CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AUTO REPAIR FRANCHISE OWNERS COME FROM A VARIETY OF BACKGROUNDS
Many people are surprised to learn that most Christian Brothers auto repair franchise owners don’t usually have a lot of experience in the auto repair industry before they open their business.
Christian Brothers has more than 130 locations nationwide and has never had a location close. It is currently the top-ranked auto repair franchise by Franchise Business Review. How have we had so much success? Part of our success comes from looking outside the auto industry for servant leaders who live their faith.
“When dealing with customers, you ask yourself what Jesus would do in this situation,” says Chip Fenner, who owns a location in Houston. “And, how would you treat your mom? You’d take care of her the right way. That kind of thinking is really what guides us, and we trust God for the results.”
Christian Brothers’ business model allows owners to focus on customers, not on cars. Great technicians focus on the cars, while the owners focus on providing a great customer experience.
We find that people with non-automotive backgrounds often have an easier time communicating with customers in layman’s terms. In fact, Christian Brothers likes working with husband-and-wife teams with no prior auto repair franchise experience.
“When my husband came to me with the idea of opening up a Christian Brothers location, I said, ‘We don’t know anything about the automotive business, so how are we going to do this?’ ” says Andrea Peterson, co-owner of the Christian Brothers location in Castle Rock, Colorado. “The Christian Brothers home office helped us identify the frontline guys who do that for us. We are just leading a team. We don’t have to be in the weeds. We are bringing along the people who can do that, and we do the management side that we have been doing throughout our careers.
Christian Brothers works hard to provide customers and technicians a “nice difference” — they all are treated with the utmost dignity, integrity and respect. We offer our customers a shuttle service to and from work, so that our customers can have their cars fixed during the workweek without being inconvenienced. This also allows Christian Brothers locations to be closed on Saturdays, which is helpful in attracting the best technicians in the industry.
That nice difference is what Christian Brothers CEO Mark Carr was seeking in the auto repair industry when he started the business in the 1982. Carr wanted a place to work where his faith-based values would be reflected. This is why the lobbies in all Christian Brothers auto repair franchise locations have Bibles on the tables, situated in comfortable sitting areas. Christian Brothers’ customers are treated with a “love thy neighbor” attitude.
For Ed Pate, owner of the Christian Brothers location in Memphis, Carr’s vision of an auto repair shop that is welcoming to customers is felt in every detail:
“Christian Brothers looks different from most automotive shops,” he said. “The waiting room is a comfortable area where a person can bring children and wait. Other shops have waiting areas close to where they’re working on cars, and they’re noisy.
“Another thing that sets us apart is owner support; it’s second to none. They look at the franchise/franchisee relationship as a vested partnership. They give you any kind of training you need to make sure you’re successful and to help you flourish.”
Christian Brothers assumes a majority of the risk by purchasing land and constructing “built-to-suit” buildings, which the franchisee then manages. Christian Brothers does not charge a franchisee based on the top-line revenues like virtually every other franchisor, but on a share of the profits, which is calculated after expenses. Franchisees also pay themselves a salary before they pay the franchisor a nickel.
For in-depth details about the Christian Brothers Automotive franchise opportunity, get in touch with our team today.