. My background in technology puts me in unique position as President to improve our customer experience and franchisee profitability by leveraging technology. Consumers are more tech savvy than ever, and I’m thrilled to find ways to use technology to delight our customers.
Why is auto repair a good industry for a prospective franchisee?
The auto repair industry is positioned for continued growth over the next few years. The industry is strong and projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.4% through 2018. The average age of vehicles on the road is higher than ever at 11 years old. There are more cars on the road and they’re being driven more miles than ever, thanks to low gas prices. All of this means there are strong macroeconomic factors working to our advantage in auto repair, it’s a great time to be a part of this industry.
Meineke has unparalleled brand recognition, with more than 80% of consumers across the country familiar with the brand. There’s also great pre-tax cash flow and the cash on cash return is 58%, better than many other popular franchise models like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s.
What is your #1 piece of advice you would share to a first-time franchisee?
We’re in the people business. The people we interact with are the most important part of what we do. Whether it’s the customers who come into centers or the team that helps run your shops, people are the key to success. The centers that excel in our business are the ones who maintain this mindset.
Meineke operates under a business model that has been refined for more than 40 years. We have talented teams that work to ensure everything we do boosts the profitability of each center. Following the Meineke Playbook, delighting customers, and working with our vendor partners are the types of things franchisees can do to ensure success.
How long does the start-up process typically take?
In general, the ramp up process takes between 12 and 18 months. The great thing about Meineke is that we have all the teams in place to help your ramp up be as successful as possible. From teams in real estate and development that will help you find, secure, and open your center to a local marketing manager that will help bring customers through your doors and Franchise Business Consultants that will help you run a profitable business, we have everything you need. We also have a team in place that solely focuses on helping new franchisees through the first few months of the opening process.
What has been the biggest challenge Meineke has faced? How did you overcome it?
Meineke began as a muffler repair shop in 1972. Back then, muffler repair was more than 90% of our sales. As vehicles advanced, we had to evolve. In the early 2000’s we shifted our business model to become total car care experts. Beyond shifting the entire lineup of our business offerings and equipping centers with the necessary equipment to service customer vehicles, the biggest obstacle in the re-brand was overcoming consumer perception. We were a household name for muffler repair, and the goal was to become a household name for total car care. To overcome that, we aggressively promoted our new offerings via television, print advertising and more. I’m proud to say, it’s been successful and Meineke is now a world-class retailer with more than 900 centers in the U.S. with more great things on the horizon. Now, muffler repair makes up only 15% of our business. We’ve filled the void with total car care repair services including brakes, oil changes, tires, A/C, shocks and struts - basically anything customers need to keep their vehicle operating safely.
Our brand is at a pivotal point again, with today’s consumer demanding increased technology that’s smart and intuitive. To fulfill our promise of convenience, reliability and transparency we’ve worked diligently to rollout industry-leading programs like Meineke Rewards, a cumulative, points-based program that lets customers earn points for every dollar they spend. The program is trackable via a custom, mobile-friendly rewards portal online and the new Meineke App. In the coming months, I look forward to launching additional, impactful programs that meet consumer needs for enhanced technology in a smart, efficient way.
What advantages does the Meineke business model offer?
We deliver a powerful brand that is an American icon, a proven playbook that shows you how to run a profitable business (even if you don’t know anything about cars), and a world-class marketing engine that brings customers to your doors and keeps them coming back.
Meineke was ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur magazine, what sets Meineke apart from its competitors?
Meineke has consistently ranked among the top automotive maintenance and repair providers in recent years and we’re very proud to be honored as a leader within the automotive aftermarket. This achievement is largely due to our customer-first promise, our commitment to pioneering innovation within the automotive aftermarket, and the success our wonderful franchisees have experienced as being part of the Meineke family.
What’s next for Meineke in terms of future growth?
We’ve got our eye on over 1,000 centers across North America and significant growth in revenues due to more centers and improved sales from our existing portfolio. We’ll hit the 1,000 center mark by growing existing franchisees to own multiple units and working with new owners of all levels to begin their own Meineke business.
I ask our franchisees to put the customer first, I back that up by leading initiatives that are designed with franchisees and their customers in mind. That said, I’m excited to implement technology in our centers to streamline how customers care for their vehicles – whether that’s through the newly launched Meineke Rewards program, the eInspection program, or a connected car initiative - I’m excited that Meineke continues to lead in the automotive care space.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Meineke is a world-class retailer, laser-focused on providing the best automotive care for drivers across the country. We’ve worked hard to establish a talented support team that helps our franchisees run every aspect of their business from marketing to operations and more. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a brand and the future is very bright at Meineke.
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
Simply fill out the short form below and any questions you have about financing, training, support, available locations and more will be answered by the most qualified franchise development representative from Meineke Car Care Center.