Charlotte-based Driven Brands has put new incentives in place to attract multi-store operators (MSOs) to its keystone Meineke Car Care Center and Maaco franchises. This includes reduced franchise fees and royalty rates when potential franchisees sign on to open multiple locations.
For Meineke, the second license under the new program is $15,000 — a savings of $7,500. The third license and every one after that is $10,000 — a discount of $20,000 from the original single license fee of $30,000. There also is a 50-percent royalty discount for the first year of operation for the second store and any stores after. Additionally, Meineke’s point-of-sale system (M-Key), which costs about $5,000, is free for the second store and any following stores.
Multi-unit operators are required to open one store per year with the new incentives. Meineke also offers growth incentives to their existing franchisees.
“MSOs have been a great way to grow our system, so we put these incentives in place to attract franchisees with the ability and interest to open several locations,” explained Dave Schaefers, vice president of franchise development for Meineke. “We believe our unit economics are extremely competitive compared to MSO programs that other franchise companies have in place. The trick is to get these MSO operators to come to the automotive industry.”
For Maaco, the price of one license is $30,000 under the new program with more discounts for each additional store. Two licenses are $45,000, three are $55,000, four are $60,000 and five are $65,000. After the fifth license, each additional license is $5,000.
Opening multiple Maaco stores also comes with royalty reductions for the additional stores for the first three years. Royalties will be 2 percent for the first year, 4 percent for the second and 5 percent for the third.
These new incentive programs come less than a year after Harvest Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, acquired Driven Brands with an eye toward expansion. And that expansion strategy includes growing the Meineke network by 200 new car care centers by July 2013. Management also wants to see Maaco add 60 new shops over the same span.
Markets targeted for expansion include Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Rochester, NY.
In related news, Bryan Brown, owner of eight Meineke franchise locations in Louisville, KY and southern Indiana, is this year’s Meineke Franchisee of the Year. Brown, who has been with Meineke for 15 years, is the first two-time Franchisee of the Year, having also won in 2008.
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